Top Ten Food Festivals - Page 2

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Fried West Coast Whitebait
THE NEW WHITE: Fried West Coast Whitebait at Hokitika's Wildfood Festival, New Zealand  (Juergen Schacke)

5. The Good Food and Wine Show
South Africa
May (Cape Town), July (Durban), and November (Johannesburg)
South Africa's premier food and beverage event, this expo is a culinary industry showcase. In the nine state-of-the-art Chef in Action Theaters, guests may observe, then sample, the creations of international celebrity and BBC chefs. Plus, they'll get better acquainted with local South African chefs who artfully create beverage and food masterpieces. There are varied specialty show areas dedicated to cooking competitions, such as ice cream and gelato preparation. The Coffee Theater will showcase the finest of the South African thriving coffee industry as baristas compete in the Gauteng Regional Championships for a place in the National Barista Championships. There are also the National Classic Cocktail Championships, a Wine Walk, and the Natural and Organic Forum, which hosts workshops on organic foods, healthy eating for children, and sustaining the planet.
South Africa Travel Guide

4. Aspen Food & Wine
Aspen, Colorado
June
Tickets are estimated at $1,085 before March 15 and $1,185 thereafter. Green Passes are $3,100 each, which includes a $1,000 donation.
The Food & Wine Classic, a long-time event hosted by Food & Wine magazine, offers a sinful summer weekend full of gourmet cooking demonstrations and samplings prepared by Jose Andres, Tom Colicchio, Micheal Symon, Michel Richard, and other renown chefs. And of course, there are wine tastings with experts like David Lynch, author of Vino Italiano: The Regional Wines of Italy, and others. There's no guilt necessary though, as Food & Wine donates 2 percent of ticket sales toward funding awareness for its Grow for Good campaign, a nation-wide initiative that supports local farms and encourages sustainable agriculture. Tickets go on sale in December for this annually sold-out summer event. Buy limited Green Passes that will include VIP access, seats at the Grow for Good dinner, and a generous donation to the cause.
Aspen, Colorado Travel Guide

3. St. Moritz Gourmet Festival
St. Moritz, Switzerland
February
Individual reservations are required per event, and packages are available from $1,377.
Winter vacationing in St. Moritz dates to 1864 thanks to a cold, crystalline climate of "dry-sparkling champagne" (and an estimated 322 days of sun per year) set in unparalleled alpine glory. The original alpine holiday resort has been newly renovated and is poised at 5,624 feet amidst the landscape of the Upper Engadine. The jet set descends annually for this five-day festival of original creations by world-class chefs like Indian Vinnet Bjatia and Ivo Adam (youngest member of the Swiss Culinary National Team). The program has typically included a five-course meal orchestrated by guest chefs; the Grand Gourmet Opening Cocktail at the Carlton Hotel; the Kitchen Party at the Badrutt's Palace Hotel, where guests sample the goods fresh from the chef's pan; the Gourmet Safaris, culinary strolls through the centre of St. Moritz; and the Chef's Tables at various hotels. It is customary for resident master chefs from the partner hotels to host guest master chefs and to co-create international dishes. Don't miss the Chocolate Cult, personalized delicacies using fresh chili, pepper, saffron, and honey. Plus, guests can create their own personal chocolate under the direct supervision of master chocolatier of the traditional Confiserie Sprüngli of Zurich. The experience at St. Moritz is so unique that its very name is an international registered trademark and copyright protected.
St. Mortiz Travel Guide

2. Hokitika's Wildfood Festival
Hokitika, New Zealand
March
Tickets are estimated at $24.
This festival is an extreme culinary adventure for the wild at heart, filled with taste buds thrills and excitement. New Zealander Claire Bryant's home-brew of gorse flower wine and her rose petal brew launched this phenomenal festival two decades ago. In 2003 it hosted 23,000 committed locavores (the festival is now capped at 15,000 people) with more than 24 countries represented in the recent feasts. It takes place on the South Island's golden Hokitika Port, a scenic wonder of mountains, glaciers, rivers, rainforest, wildlife, and "Coasters" (a.k.a. locals). Each festival introduces several radical wildfood innovations, like the wasp larvae ice cream at the 2008 event. The 2009 anniversary celebration continued to honor the iconic tastes of the wild West Coast's foods and beverages, featuring chocolate mousse, cream, and iced latte made from cow's colostrums (mother's milk, developed during the latter stages of pregnancy)—treats rich in immune factors as well as taste. Always present is the endemic New Zealand delicacy Huhu grubs (a member of the longhorn beetle family) served barbequed, chocolate covered, or raw, which some say tastes like peanut butter. Roving entertainers in the way of dancers, mimes, music bands, solo artists, and comedians, are also a big part of the scene. It is no wonder that Hokitika has been awarded the Most Unique Event in New Zealand and multiple New Zealand Tourism Awards.
Hokitika Travel Guide

1. The Slow Food Movement's Biennial Terra Madre & Salone del Gusto
Turin, Italy
Fall 2010
Tickets are available Spring 2010.
More than a food festival, the Slow Food Movement's biennial event in Turin, Italy, is an international food and wine extravaganza that celebrates the Slow Food Movement—a global, grassroots cause that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment. It consists of two simultaneous mega biennial events: The Terra Madre ("Mother Earth" in Italian) and the Salone del Gusto ("Lounge of Flavor"). In the Terra Madre sector, delegates (food producers, farmers, educators, and cooks from around the world) are chosen through an application and selection process. Delegates convene for four days of workshops, meetings, and lectures, focusing on local foods and produce, as well as sustainable agricultural practices and food production (more than 700 delegates from the United States alone participated last year). The Salone del Gusto's marketplace-style gathering features worldwide slow-food ideology; it is an enormous public event and an international food and wine extravaganza with thousands of wines in the enoteca. Salone del Gusto welcomes food connoisseurs and amateurs alike, and it also provides a venue for small-scale producers to showcase their products and for visitors to sample a variety of "endangered foods," termed "Presidia" products. Participants and visitors leave with empowering knowledge and information, inspired by a renewed connection to food and culinary practices. These sister events are definitely geared toward developing a food consciousness—where it comes from and the cultures that foster it—as well as developing taste buds.
Turin Travel Guide

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