The Baldwin Gallery in Aspen, host to PreviewCrush.

ASPEN - With WineCrush behind us, it was on to the next event – PreviewCrush at the Baldwin Gallery, to view the works of art that would be sold at the benefit. Sotheby’s hosted a relaxed and extremely fun dinner party afterward at Ajax Tavern. This is one of my favorite restaurants in Aspen for its bistro style and Colorado comfort food (if there is such a thing). With a bluegrass band playing in the background, we over-indulged with tastes of all of their signature dishes, including the truffle fries. My new favorite dish is their lamb riblets in a lavender and honey sauce. I don’t care if I never see another sparerib again after tasting these little babies. We closed up the bar watching the American gymnastics team on TV, and went home to rest up for the main event, ArtCrush itself.

Artist Tom Sachs was honored at the Aspen Art Museum.

The event, on the grounds of the Aspen Art Museum, started with cocktails and copious hors d’oeuvres, wine tastings, and viewings of the works in the live and silent auctions. The event honored Tom Sachs, and he made a sensorial mark on the evening by inviting a cook to fry bacon, caramelized with maple syrup, at the entry to the tent. The aroma was intended to attract every bear in Aspen, and I’m sure Tom was disappointed when none materialized (at least inside). But we were still all a little nervous by the prospect! Oliver Barker, our fabulous Senior International Specialist from London, energized the crowd for the live auction, selling works by Tom Sachs, Rob Pruitt, Tom Friedman and others for fantastic prices. Chef Martin Oswald of Pyramid Bistro created the menu of surf and turf. An artichoke salad with a chile-marinated shrimp started us off, followed by a Colorado beef tenderloin and lobster duet in a bourbon sauce, with lobster butter thrown in, and truffled mashed potatoes. If you think it sounds too rich, you are right. This was followed by a medley of chocolate desserts, and an after party where the carousing continued. No amount of hiking or biking was going to cover the sins of the three days of events. For me, back to the Hamptons, where it is positively restful compared to the intense atmosphere of this mountain town.