The love of food festivals has grown over the years and has become more just something for the locals in the host area. Food festivals have become a part of travel plans, Food Network specials & annual traditions for some. I love food festivals (big or small) because you get to try so many different type of fare and that is perfect for my inner fat girl; who is never satisfied LOL. Plus you get to meet other foodies & make another food related memories (love those). So since summer is approaching, here are some of the US’ Top 5 Food Festival courtesy of the Travel Channel.
Sept 2 – 5, 2012
Indulge in a 4-day foodie extravaganza of unlimited food, wine, beer & spirits. “Los Angeles Times and Food & Wine’s THE TASTE — brings out the City of Angels’ hottest names in gastronomy, such as Food Network’s Giada De Laurentiis, in a series of tastings, cooking demonstrations and seminars held in iconic spots such as the Paramount Picture Back Studio Lot. You’ll mix, mingle and chow down with the stars.
May 22 – 26, 2012
Giving back & eating good has become synonyms at the non-profit New Orleans Food and Wine Experience. Held annually over Memorial Day weekend, the event’s proceeds support local non-profit organizations. In 2011 alone, the festival raised $6.5 million, says Liz Goliwas Bodet, the event’s public relations manager. The 5-day festival features tastings from local restaurants, such as Brennan’s Restaurant, home to New Orleans’ most famous brunch, and Arnaud’s, a creole dining institution since 1918. Restaurants showcase their food alongside world-renowned winemakers such as Maison Louis Jadot and Napa Cellars. Whether you toss your tasting plates aside for hurricane glasses (or vice versa), NoLa is one of a kind!
August 10 – 12
With food tastings by Oregon-based restaurateurs, plus wines and microbrewed beers, the Bite of Oregon festival is 100 percent local, making it truly unique among US-based festivals, which often feature international fare. Not surprisingly for a state that makes “green” living its unofficial motto, the 3-day festival aims to be a zero waste event, with eco-friendly compostable tasting plates (love that!). Take your pick from among small plates and meal-sized portions of burgers, shellfish, sushi and more. And catch a ride on one of the food world’s hottest tasting trends: Portland’s food carts. Keep an eye out for trucks offering Whiffies Fried Pies and the short rib taco from KOi Fusion PDX… Do I smell the making of a food truck festival in the work?!
July 11 – 15, 2012
Chicago’s food scene runs beyond its famed deep dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs. That’s beyond clear at Taste of Chicago, one of America’s premier food festivals, held annually since 1980. With scenic Grant Park as a background, the 10-day festival offers tastings from more than 50 local restaurants. It’s almost impossible to sample every delightful nibble, with thousands of options. The festival also features free concerts, chef demonstrations, family activities (such as face painting & Disney Radio show) and even a 5K marathon to work off some of thos Chi-town delectables.
For a very literal taste of the good life, foodies must visit Taste of Vail’s food festival in snow kissed Colorado. This exclusive mountain resort town boasts some of America’s best restaurants, and the 3-day food festival perfectly demonstrates upscale deliciousness. Festival events are held at various locations throughout town, and attract some 5,000 people. Among the most popular is the Colorado Lamb Cook-off and Apres Ski Tasting, which features a medley of lamb dishes and wine tastings. Another must-do event is the Mountaintop Picnic, set some 10,000 feet above sea level at the scenic Eagle’s Nest on Vail Mountain, which features gourmet picnic fare such as elk sloppy Joes, beef tongue tacos and raspberry white chocolate s’mores in a remarkable outdoor setting. So bring your snow gear & experience America’s fine dining festival.