Browsing articles in "food festivals"
Jul 22, 2014
Tina George

Food Network Premieres New Anthony Anderson Series FOOD FEST NATION …


Food Network Premieres New Anthony Anderson Series FOOD FEST NATION Tonight

Anthony Anderson is on a mission to discover the most flavorful food festivals in the country on the new Primetime series, Food Fest Nation, premiering tonight, July 21st at 9pm ET/PT on Food Network. Tasting everything from classic interpretations of regional fare to surprising twists of favorite foods, Anthony uncovers what is truly at the heart of America – one delicious food festival at a time.

“Viewers got a taste of Anthony Anderson’s true passion for food during his appearances as a judge on Iron Chef America and Chopped,” said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Food Network. “Anthony’s love of food, quick humor, and engaging way with people make him the perfect guide through the quirky and wonderful world of food festivals.”

Over the course of eight half-hour episodes, Anthony visits the most unique food fairs in the nation, sampling local specialties and meeting the characters devoted to the regional cuisine. Along the way, Anthony visits the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival in Fernandina Beach, Fla. and highlights delicious classics such as shrimp tacos, shrimp boil and shrimp jambalaya, as well as innovative shrimp ice cream. In one episode, he attends the Magnolia Blossom Festival World Championship Steak Cook-Off in Magnolia, Ark., where over 4,000 different kinds of mouthwatering ribeye steaks compete to be the best of the best and for a $10,000 prize. Anthony also visits the Long Grove Strawberry Festival, where over 20,000 attendees flock to Long Grove, Ill. for three “berry” special days of enjoying all things strawberry, including Strawberry Ricotta Ravioli and Strawberry Balsamic Chicken. In another episode, he stops by Ribfest Chicago for a world-class rib-eating showdown that draws top competitive eaters from around the globe. Throughout the season, Anthony also gets a taste of the South Carolina Poultry Festival in Batesberg, S.C., the Jambalaya Festival in Gonzalez, La., the Blue Ridge BBQ Festival in Tyron, N.C., as well as the Rockwood Ice Cream Festival in Wilmington, Del.

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Jul 17, 2014
Tina George

Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don’t-miss events — food festivals …

On tap this week is a frisky fruit festival, a Budapest-style anniversary dinner with Yankee flair, a celebration of cruelty-free living, a hilarious play that takes on a serious subject and films with powerful music screened alongside the city’s premier classical ensemble.

25th Annual Hempstead Watermelon Festival

Here’s something you didn’t know about watermelon: Eat a bunch and you get the same effect as taking everyone’s favorite perky blue pill. Makes me wonder if that’s why Hempstead adopted the fruit, the city christening itself as the Watermelon Capital of Texas.

From downtown Houston, the drive to Hempstead isn’t terribly long — about one hour away straight on U.S. Route 290.

Along the charming parks and main streets during the festival you’ll find happy activities such as a barbecue cook-off, pet parade, carnival, wine tastings, street dance parties, live melon auctions, watermelon eating and seed spitting contests and on and on. Check out a complete schedule here.

The skinny: Friday and Saturday; Hempstead Gazebo Park and surrounding areas; free event.

Mimi and Ziggy’s First Wedding Anniversary Dinner

Rule No. 1 about eating at Kenny and Ziggy’s: Always wear your eating pants. Because restaurateur Ziggy Gruber doesn’t shy away from the kind of satisfying portions that make you say, “oy vavoy” (loosely translated as “Holy mother of Moses”).

This one-night-only multi-course feast — special dinners aren’t offered often at this New York-style deli — recreates the meal that this mensch and his wife, Mimi McCaughey, enjoyed at their lavish wedding in Budapest. On the menu are goose soup with Hungarian ginger matzo balls, whole panko-crusted fried egg, filet mignon of Hungarian grey cattle and, for dessert, a Gundel pancake tower with chocolate rum sauce.

The skinny: Friday, 7 p.m.; Kenny and Ziggy’s Deli; $75 per person plus tax and gratuity.

VegFest Houston 2014 Vegan Community Festival

Whether you go all the way or prefer to be a part-time veg lover, there’s much to learn at this fourth annual event that displays how easy it is to find alternatives for animal-derived foods and products. The indoor gathering brings together a myriad speakers and chefs for educational sessions and cooking demonstrations, alongside a market that includes food vendors, animal welfare organizations and home and body product specialists.

Music, arts and crafts, yoga, fitness and film screenings round out this event that’s organized by the Vegan Society of Peace.

The skinny: Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Pershing Middle School; free event.

Horse Head Theatre Company presents Spaghetti Code by Abby Koenig

I balled when I heard, “I just totally fucked this guy in my office,” “It’s not like you can white out jizz stains” and “I would trust him with my penis, in the most un-homosexual way ever.” In tackling her second play, written for Horse Head Theatre Company, wordsmith Abby Koenig abandons finesse for commonplace language to examine a serious topic, infertility, through the lens of hilarity and realism.

How far would you go to get what you want? One woman thought it would be OK to ask her hubby to copulate with her best friend to conceive a child. The ramifications are amusing and catastrophic (watch preview video here) — a tad like life itself.

The skinny: Runs through July 28; PJ’s Sports Bar; $20 general admission, $10 students. 

Houston Symphony presents “Films with Live Orchestra: Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness are among films that depend on a musical score for much of their excitement. Take away the music and there goes the magic of the final frontier. So consider this: What would happen if instead you beefed up the music’s emotional prowess?

You can find out on Friday and Saturday when the Houston Symphony and chorus perform the score of these two films, one per night, while the movies are projected on a giant screen above the 100-plus musicians. 

The skinny: Friday and Saturday; Jones Hall; tickets start at $29.

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Jul 13, 2014
Tina George

Region has big appetite for food-specific weeks

Here’s a call for someone to organize Sacramento Master Cleanse Week.

Just about every month on Sacramento’s calendar features some kind of gut-busting food week, starting in January with the annual Dine Downtown Restaurant Week. Then we get hit in following months with multiday celebrations of bacon (late January), beer (Feburary), and now Negroni Week in June.

Sacramento’s certainly flush with these sorts of food weeks, but does the city have enough collective appetite to support all of them?

The list of local food weeks continues to unfurl. Sacramento BLT Week kicked off July 8 and ends today, and before you get much chance to rest that belly, the debut of Sacratomato Week runs from July 21 to July 27 with an onslaught of tomato dishes at local restaurants.

August has two more food-themed weeks on tap: Davis Beer Week, Aug. 11- 17, and another event that’ll put local livers to the test, the mighty Midtown Cocktail Week, which runs Aug. 19- 24.

A new event was recently announced for October that’ll provide a mighty caffeine fix for the city. Specialty Coffee Week is set for Oct. 13-19 at a variety of cafes around town.

And let’s not forget the second installment of Sacramento Farm-to-Fork Restaurant Week from Sept. 13-28, which is closer to two weeks in length, or the Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge, which showcases vegan eats at local restaurants for two weeks each October.

All said, that’s 11 food weeks we’re talking here. And that’s not including the Sacramento Food Film Festival, which runs for 10 days in March. … Or EatSMART, a September-long benefit at local restaurants where proceeds go toward the fight against childhood obesity. … Or, “Summer of Riesling Sacramento,” which celebrates the beloved white wine at various local restaurants through September.

Andrew Calisterio, the Sacramento bartender featured recently in Nosh Pit after finding a worm in his cod, has noticed the glut of Sacramento food celebrations. Said Calisterio on his Facebook page: “I’m going to start a local festival festival where I set up booths representing a small piece of all of the festivals in Sacramento. #festfest2014

Now the question becomes if Sacramento has hit its saturation point for food weeks and festivals, or might be headed that way. Perhaps Sacramento is becoming more like, say, Portland. The Northwest city that’s a favorite of Sacramento food adventurists boasts myriad festivals, including Feast Portland, the Oregon Brewers Festival, Portland Dining Month, Portland Beer Week and the Portland Fermentation Festival.

Emily Baime, executive director of the Midtown Business Association, says we’re not even close to food week oversaturation in Sacramento. Just mentioning the notion made her sound slightly miffed.

“I think we’re reaching a grown-up cityhood of having an eclectic dining scene with different parts and pieces,” said Baime. “I’m not here to divide the pie. I’m here to expand it, and our job is to bring more business.”

The truth is many of these multiday food festivals continue to provide significant business spikes to participating restaurants. “Kevin Bacon Tribute Night” at Old Ironsides during 2013’s Bacon Fest Sacramento resulted in the nightclub’s highest paid attendance ever. That same Bacon Fest year, Shady Lady Saloon logged its busiest-ever brunch, and Pangaea set a single-day business record.

Some of the crowds are growing. Capitol Beer Fest, a signature event of Sacramento Beer Week with more than 100 craft breweries pouring their suds, was attended by 4,000 in March. That’s compared to 3,000 beer lovers who attended the event in 2013.

Dan Scott, executive director of Sacramento Beer Week, doesn’t worry about the influx of festivals cutting into attendance.

“I think the more the merrier,” said Scott. “They’re excuses for people to get out and celebrate. If we do get oversaturated, that’ll be evidenced in the events themselves.”

Until then, bring on the week of tomatoes.


Call The Bee’s Chris Macias, (916) 321-1253. On Twitter @chris_macias.

• Read more articles by Chris Macias

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Jul 12, 2014
Tina George

Plenty of Fun (and Free) Festivals Happening This Weekend in Suburbs

From nationally ranked jumping dogs leaping from docks into water to jazz in the streets to plenty of food festivals, the Chicago suburbs has a lot to offer this weekend.

Better yet, most of the festivals are free. And promise plenty of fun. 

We’ve picked out a couple great events that caught our eye. If we missed one, let us know in the comments section. 

Lake in the Hills Rockin’ Ribfest

The Lake in the Hills Rockin’ Ribfest will be held through this Sunday at Sunset Park, 5200 Miller Road in Lake in the Hills. There is a $5 entrance fee for those 13 years and older. 

In addition to great music and fantastic ribs, the festival includes a car show, artisan expo and a Lip Smackin’ BBQ Community Cook Off. Get more information on Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Patch

GreekFest

The 36th Annual St. Sophia Greek Festival will be held this weekend on the church’s grounds, 525 Church Road in Elgin.  

At the festival, you can taste authentic Greek food, try your foot at Greek dancing, see lively entertainment, shop in the Marketplace (indoors), and tour the St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Chruch. 

There are also activities for kids and musical entertainment at night. The festival is open 5 to 11 p.m. on Friday, from noon to 11 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 10 p.m. on Sunday.

Visit the GreekFest website for more information.

Lake Co. Greek Fest

Head over to St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church on O’Plaine Road in Libertyville this weekend for authentic Greek cuisine and pastries, Greek dancing and live Greek music. 

There will also be games and inflatables for the kids. Menu items include Oven Roasted Leg of Lamb, Pastichio, Souvlaki, Athenian Chicken, Gyros, Saganaki, Loukaniko, Tyropita, Spanakopita and more. Get more information on Libertyville Patch.

Dog Days of Summer

The Dog Days of Summer will run this weekend in Libertyville and will play host to the DockDogs Regional Finals, which will be located in the X-Treme Dog Park in the PNC Banks rear parking lot, 325 N. Milwaukee.

During the competition, dogs run down a 40-foot dock and jump into a 27,000 gallon 20-by-40-foot pool. The event features 150 nationally ranked top jumping DockDogs competing for prizes and rankings in the “Big Air Long Jump, the Xtreme Vertical High Jump, and the Speed Retrieve timed Jump and Swim.”

Cook Park in Libertyille will have plenty of dog-friendly activities including musical sits, stupid pet tricks, a pet parade, Petathalon 3K Dog Walk and a multi-faith dog blessing ceremony. Downtown Libertyville shops will be open for pets and their owners to shop at. 

Get more information and view a calendar of events on the Dogs Days of Summer website.

Glendale Heights Fest

Glendale Heights Fest kicked off on July 9 and will continue through July 13 at Camera Park, 101 E. Fullerton Avenue. 

The festival includes a carnival and rides, entertainment and fantastic food booths. Fireworks will be held at dusk on July 9 and July 13. 

Get a look at the full schedule of events, musical acts and more on the Glendale Heights Fest website.

Jazz in Glen Ellyn

Jazz in Glen Ellyn will be held Saturday, July 12, with gates opening at 2 p.m. and performances beginning at 4:30 p.m.

This event is located on Main Street between Crescent Boulevard and Pennsylvania Avenue. Jazz in Glen Ellyn was created to present a unique and entertaining musical event for attendees.

Experience live jazz in a downtown festival setting featuring a line-up of top Jazz musicians, delicious food, wine, beer and other refreshments. This free event is located one block from the Glen Ellyn Metra station.

See this year’s musical line-up and get more information on Jazz in Glen Ellyn on Glen Ellyn Patch

Firin’ Up the Fox BBQ Contest and Festival

The Firin’ Up the Fox BBQ Contest and Festival will return to St. Charles Friday and will continue through Sunday.

The festival will include a pig roast, BBQ vendors, BBQ demonstrations from award-winning chefs, pulled-pork tastings and more.

The festival opens at noon on Friday in the Shodeen Lot, 2036 Lincoln Highway in St. Charles. 

View a full schedule of events on the Firin’ Up the Fox BBQ Contest website.

Windmill City Festival

Windmill City, also known as Batavia, will host this weekend’s Windmill City Festival. The festival will include a carnival, 5K race, pet parade, ice-cream eating contest and live entertainment. 

Local musical acts performing this year include Modern Day Romeos,  Arra and Hillbilly Rock Stars. This year’s festival will be held July 10 through July 13 at the Riverwalk in downtown Batavia and admission is free.

Visit the Windmill City Festival website for a full schedule of events and more information.

Taste of Chicago

If you feel like a trip into the city, the Taste of Chicago is going on this weekend at Grant Park. Admission is free. View vendors, a full schedule, musical acts and more on the Taste of Chicago website.

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Jul 12, 2014
Tina George

5 offbeat summer food festivals in Indiana

Between July and September, the Indiana festival calendar brims with food-related events, celebrating everything from apples and corn to marshmallows and pierogis. Here are some of the highlights:

• St. Joe Pickle Festival, July 24-26 in St. Joe, about 25 miles north of Fort Wayne. Visitors can taste pickle ice cream, sign up for the pickle-decorating contest or create a pickle car to race in the pickle derby.

Sechler’s Pickles, which has its headquarters in St. Joe, sets up a tasting room and offers free tours of its pickle factory.

• Pierogi Fest, July 25-27 in Whiting, which is near Chicago. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the festival, which attracts about 300,000 people per year.

“It is the wackiest, craziest festival you will ever attend,” said Karen Anaszewicz, executive director. The parade features men dressed in costumes pushing lawnmowers, synchronized walk-dancingand more, she said.

More than 20 vendors sell pierogi featuring cheese, beef and even alligator meat. Special events include a pierogi-eating contest and a pierogi toss.

Pierogi Fest also celebrates polka, offering live polka music and a polka dance contest. And adults can pass the time in a large beer garden.

• Van Buren Popcorn Festival, Aug. 14-16. It’s named in honor of the local Weaver Popcorn factory. Local Boy Scouts staff a popcorn snack tent, and the information booth sells discounted microwave popcorn.

Popcorn-themed events are still in the planning stages, said chairman Darryl Brane, but last year the festival sponsored a popcorn recipe contest.

• Ligonier Marshmallow Festival, Aug. 29 to Sept. 1, now celebrating its 23rd year. The festival kicks off with a fireworks display, live music and a marshmallow roast.

“We say it’s the biggest marshmallow roast in the country,” said Margarita White, festival president.

The next day, the festival offers marshmallow-themed games for children, such as racing with a marshmallow balanced on a spoon.

The festival is held in honor of two marshmallow factories in the county, one of which has since closed. The remaining one, owned by Kraft Foods, continues to support the festival.

“Throughout the weekend, we give thousands of marshmallows away,” White said. There are also marshmallow-themed concessions.

• Marshall County Blueberry Festival, now in its 48th year, Aug. 29 to Sept. 1. Festival organizers anticipate a crowd of 400,000 to 500,000 people.

“We are the largest four-day festival in Indiana,” said festival coordinator Sherrie Martin.

When the festival began, Marshall County produced a third of the state’s blueberry crop. One of the festival’s biggest draws is its menu of blueberry foods: fried blueberries, blueberry ice cream and malts, blueberry shortcake and especially blueberry doughnuts — up to 60,000 doughnuts per year.

“There is a group of seven churches called the Grace Fellowship Group, and they do nothing but make blueberry doughnuts all weekend,” Martin said. “They are so popular that they have to put a limit of one dozen at a time.”

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Jul 8, 2014
Tina George

Savour these Ontario summer food festivals in July

Ah, summertime and the eating is easy.

The culinary scene heats up this month with the Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival celebrating Canadian cuisine.

Kids can join the fun by munching on bugs – high in protein and low in fat.

Then, Taste of Toronto, billed as “one of the world’s greatest restaurant festivals,” makes its North American debut.

Sip and savour

Stratford’s culinary festival happens July 19 and 20 instead of in September as in the past.

“Some of Canada’s most exciting chefs will join over 100 producers, vintners, craft brewers and culinary personalities to share their passion, knowledge and love of local food,” said Cathy Rehberg of the Stratford Tourism Alliance.

Set in the garden district along the Avon River, visitors can savour Ontario food, wine and craft beers as well as meeting chefs and producers.

The Grand Tasting is an elegant garden party, pairing 30 local chefs with producers to create an array of seasonal delicacies complemented by VQA wines and craft brews.

Awards will be given to those judged the best along with the GE Cafe People’s Choice award as the Alysha Brilla Quartet entertains.

Featured chefs will demonstrate their approach creating original Canadian cuisine, sourced from Perth County farmers and producers.

They include Top Chef Canada winners and Stratford Chefs School graduates such as Rich Francis with his modern aboriginal and Northern Canadian cuisine.

Carl Heinrich of Richmond Station is known for his nose-to-tail pork cooking while Todd Perrin of the Making of Mallard Cottage demonstrates sea-to-table philosophy.

Dale Mackay of Ayden Kitchen and Bar, a protege of chef Gordon Ramsay, pairs Saskatchewan lake fish with local produce.

Doug McNish, cookbook author and plant activist, offers organic vegan cuisine.

Derek Dammann of Montreal’s Maison Publique and Jamie Oliver’s Canadian partner presents the new trends in heritage cuisine.

Paul Rogalski, of Calgary’s Rouge, will give a modern twist on the classic souffle while James Walt of Whistler’s Araxi, presents sustainable west coast seafood.

“Intimate Tutored Talks and Tastings” have culinary experts discussing trends from foraged wild edibles to fermentation, preserving seafood, the pairing of craft beers and sampling Ontario wines.

The Taste of Ontario Artisan Alley is an open-air gathering along historic York Street with an afternoon of tastings along with wines, craft beers and cheese.

The Perth County Hoot is presented by Mill Street Brewery and the Sunday Sunset Party features the vocal trioTrent Severn.

Young gourmands can join a Bug Fest Feast led by chef Jeff Stewart of Creepy Crawly Cooking and the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory.

Those with adventurous palates can munch on bugs as Stewart is known for making chocolate cricket clusters, anty floss and roasted mealworm fudge.

Kids can create sprouting dirt n’ worms sundaes while the Other Hand Puppet Troupe entertains with the Farmer and the Smell.

There will be watercolour juice painting, veggies for dessert and powering light bulbs with fruits and vegetables.

For details and tickets: savourstratford.com; Stratford Tourism Alliance, 1-800-561-7926

Food on the world stage

A world-renowned food festival that had its start 10 years ago in London, England and has grown to 20 cities has now added Toronto.

Taste of Toronto from July 24 to 27 at Fork York will feature specially created menus and exclusive opportunities with the city’s most-acclaimed chefs.

It aims to represent a “gourmand’s dream come true: delicious food created by the city’s greatest restaurants, world-famous chefs, superb drink and outstanding entertainment, set in stunning outdoor surroundings.”

“It says a lot about the city’s food scene – that such an internationally respected festival is doing its North American launch in Toronto,” said Mark McEwan of McEwan Group.

More than a sampling event, it invites guests to engage with top chefs and enjoy food demonstrations, interactive cooking classes, wine tastings, live music and entertainment.

Participating restaurants will present foodies with twists on the tastes they love, with each chef creating three new dishes for the event.

Visitors can buy signature small plates and sip, sample and shop in the market with about 50 local producers selling their wares, said Meghan O’Hanlon, festival director.

Tickets start at $30 and include a lunch or dinner session. Details: tasteoftoronto.com; (416) 960-5312

Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com

For more One-Tank Trips: 1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

 

Recommended Reading

Jul 7, 2014
Tina George

Savour these Ontario summer food festivals in July

The culinary scene heats up this month with the Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival celebrating Canadian cuisine.

Kids can join the fun by munching on bugs – high in protein and low in fat.

Then, Taste of Toronto, billed as “one of the world’s greatest restaurant festivals,” makes its North American debut.

Sip and savour

Stratford’s culinary festival happens July 19 and 20 instead of in September as in the past.

“Some of Canada’s most exciting chefs will join over 100 producers, vintners, craft brewers and culinary personalities to share their passion, knowledge and love of local food,” said Cathy Rehberg of the Stratford Tourism Alliance.

Set in the garden district along the Avon River, visitors can savour Ontario food, wine and craft beers as well as meeting chefs and producers.

The Grand Tasting is an elegant garden party, pairing 30 local chefs with producers to create an array of seasonal delicacies complemented by VQA wines and craft brews.

Awards will be given to those judged the best along with the GE Cafe People’s Choice award as the Alysha Brilla Quartet entertains.

Featured chefs will demonstrate their approach creating original Canadian cuisine, sourced from Perth County farmers and producers.

They include Top Chef Canada winners and Stratford Chefs School graduates such as Rich Francis with his modern aboriginal and Northern Canadian cuisine.

Carl Heinrich of Richmond Station is known for his nose-to-tail pork cooking while Todd Perrin of the Making of Mallard Cottage demonstrates sea-to-table philosophy.

Dale Mackay of Ayden Kitchen and Bar, a protege of chef Gordon Ramsay, pairs Saskatchewan lake fish with local produce.

Doug McNish, cookbook author and plant activist, offers organic vegan cuisine.

Derek Dammann of Montreal’s Maison Publique and Jamie Oliver’s Canadian partner presents the new trends in heritage cuisine.

Paul Rogalski, of Calgary’s Rouge, will give a modern twist on the classic souffle while James Walt of Whistler’s Araxi, presents sustainable west coast seafood.

“Intimate Tutored Talks and Tastings” have culinary experts discussing trends from foraged wild edibles to fermentation, preserving seafood, the pairing of craft beers and sampling Ontario wines.

The Taste of Ontario Artisan Alley is an open-air gathering along historic York Street with an afternoon of tastings along with wines, craft beers and cheese.

The Perth County Hoot is presented by Mill Street Brewery and the Sunday Sunset Party features the vocal trioTrent Severn.

Young gourmands can join a Bug Fest Feast led by chef Jeff Stewart of Creepy Crawly Cooking and the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory.

Those with adventurous palates can munch on bugs as Stewart is known for making chocolate cricket clusters, anty floss and roasted mealworm fudge.

Kids can create sprouting dirt n’ worms sundaes while the Other Hand Puppet Troupe entertains with the Farmer and the Smell.

There will be watercolour juice painting, veggies for dessert and powering light bulbs with fruits and vegetables.

For details and tickets: savourstratford.com; Stratford Tourism Alliance, 1-800-561-7926

Food on the world stage

A world-renowned food festival that had its start 10 years ago in London, England and has grown to 20 cities has now added Toronto.

Taste of Toronto from July 24 to 27 at Fork York will feature specially created menus and exclusive opportunities with the city’s most-acclaimed chefs.

It aims to represent a “gourmand’s dream come true: delicious food created by the city’s greatest restaurants, world-famous chefs, superb drink and outstanding entertainment, set in stunning outdoor surroundings.”

“It says a lot about the city’s food scene – that such an internationally respected festival is doing its North American launch in Toronto,” said Mark McEwan of McEwan Group.

More than a sampling event, it invites guests to engage with top chefs and enjoy food demonstrations, interactive cooking classes, wine tastings, live music and entertainment.

Participating restaurants will present foodies with twists on the tastes they love, with each chef creating three new dishes for the event.

Visitors can buy signature small plates and sip, sample and shop in the market with about 50 local producers selling their wares, said Meghan O’Hanlon, festival director.

Tickets start at $30 and include a lunch or dinner session. Details: tasteoftoronto.com; (416) 960-5312

Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com

For more One-Tank Trips: 1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

 

Recommended Reading

Jul 5, 2014
Tina George

America’s Best Summer Food Festivals

Forget the beach, have an epicurean adventure this summer at one of America’s excellent food festivals. From stacks of rosy lobsters in Maine, to a celebration of the humble rib in Nevada (and many an artisan cheese and craft beer fest between), there really is a feast fit for every palate. Here’s our pick of the most lip-smacking U.S. food festivals for summer 2014.

National Cherry Festival, Traverse City, Michigan

Extend your Fourth of July vacation with a trip to Traverse City, also known as the “cherry capital of the world.” Charming travelers since 1926, the eight-day National Cherry Festival has something for all ages: parents and children can team up for a cherry pie eating contest or indulge in a tart cherry pancake breakfast. You can also work up an appetite with a beach volleyball tournament or rock out to your favorite local band. The event is mostly free.

When: July 5-12

Getting there: The appropriately named Cherry Capital Airport is located five miles from the city center from where a free shuttle bus runs to the festival site.

Learn more: cherryfestival.org

Taste of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Doubling as a food and music festival, Taste of Chicago brings together the city’s top restaurants, pop-ups, and food trucks for a five-day feast. Since 1980, Grant Park along the city’s picturesque lakefront has played host to the world’s largest outdoor food festival. Serious foodies can indulge in a high-end, three-course Chef Du Jour meal served inside an air-conditioned tent ($45 per person). AWOLNATION and Janelle Monáe are among this year’s musical headliners, with a slew of other acts also set to perform. General admission is free, and food and beverage tickets cost a small fee.

When: July 9-13

Getting there: For the Grant Park site, take the CTA train to the Adams and Wabash stop or ride the Metra to Millennium Station (Van Buren and Randolph Street).

Learn more: cityofchicago.org

Copper River Wild! Salmon Festival, Cordova, Alaska

There’s no better way to beat the summer heat than a trip to Alaska for the annual Copper River Wild! Salmon Festival. And there’s never a dull moment during the Taste of Cordova Salmon Cook-Off when amateur cooks pit their recipes against each other to be named King of Salmon. Save room also for barbecue in the evenings. Non-fish eaters should attend the arts and crafts fair or catch a live show at the Salmon Jam. For anyone feeling guilty from eating all that salmon, you can sign up for the AK Salmon Runs road race on the second day. The route gives spectacular views of Copper River, as well as the surrounding mountains, glaciers, and wild flowers. Events are mostly free.

When: July 18-19

Getting there: There are daily flights to Cordova from both Anchorage and Seattle (via Juneau). For a more scenic journey, travel by ferry from Whittier or Valdez.

Learn more: copperriverwild.org

Vermont Cheesemakers Festival, Shelburne, Vermont

Vermont has the highest number of cheesemakers per capita within the United States, so if there’s ever a time or place to indulge in a cheese fest, this is it. Sample cheeses from 40 award-winning makers as well as a diverse selection of local wines, craft beers, and spirits. The $50 admission fee includes access to interactive workshops, cheese-making, and cooking demos. Space is limited for these demonstrations so arrive early for the best seats.

When: July 20

Getting there: The festival is held at the historic Shelburne Farms Coach Barn, which is around a 30-minute drive from Burlington International Airport.

Learn more: vtcheesefest.com

Gilroy Garlic Festival, Gilroy, California

Garlic might have a reputation for, shall we say, inclement exhalations, but this festival is definitely worth the risk. The three-day event is a mix of food, beverages, arts, crafts, and live entertainment. With two tons of local Christopher Ranch garlic and 10 tons of beef up for grabs, come with a hearty appetite and an open mind (think garlic fish sticks and flavorful garlic ice cream). Adult general admission costs $20 and includes parking, live musical entertainment, cooking demonstrations and a designated children’s area. Make sure to watch the Great Garlic Cook-Off finals.

When: July 25-27

Getting there: The festival takes place in Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy, California, which is around a 30-minute drive south of San Jose, off Highway 101.

Learn more: gilroygarlicfestival.com

Maine Lobster Festival, Rockland, Maine

The Maine Lobster Festival is a must for any seafood fan. Spread out among nine tents, more than 20,000 pounds of lobster are served throughout the five-day festivities. There’s also a parade, live music, a “sea goddess” coronation, and vendors to keep you entertained for hours. Several events specifically cater to kids, making this a fun excursion for the whole family. Not to be missed is the crate race in which participants sprint across lobster crates that are tied together and floating in the water. Ticket prices vary.

When: July 30-August 3

Getting there: The Maine Lobster Festival is held in Rockland’s Harbor Park, roughly four hours from Boston and two hours from Portland by car. Since parking spaces are limited, opt for the free shuttle bus that takes guests directly to the festival grounds.

Learn more: mainelobsterfestival.com

Bite of Oregon, Portland, Oregon

Oregon’s largest culinary event is easily one of the city’s most highly anticipated summer festivals, featuring craft brews and farm-to-table bites. The cash-only, three-day weekend festival is set up along Portland’s waterfront, making it convenient to reach via public transportation. In addition to food carts,, restaurants and dessert purveyors, more than 20 flavors of Oregon brewed beer and wines from 20 local vineyards are served.

When: August 8-10

Getting there: Fly into Portland International Airport (PDX) and avoid festival traffic by taking the TriMet bus, the MAX light rail or hopping on a Portland streetcar. There is also secure bike parking on the north end of the park.

Learn more: biteoforegon.com

Best in the West: Nugget Rib Cook-Off, Sparks, Nevada

Celebrate Memorial Day weekend a little differently this year, with a trip to downtown Sparks, Nevada for their annual Best in the West: Nugget Rib Cook-Off. Join 500,000 others for an extravaganza of barbecue cuisine, music and crafts, all while chowing down on nuggets of every shape, color, and flavor. Over the course of the six-day festival, 230,000 pounds of ribs are cooked by 24 of the world’s best rib chefs, with the winning cook taking home $12,500 in prize money. Admission is free.

When: August 27-September 1

Getting there: There is a free shuttle bus from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport to the Victorian Square festival site. Parking is free.

Learn more: nuggetribcookoff.com

Hawaii Food Wine Festival, Hawaii

Those looking for some fun in the sun paired with exotic, tropical treats need look no further than the Hawaii Food Wine Festival. The seven-day festival features food from more than 80 internationally renowned master chefs, with wine and spirit producers and even a few culinary personalities also in attendance. Choose from a variety of events including wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, exclusive dinners, and unique excursions, all of which highlight Hawaii’s local produce and cultural influences. Ticket prices vary and only over 21’s admitted.

When: August 29-September 7

Getting there: This festival is set on Hawaii (Big Island), Maui, and O’ahu. Once on the ground, rent a car or book an Uber and make sure to use the festival’s promo code available on their website.

Learn more: hawaiifoodandwinefestival.com

Hudson Valley Food Wine Fest, Rhinebeck, New York 

The Hudson Valley is home to some of the country’s top wineries, and for New York City residents this is the perfect weekend getaway to bid farewell to summer. Celebrating all things wine, guests are encouraged to taste different varieties and purchase their favorites. The festival has representatives from around 22 wineries from across the state and more than 100 vendors selling specialty food, art and craft. Many of the grape growers and wine makers are on site to answer questions.

When:  6-7 September 2014

Getting there: The festival is held at Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, New York, just a short drive from the Rhinebeck train station. Parking is free.

Learn more: hudsonvalleywinefest.com

Reproduced with permission from Lonely Planet, (c) 2014 Lonely Planet

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Jul 4, 2014
Tina George

The best summer food festivals

Cherries are at the center of a summer festival in Michigan.eAlisa/shutterstock.com Cherries are at the center of a summer festival in Michigan.

Cherry lovers, cheese fiends and garlic hounds may want to take note of summer food festivals that cater precisely to their taste buds — though not all at once.

Editors over at Lonely Planet have come up with a list of what they’re calling the best US food festivals this summer, a list that spans the country and foods.

Here are a few highlights:

National Cherry Festival, Traverse City, Michigan

July 5-12

Known as the cherry capital of the world, for eight days Traverse City becomes one giant cherry pit (pun intended), with cherry pie-eating contests, pit spitting contests, music, entertainment and a smorgasbord of foods made with this summer fruit.

Vermont Cheesemakers Festival, Shelburne, Vermont

July 20

As the state with the highest number of cheesemakers per capita in the US, Vermont’s festival celebrates local artisanal cheese with wine and beer pairings. One interesting cooking workshop to look out for? Cooking with chocolate and cheese.

Gilroy Garlic Festival, Gilroy, California

July 25-27

No need to worry about garlic breath at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, where everyone is tucking into garlic everything, including garlic ice cream. Some of the most anticipated events include a garlic recipe contest and cook-off.

Maine Lobster Festival, Rockland, Maine

July 30 – August 3

Lobster lovers, get your bib on. At the Maine food festival, food vendors sell lobster rolls, lobster wraps, lobster salads and whole lobster dinners that come with the only accoutrement one needs: butter. Early visitors can also partake in all-you-can-eat pancake breakfasts, while aspiring chefs can try for lobster glory with a cooking contest.

For the full list, click here.

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Jul 3, 2014
Tina George

Lonely Planet’s picks for best summer food festivals 2014

Cherries are at the center of a summer festival in Michigan. eAlisa/shutterstock.com

Cherries are at the center of a summer festival in Michigan.
©eAlisa/shutterstock.com

(Relaxnews) – Cherry lovers, cheese fiends and garlic hounds may want to take note of summer food festivals that cater precisely to their taste buds — though not all at once.

Editors over at Lonely Planet have come up with a list of what they’re calling the best US food festivals this summer, a list that spans the country and foods.

Here are a few highlights:

National Cherry Festival, Traverse City, Michigan
July 5-12
Known as the cherry capital of the world, for eight days Traverse City becomes one giant cherry pit (pun intended), with cherry pie-eating contests, pit spitting contests, music, entertainment and a smorgasbord of foods made with this summer fruit.
cherryfestival.org

Vermont Cheesemakers Festival, Shelburne, Vermont
July 20
As the state with the highest number of cheesemakers per capita in the US, Vermont’s festival celebrates local artisanal cheese with wine and beer pairings. One interesting cooking workshop to look out for? Cooking with chocolate and cheese.
http://vtcheesefest.com/

Gilroy Garlic Festival, Gilroy, California
July 25-27
No need to worry about garlic breath at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, where everyone is tucking into garlic everything, including garlic ice cream. Some of the most anticipated events include a garlic recipe contest and cook-off.
http://gilroygarlicfestival.com/

Maine Lobster Festival, Rockland, Maine
July 30 – August 3
Lobster lovers, get your bib on. At the Maine food festival, food vendors sell lobster rolls, lobster wraps, lobster salads and whole lobster dinners that come with the only accoutrement one needs: butter. Early visitors can also partake in all-you-can-eat pancake breakfasts, while aspiring chefs can try for lobster glory with a cooking contest.
mainelobsterfestival.com

For the full list, visit http://bit.ly/1pF0Sc9.

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