Need a tip for making better burgers? Chef Tyler Florence cautioned the crowd, “Don’t crush the ground meat. Make a ball, keep it fluffy and press it once when cooking.” He was emphatic about the downside of grill grates for burgers. “Grilling is not the way to go. You need a high heat on a hard surface so put a cast iron pan right on the grill,” says Florence. “Not to get too ‘inside baseball’ but you need browning from the Maillard Reaction when heat hits the proteins to get great color.”
Worlds of taste
International flavors are celebrated at the Classic, too. Bites of quinoa and ceviche from Peru were served with the country’s most famous cocktail — the pisco sour. A tasting of Argentinian malbecs from Familia Zuccardi of Mendoza demonstrated the subtle differences of wine from the same grape grown in different areas of their vineyards built on rocky alluvial soil at the base of the Andes Mountains. “The stones change in size from high to low parts of our vineyards so we have different soils and therefore different malbecs,” says wine maker Sebastian Zuccardi.
Chef Jose Andres known for his exemplary approach to Spanish cuisine with restaurants in Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Miami and Los Angeles shared tapas secrets in his demo and the sublime pairing of what he calls “Jose’s Taco” – a slice of Spain’s prized Iberco ham topped with a dollop of American caviar. The height of good taste is more than just the altitude in Aspen.