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Food Travel: Best Food Festivals?


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I've probably just missed this topic elsewhere, but couldn't seem to find anything on point. I'm talking about food festivals/conventions/whatever that offer a chance to try really good food, and hopefully offer a good time as well.

Searches have turned up a number of events specific to a certain food. There's a chocolate festival, a garlic festival, an asparagus festival and, yes, a peanut butter festival. However, I'm looking for something a little more general than that - something which at least attempts to offer some of the best food around, and would be worth a trip even if you're not in the area.

For example, Bon Appetit's Vegas Uncork'd event offered several days of special meals cooked by some of the best chefs around, plus one evening devoted to a grand tasting of food and wine by some of these same top chefs, as well as others. Miami Beach's Wine & Food Festival doesn't quite reach that level, but still is pretty good, and quite a spectacle. I've googled for others, but it's hard to get a feel for the level of quality.

Does anyone have any recommendations?

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I just got back from this our 5th year in a row. It's like summer camp for adults!

The wines were phenomenal and the food amazing. Every year we make new

friends and it's always a blast to see old ones. It's downright decadent!


"You can't miss with a ham 'n' egger......"

Ervin D. Williams 9/1/1921 - 6/8/2004

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You've missed it for this year, but Inside Columbia Magazine (Columbia, MO) threw a nearly week-long Food and Wine Festival last week. I didn't go, but it seems like what you're searching for. Fine dining, cooking demonstrations, wine seminars and matching classes. They should have pictures up soon and info for the next one next year.

"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

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My favourites on this topic are probably fairly predictable.


I'm a great fan of the World Gourmet Fest in Bangkok. This is held at the Four Seasons, and runs for one week. This year, the dates are set for September 22 through 28. The Fest is generally run around multiple overlapping wine dinners, cooking classes/lunches, and some seminar work (generally on wines). The event is run in support of a local charity supporting children at risk of HIV.

My partiality here is that the events are all contained within the 4S, which provides a cozy atmosphere for the week, with everyone in close enough proximity to start developing some good crossover material. For me, it's the total immersion element on a day by day basis that I enjoy. You can observe how the chefs perform away from their normal comfort zone, and you're in a great position for direct comparisons.

Plus, I don't have to leave the air-conditioning.

A little further south, Singapore annually hosts the World Gourmet Summit. This is a larger production, spanning two weeks and multiple venues. Due to a certain airline dropping their direct flights to Singapore, I haven't been back to this (as I'd planned this year).

Whereas the WGF was self-contained, the WGS - sponsored by the Singapore Tourist Bureau and Peter Knipp Holdings - is designed to spread things around the city, with dinners in a number of venues, chefs hosted across local restaurants, and cooking classes held in some very impressive facilities at the Tourist Bureau. You'll get to see a lot more of the town, but (at least in my case) you'll be doing it in the heat wearing a jacket and tie. Still, for the opportunity to dine and party in some places you'd never normally be allowed to, this is fun.

Both cities host other culinary events, but I'll limit my comments to these two items, as I've not attended the others. I know that Kuala Lumpur has also worked up their own event, but again, I can't say much about that outside of the advertising.



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i love how one can drive down any road in italy and find sagra di this and sagra di that, asparagus, truffles, polenta, tripe, sausages, snails, specific pastas, the whole sagra thing is so delightful!

also there is a book called something like "take 5,000 eggs" which features food festivals throughout France's southern provinces, hysterical and delicious!

Marlena the spieler


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There is a festival centered around the Norton wine grape in St.Louis, Missouri, around September 6 this year. The variety Norton is an American grape, not vinifera but derived from aestivalis and maybe rupestris and others. It grows well in the warmer regions of the country and makes an excellent wine. There is an annual festival to promote this American grape, wine, and vineyards.



October 3, 4 & 5, 2008

See the avocadoes of my acquaintance, Dave Righetti




Edited by v. gautam (log)
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