Locals and out of towners will both agree that Jackson Hole Food & Wine is a festival to look forward to —and luckily for us it takes place in both the winter and summer. While both are epic, the winter fest takes place slopeside at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Teton Village. Think an apres ski event with Pappy Van Winkle’s grandson, a multi-course dinner at 9,000 feet in elevation, the best après-ski party, and much more — scheduled accordingly so you can have the best of both worlds: skiing and festival time.
Get intimate with Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski
Kicking off the 3rd annual winter fest is Big Wines, Small Plates, an OG event that’s been a part of the festival (both winter and summer) since day one. Epic small plates, standout wines, chefs and industry insiders collide in one cozy, intimate space at Rendezvous Lodge. Michael Britton of Piste Mountain Bistro is in charge of the kitchen where he’ll execute dishes by way of direction of Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski of State Bird Provisions, Preston Van Winkle of Old Rip Van Winkle, Andy Peay of Peay Vineyards, Matt Bean of Sunset Magazine and Laely Heron of Heron Wines. It’s like being part of a live storybook where panelists bring culinary memories to life with each bite and sip.
Learn tips and tricks from the experts
In addition to Big Wines, Small Plates, this dynamic duo will be involved in events throughout the festival, including an intimate cooking class inside Il Villaggio Osteria’s private dining room. If you haven’t eaten at State Bird Provisions in San Francisco you’re missing out. Brioza has the power to turn even the most picky eaters on to anchovies (or at least me, after their private dinner during Jackson Hole Food & Wine’s 2018 summer festival). The two (if you can tear Brioza off the slopes! will demo several hit recipes from State Bird Provisions: A Cookbook and teach handy tips and tricks for making these dishes at home — plus beautiful wine pairings from Peay Vineyards.
The best apres ski bang for your buck
For après enthusiasts Taste of Teton Village is the place to be. The $165 ticket equals hours of endless fun inside the Four Seasons Resort & Residences Jackson Hole’s fancy ballroom. Local West Bank chefs dish up their favorite, warming, wintry dishes while there’s no shortage of wine, local brews and libations — plus tunes from DJ Rocky Vertone to set the après tone. It’s basically the equivalent of eating at 13 restaurants in one setting. Bonus: hit the after party at Continuum to keep the party going.
A notable happy hour
What pairs well with a day on one of the country’s best ski resorts? Pappy Hour. And we’re talking Pappy, as in Pappy Van Winkle, kind of Pappy Hour. Lucky attendees who scored a ticket get the chance to embark on an exclusive tasting with Preston Van Winkle of Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, aka the great grandson of iconic bourbon maker Julian P. “Pappy” Van Winkle. Expect a flight of neat pours of some of the country’s most sought after bourbons with a side of family history inside Hotel Terra’s Murie Ballroom.
A dinner collaboration at 9,000 feet
While we think all events are noteworthy, Wine Dinner at 9,000ft takes the cake. Dressed to the nines, arrive via Bridger Gondola to the top of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and take in unobstructed views of the valley for cocktail hour via Piste Mountain Bistro’s floor to ceiling glass windows. For one night only Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski will cook an extraordinary tasting menu paired with Peay Vineyards wine. If you’ve participated in this affair before you’re well aware that unexpected bites and sips take place all night long.
Aside from Wine Dinner at 9,000ft, Jackson Hole Food & Wine’s winter fest is arguably one of the most fun, intimate and chill — meaning come as you are, even in ski garb — festivals that exist. Locals like to dabble in one or two events while out of towners have been known to enhance a ski vacation by tackling them all. In the case an event you see is sold out email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to a waitlist and we’ll send you all the good vibes.
Written by Jenn Rice
Photos by Lindley Rust