Star chef, author and well known television personality Anthony Bourdain pondered in his book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, “Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonalds? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.”
If you, as a traveller, share the same sentiments on food, Executive traveller lists some of the best food festivals around the globe.
Napa Truffle Festival
January 18-21, 2013
Napa, California, USA
The Napa Truffle Festival by the American Truffle Company brings together two aspects of European Truffles-the best chefs in the world known for their truffle cuisine, and the truffle experts known for their expertise on truffle cultivation. The truffle growers also indulge in activities throughout the festival weekend. Recognized around the world as a wine-growing and culinary hotspot, Napa Valley is the host for the festival weekend. The Fourth annual Napa Truffle festival will take place between Jan 17-20 next year.
South Beach Wine & Food Festival
February 21-24, 2013
Miami Beach, Florida, USA
Special events for 2013 include a tribute dinner for Nobu Matsuhisa with Mistress of Ceremonies Martha Stewart and a celebrity chef golf tournament. Some of the personalities involved behind this festival are Sunny Anderson, Anne Burrel, Scott Conant, Giada De Laurentiis, Paula Den and Guy Fieri. The all-star Line up this year includes Michelle Bernstein, April Bloomfield, Julie Loria, Naomi Pomeroy and many others. Some of the events this year are Moët Hennessy’s The Q, Wine Spectator’s Best of the Best, Red Hot Night to name a few.
Lucky Rice Festival
April 29 – May 6, 2013
New York, USA
Lucky Rice festival enters its fourth year and this weeklong festival will be held in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami and San Francisco in April. The weeklong campaign explores Asian culture through food and includes special dinners at some of the city’s finest Asian restaurants. Among those sitting on the celebrity-heavy culinary committee are Daniel Boulud, Anthony Bourdain, Masaharu Morimoto and Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The festival will showcase Asian culinary culture through a week of large-scale tastings, festive dinners and gastronomic gatherings.
Bluff Oyster and Seafood Festival
Bluff, New Zealand
The event presented by the locals of Bluff of Southern New Zealand includes a variety of seafood, Crayfish, Paua (Abalone), Scallops, Salmon, Blue Cod, mussels and much more. There are also sought after dishes like Muttonbird, Venison, Lamb or the humble Kiwi sausage, complemented by southern ales and a selection of New Zealand wines. Some of the bands performing this year the festival are Goodshirt, The Eastern, The Bold Deceivers and Tiedye.
The Taste of Chicago
Vendors and leading restaurateurs from across Chicago participate in the event, which sees five days of annual feasting — from traditional Chicago-style pizza to South American delicacies, Caribbean and Creole cooking to European and Asian food. The festival started in July, 1980 and is one of the world’s largest outdoor food fest that sees an attendance of about 3 million people each year. Taste of Chicago 2013 marks the 34th anniversary of the festival.
Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
Melbourne Food and Wine Festival started in 1993 with a modest program dreamt up by Peter Clemenger. Food and wine lovers indulge in more than 200 events that fill Melbourne’s network of restaurants, laneways, lights-turned-down basements and dizzying rooftops as well as spilling into spectacular regional Victoria. Some of the events this year are Bank Of Melbourne, Bar Express, Restaurant Express, The Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar. There will also be Chef Master Classes, which will witness renowned chefs demonstrating their culinary expertise.
The Salon du Chocolat
If you love chocolate, you can’t miss this one. For its 2012 edition, the Salon du Chocolat highlighted the “New Worlds of Chocolate” with more than 400 participants, including 200 renowned international chefs and pastry chefs and 160 chocolate exhibitors. The events include Chocolate Fashion Show, Charles Proust Competition, Chocolate Awards and much more.
Hokitika Wildfood Festival
Hokitika, New Zealand
The Hokitika Wild Food Festival is an annual event held in Hokitika, New Zealand. The main attraction of the event is food stalls offering an eclectic mix. Some of the dishes the festival has offered and known for are Huhu Grubs, Escargot, Pipi, Mussels, Venison and Scallops.
The World Gourmet Summit in Singapore is a popular festival. The festival includes Al Fresco Gourmet Village, Indoor Gourmet Auditorium and a Gourmet Market. The Gourmet Market showcases 50 food and drink exhibitors. The market also includes Savour Event Arenas, which will host complementary workshops, tasting and product demonstrations conducted by renowned experts. One can also take part in Wine Theatre, Baking Arena and even the Kids’ Corner. Chef master classes are also held at the Gourmet Auditorium.
The Good Food and Wine Show
This festival and show is a celebration of Melbourne’s affair with good food, top wines, tempting chocolates and of course, delectable cheeses. Along with food samplings and wine tasting, there will also be celebrity theatre, features and master classes, exhibitors and much more.
The Galway Oyster Festival
This is for all of you in love with this aphrodisiac, the Galway Oyster Festival includes the World Oyster Opening Championships and the “Elegant Lady” competition all for the “craic,” of course. The festival itself has been running since 1954, earning it a place among the world’s oldest food festivals. The festival also has street parades, seafood trails etc. Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival supplies Galway Native Oysters or ostrea edulis by Kelly Oysters.
Ludlow Food Festival
Situated in the countryside of Welsh Marches with medieval architectural marvels, the town of Ludlow hosts this festival. The Ludlow Marches Festival of Food and Drink is an addition to the numerous food and drink shops and pubs in Ludlow. Outside the castle of Ludlow visitors can sample ales and sausages. The Sausage Trail is one of the major attractions of Ludlow’s food festival that sets it apart from its many imitators. Also, every year Ludlow’s butchers come up with a new sausage recipe for the Sausage Trail. Around 2,000 people buy a voting form on the Saturday morning of the Food Festival and wander round the butchers’ shops tasting a sample of each butcher’s festival competition sausage, giving points out of ten for each one. They hand in their voting form and get a whole cooked sausage of their choice in a bread roll.
Festival Gourmet International
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
For ten days of this food fiesta, international chefs present their best dishes, focusing on Mexican food. You can spend your days wandering from venue to venue, sampling five-star cuisine in a ‘dine around’ programme. There are also parties, fireworks, wine tasting and – naturally – tapas and tequila. From brunch through dinner, one can dine out and watch demonstrations from master chefs. People can also personally meet the guest master chefs.
The Maine Lobster Festival
July 31- Aug 4
The origins of the festival date back to 1947, where a discussion arose between the folks of Maine as to what could be done about reviving the summer activities and it was decided that having a marine festival of some sort would be appropriate. Today this popular festival includes activities like US Coast Guard Station Rockland, Lobster Servings, Art Tents, live music by rock bands, Pan cake breakfast and much more.