Mammoth Food & Wine Experience

Go up the mountain for eats of the gourmet sort, and chefly demos, too.

PEAKS AND PLATES: Does cooler mountain air, the kind that can feel fizzy with soft sunlight on the perfect summer afternoon, truly stoke the appetite? One does feel the sense to dine a little more lavishly, and heartily, after a day spent hiking through a canyon or riding a gondola up to a pretty picnic spot. Whether or not we feel more inclined to chow down at the beach, though, or in a city, or even way up, elevation-wise, is likely up to the individual. But if you're an individual who likes to try new bites, and learn from working chefs (on both technique and trends), and generally enjoy a middle-of-July stretch that's all about sips, bites, and views, then make for the Mammoth Food & Wine Experience. The two-day party — note that it is a Friday and Saturday, not Saturday and Sunday — kicks off with...

FRIDAY NIGHT AT THE VILLAGE, on July 15. This is where you get to dig a little deep into what vineyards and vino makers around the Eastern Sierra are up to, and you get to stroll through Mammoth's charming central heart. Yep, you'll get a gratis glass to wander with, but don't dillydally now: Tickets do sell out. As for the Saturday end of things? That's the Grand Tasting, at the Edison Pavilion, which will boast a Celebrity Chef Battle, appearances by eateries like Delicious Kitchen, Whitebark, and more. It's the sixth year for the mountain-high cuisine-fun gathering, one that locks into the lovely, not-too-hot temps of the busy winter destination. Of course, Mammoth stays busy in the summer, too, with biking and hiking and golf and, yes, its flavorful July centerpiece, the Food & Wine Experience.

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