ASPEN, Colo. — Here's the recipe for a soufflé of decadence:

Ingredients

A few hundred chefs

A few hundred restaurateurs

Thousands of wealthy people who want to party with chefs and restaurateurs

Corporate sponsors who encourage the partying

Celebrities

Vast pools of alcohol

Directions

Mix all ingredients together. Pour into posh mountain town. Bake. Serve with antacids and ibuprofen.

The Food & Wine Classic rolled into Aspen Thursday through Sunday for its 31st year, bringing 5,000 hard-partying people together for three days of concentrated gluttony.

The event, the largest of its kind for the food-obsessed, marinates in a blend of silly, sublime and serious — sober, however, is entirely absent. With every turn, somebody stands before a table of glasses, eager to pour a spot of pinot noir or Champagne, or lording over a tray of ready-to-nab Bloody Marys or margaritas.

People-watching here must be as flamboyant as it gets in Colorado. Aspen always offers glimpses into rarefied slices of the coasts, but during Food & Wine the spectacle is on parade. You never will see so much cosmetic surgery and clothing in pastel, so many loafers, towering heels and handbags that cost more than a Paris vacation.

And that's just the guests. Just about every celebrity chef in the country makes it to Food & Wine, and you spot them all over town, walking and yapping on their cellphones, sitting together at bars, dancing.

My chef-celebrity highlights from the weekend: French Laundry chef and owner Thomas Keller serving me his exquisite raw bar offerings at a party Saturday night; Daniel chef and owner Daniel Boulud taking my plate at the same party and piling it with about a dozen samples of his charcuterie; hanging out at

Tasting tents at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic.
Tasting tents at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic. (Annie Brown)