Good Eating: 15 of the Best Food Festivals
Food is more than just a necessity to survive, it is a representation of the culture it comes from. That’s why food festivals are so popular. Its a chance for people to try foods that they have never tried before. Food festivals are places where well known chefs showcase new products and dishes and new chefs can make a name for themselves. Here’s a list of some of the best food festivals to go to.
Taste of Chicago
Chicago is famous for the deep dish pizza and Chicago style-hot dogs, but those are not the only culinary staples that Chicago boasts. That’s clear at Taste of Chicago, one of America’s premier food festivals, held annually since 1980. Held in Grant Park, the festival last for 10 days and all the restaurants in the city participate by sharing their finest cuisine. Some of the most notable treats to try is the Banana Leaf restaurant’s jerk chicken wings, and the turtle cheesecake from Eli’s.
Taste of Los Angeles
In a city as big as Los Angeles the food scene is inevitably diverse and enticing. One of the best foodie towns, LA hold their annual four day food festival every September. The Taste of Los Angeles brings out the top chefs and culinary experts. Tastings, cooking demonstrations, and seminars are held in places like the Paramount Picture Back Studio Lot. This is one of the most star studded food festivals in America.
New Orleans Wine and Food Experience
Any time you go to New Orleans you can’t just call it a visit or a vacation, its an experience. That why the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience is a little bit more than a festival, its a chance for others to live the New Orleans way of life. The cultures, the history, and the mystical vibe of New Orleans all comes together in the food. Held annually over Memorial Day weekend, the event’s proceeds support local non-profits. It last for fives days some of the best foods and be paired with some of the best wines.
Taste of Vail
Everyone who calls themselves foodies should make a pilgrimage to Colorado for the Taste of Vail. Vail is one of Colorado’s best kept secret mountain resort town. The three day festival boasts some of America’s best restaurants. Festival events are held at various locations throughout town, and attract approximately 5,000 people each year. Among the most popular is the Colorado Lamb Cook-off and Apres Ski Tasting. Set 10,000 feet above sea level, the mountain top picnic is something everyone can look forward to.
Montreal, Canada is the home of Taste MTL. Before the snow completely covers the city, a spot light is shined on the buzz worthy restaurant scene. There are over 5,600 eateries in town for Taste MTL, which is 11 days long. Canadian favorites like maple syrup and poutine are in abundance.
SOBE WFF: South Beach Wine & Food Festival
Presented by The Food Network, once a year droves of people flock to South Beach, Miami for SOBE WFF (South Beach Wine & Food Festival). On the beach with all kinds of food to sample creates a very unique and fun experience. Late February is when over 200 chefs and well known Food Network stars come to Miami. This festival has a heavy Latin and Caribbean taste to it, so come and spice up your life.
BB&T Charleston Food + Wine Festival
North Carolina is a state know for good BBQ. The BB&T Charleston Food + Wine Festival is where you can get that good BBQ and much more. Chicken and waffles, spirits, and seafood, are available at this four-day event also. The growing local restaurant scene, plus the honor of winning the best city in the world to visit by Conde Nast Traveler in the 2012 Readers’ choice awards has made Charleston a hot spot.
Austin Food & Wine Festival
Austin, Texas is some times seen as the younger sibling of Houston and Dallas. Austin holds its own especially in the culinary field. The Austin Food & Wine Festival is fairly new but it is still notable. Boasting local talent like brisket king Aaron Franklin and international-come-national sensation Marcus Samuelsson, expect an indie feast slathered in Texas’ brand of special southwest sauce.
A food festival in Sin City is for some a dream come true. The lights catch your eye, the music catches you ears and the food will keep your nose and taste buds hostage. Cooking demonstrations, cocktail classes and other events will have you cooking with flare in your own kitchen. Pool side tastings and competitions will keep you busy. Chefs like Gordon Ramsay, Michael Mina, and Nobu Matsuhisa are more than likely to be there.
Food and Wine Classic in Aspen
For the past 31 years, Aspen’s Food and Wine Classic has been skiing figure eights around other food festivals. This festival is held in the famous mountains in Aspen. Household names like Mario Batali and Bobby Flay have been known to fly in for the turn-of-season sizzler full of peak wine picks, barbecuing, and breathtaking views.
Bite of Seattle
A very local event the Bite of Seattle is dedicated to the land, sea and culinary creativity in and around the Emerald City. Over three days, you can enjoy music and food. Eight stages are scattered over the grounds for you enjoyment of different musical acts. The entire festival is free so go and indulge.
Hawaii Food & Wine Festival
The brainchild of Hawaiian regional chefs Alan Wong and Roy Yamaguchi, the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival is the hottest gourmet ticket in the tropics. Hawaii has its own unique cuisine and this homegrown festival gives it a platform. Restaurants like Masaharu Morimoto are a fav0rite at the festival. Its one of the few food festivals where you can enjoy the beach as well.
Music City Eats: Nashville Food, Wine & Spirits Festival
A new food festival, Music City Eats is held in Nashville, TN. Music City Eats includes chefs and farm-fresh eats into its daily repertoire. Started by Grammy award-winning brothers Caleb and Nathan Followill of Kings of Leon it is on the fast track to being one of the best food festivals in the country.
NYC Wine and Food
New York is home to all kinds of culinary styles and tastes. That’s why the NYC Wine and Food fest is one of the most diverse you can attend. Fall is one of the best times of year to visit NYC just because of this festival. The leaves are vibrant, the temperature is worthy of an all-day stroll in Central Park, and the food scene is cooked to perfection for the NYC Wine & Food festival. It started as a one night event, and grew from there. It now attracts a the most refined palettes in the country to enjoy top notch cuisine. As a plus, 100 percent of the net proceeds go to hunger focused community organizations.
Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is the creation of Disney . That alone makes it epic. Its one of the longest food festival stretching 46 days of good eating. The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival combines fantasy, food, and festivities. This gourmet gateway showcases 270 international chefs serving approximately 1.5-million bites.