Food and wine fests have long been a source of great fun. But this year, along with the grand tastings and merrymaking, next week’s Crested Butte Wine & Food Festival (Thursday, July 28 to Sunday July, 31) adds an educational component that goes far beyond the norm. Eat. Drink. Think. is a series of panel and TED-style talks regarding the topic of food sustainability.

Eat. Drink. Think. assembles big-name thought leaders and experts, including butcher Adam Danforth, who is a James Beard award-winning author, and Michel Nischan, celebrated chef and founder and CEO of Wholesome Wave, from around the country to discuss the critical issues facing our food system.

The pilot program grew out of local chefs Alex Seidel (Fruition Restaurant, Mercantile Dining & Provision, and Fruition Farms) and Kelly Whitaker (Basta and Cart-Driver) wanting more out festivals. “Chefs are thinking about their purpose and responsibility,” says Sara Brito, cofounder of Eat. Drink. Think. “They want to get involved in the deeper issues—and bring their audiences with them.” Seidel and Whitaker will sit on the panels and contribute to discussions. (Seidel will also cook alongside Saturday’s butchering demonstration.)

The program hinges on the premise that restaurant-goers are increasingly becoming conscious consumers. “Eat. Think. Drink. will test people’s appetites for content,” Brito says. Each talk, which will range from topics including changing how we think about meat and land use to food justice and seafood sustainability, will include at least one key takeaway (here’s what you can do to make an impact) for the audience.

The topics are so important that Eat. Drink. Think. is free and open to the public and festival goers. Discussions will be held twice on Friday (11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 5 to 6:30 p.m.) and once on Saturday (11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) to best accommodate schedules.

For a full schedule of the festival and Eat. Drink. Think., click here.

Center for the Arts Crested Butte, 606 Sixth St., Crested Butte, 970-349-7487

Follow food editor Amanda M. Faison on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.