The Chocolatier’s Recap of the 2015 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen


Delysia Chocolatier's table at the 2015 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen
Delysia Chocolatier’s table at the 2015 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen

After having such a great experience last year, Chef Nicole Patel was looking forward to a second year exhibiting at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. As expected, the event did not disappoint. From the very first night at the reception dinner, the Delysia Chocolatier team knew the event was well worth every one of the 951 miles they drove to get there.

Taking It All in at the Thursday Kick Off Party

There are few words that can accurately capture the beauty of Aspen. During the summer the snow gives way to green on the mountainside that rises up all around. Chef Nicole and her family were able to relax and take in the sights before the night’s big event kick-off reception.  Take a look at our Instagram account to see the gorgeous scenery they got to enjoy.

The reception at the St. Regis Aspen featured food created by past contestants of the Bravo series Top Chef. The dishes were just as delicious as they were creative. The highlight of the evening though was being in the presence of celebrity chefs such as Gail Simmons, Tim Love, and Andrew Zimmern, as well as chatting with Food & Wine Magazine’s Dana Cowin and Justin Chapple.

Friday – Giving Aspen a Bite of the South Under the Grand Tasting Tent

You can tell by the media coverage that the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen is one of the country’s most prestigious food events. Surrounded by the breathtaking Colorado Rockies press members from the likes of The New York Times and The Today Show were there to record all of the action and amazing chef creations.

Delysia Chocolatier's Cornbread Molasses Truffles at the 2015 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen
Our delicious Cornbread Molasses Truffles

Our goal was to bring a taste of the south to Aspen. We put out southern-inspired truffle samples that included:

  • Fried Chicken Honey Biscuit Truffles
  • Cornbread Molasses Truffles
  • Mint Julep Truffles
  • White Peach Balsamic Truffles
  • Smoked Salted Bourbon Pecan Truffles
  • Salt Lick BBQ Sauce Truffles

Of course, we also showcased our famous Ghost Pepper Bark and our new Cricket Chocolate. Both were met with an amazing reception! Aspen Public Radio even stopped by for an interview with Nicole about what all goes into the Cricket Chocolate and how the insects taste like peanuts when they’re roasted.

Saturday – Interviews With the National Press & Rubbing Elbows With Celebrity Chefs

If you’re a fan of In Style magazine you may see Delysia Chocolatier in an upcoming issue. An In Style reporter interviewed Chef Nicole during the second day of the Grand Tastings. Imagine our delight when the 60 Minutes producer also stopped by to taste our unique chocolates, at the recommendation of her staff.

We thought that lunch would be less eventful – until we realized we were sitting next to the world famous French chef Jacques Pepin. Chef Pepin was one of the headliners for this year’s festival, so it was an amazing opportunity to get to enjoy his company (plus we knew lunch had to be good!).

Nicole had the chance to speak with another festival presenter on Saturday in the tasting tents. Food & Wine Magazine’s Senior Editor for the Test Kitchen, Justin Chapple stopped by before his seminar to see if he could handle a bite of the Ghost Pepper Bark.

Sunday – Chatting With Some of Our Favorite Celebrity Chefs as Aspen Comes to a Close

Sunday was a short day, but it started early and was full of high-profile foodies stopping by our table.

Chef Nicole Patel with Andrew Zimmern at the 2015 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen
Chef Nicole Patel with Andrew Zimmern

Andrew Zimmern came by and was such a pleasure to chat with. Of course Andrew, famous for his Bizarre Foods series on the Travel Channel, wanted a taste of our Cricket Chocolate.

Dana Cowin the Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine Magazine also stopped by to see what Delysia was serving up this year. It was an honor to get a moment of her time since she is just about the busiest person at the festival. Fingers crossed we’ll make our way into Food & Wine Magazine.

One of our favorite chefs and Delysia Chocolatier fan, Gail Simmons also took the time to stop by despite her crazy busy schedule.

Chef Nicole Patel and Gail Simmons at the 2015 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen
Chef Nicole Patel and Gail Simmons


All in all the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen was even more amazing this year than last. We thoroughly enjoyed getting the opportunity to bring a little taste of the south and Delysia’s unique chocolates to the Rocky Mountains.

Nicole Patel

Nicole Patel is the proprietor of and chocolatier for Delysia Chocolatier. In 2006 while pregnant with her first son, Nicole made a batch of chocolate truffles as holiday gifts. To the delight of friends and family, she continued to create chocolates as a way to relieve stress from her corporate engineering job. In 2008, a chance trip to Becker Vineyards led to Nicole being the first in Texas to make truffles using local wines. Within five years, what started as a hobby turned Delysia into one of the Top Ten Chocolatiers in the Americas, as selected by the International Chocolate Salon.

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