Like many a good cooking story, Martha Stewart’s started in France. “When I went on my first trip to France just newly married, I bought Julia Child’s first, biggest book (Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume 1) at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris,” says Stewart. “When I came home, I cooked every recipe from the first page to the last page. It was my first introduction to difficult recipes and French cooking and experimenting.” The rest is culinary history. This June, Stewart makes her Aspen debut during the Food & Wine Classic. We polled the gourmand about her own epicurean experiences and the perfect pairings. June 14, 10am, festival tickets from $1,600, The St. Regis Aspen Resort
When was your interest in wine sparked? When I took my first long trip to France with my husband. We drove all through the Loire Valley in my little Volkswagen. I was enamored in Burgundy with the white Burgundies, and aligoté, a wine that is part of my wine business right now.
How has the food and wine industry evolved? Where is it headed next? The food industry has embraced the cuisine of the entire world. I think because of the Food Network and the great cooking shows on TV in America. We also have all this stuff coming up about serving healthier food, lots of vegan, lots of vegetarian, and it’s a step in the right direction. There’s a huge interest in small restaurants of farm-to-table. I’m really happy to see it.
What are some wines or varietals you’re loving now? I love the rosés that are coming from all over France. So many winemakers are making good rosé that it’s being consumed year-round. There are new vintages of Champagne. One of my favorite aperitifs is Dom Pérignon. There’s a Sauternes that I love. I don’t know who makes it, but I was given a magnum of it, and they want you to serve it on ice. I’ll be serving it at my birthday this year. Even winemakers are lessening their restrictions on how to drink wine; they are allowing you to put a cube of ice in the drink.
Last meal on Earth (with wine pairing, of course)? Not my last meal on Earth, but one of my favorite wine pairings with food is an amazing piece of freshly grilled salmon with a glass of icy cold aligoté. It’s delicious.
Photography by: Fadil Berisha