Food, cooking and chefs are gaining more and more popularity each year…. I remember watching local television channels (KERA – Channel 13) if I wanted to learn how to cook. Now we have two national cable channels (Food Network & Cooking Channel), a handful of reality cooking shows (Top Chef, Iron Chef, Master Chef), a slew of magazines and several food festivals that are dedicated to just that… FOOD and the artists aka chefs that showcase them.
“Vegas Uncorked” hosted by Bon Appetit magazine was the first “official” food festival I attended this year. I was and still am the gawking, star-stuck fan that pathetically followed around the celebrity chefs wanting a picture. No sham here… “you get in where you fit in,” my sister would say. (See below)
Needless to say I am now a groupie! Annual food festivals like this are hosted at the most scenic venues across the country and one of the best opportunities to sample dishes from some of the most renowned chef and best of all… you get to personally meet them!
I came home and did some research on the best food festivals and there’s at least 10 that I want(ed) to attend… two of which are here in Dallas and Addison!
Here are my top picks for Food Festival’s this year and next, in this order:
1. The Food and Wine Classic in Aspen – June 17th-19th, 2011. Attendees are capped at 5,000, so you got to get in fast. $1,200 admission give you access to all the events. http://www.stayaspensnowmass.com/p-food-and-wine-classic.php
2. Savor Dallas – March 18th-19th, 2011. Next year Stephan Pyles is hosting a lunch and cooking demonstration. Tickets are on sale now at www.SavorDallas.com. $235 gets you the the weekend package to all the events and it’s local so you can’t beat that.
3. South Beach Food and Wine Festival – February 24th-27th, 2011. Bobby Flay, Michelle Bernstein, Rachel Ray and Giada will be at there. http://2011.sobefest.com/
4. Vegas Uncorked (Bon Appetite Magazine) – May 5th-8th, 2011. Been there and will most certainly repeat! There is a Celebrity Chef Black Jack Tournament that is a must attend if you want get a little closer to your favorite chefs, is this starting to sound creepy to you too? It was an exclusive event that was hosted poolside at XS (Encore Hotel). http://www.vegasuncorked.com/
5. New York City Food and Wine – October 7th-10th, 2010. 100% of the proceeds of this event to go local food bank and Share our Strength, a not for profit aimed to eliminate childhood hunger.
6. Pebble Beach Food and Wine – April 28th – May 1st, 2011. Who doesn’t love Pebble Beach and you’re close to Napa so you can take a little excursion to wine country. http://www.pebblebeachfoodandwine.com/
7. American Wine and Food Festival – September 25-26th, 2010. I missed this event but got a play by play from my best Foodie. David caught up with several Dallas chefs (Sara Johannes from Five-Sixty; Stephen Pyles; and Dean Fearing). Our chefs headed west for the 28th Annual Food and Wine Festival L.A.; one of the country’s largest gatherings of culinary talent. The event was held on the Universal Studios Backlot and played host to nearly 3,000 foodies and raised close to $1 million for Meals on Wheels.
8. New Orleans Food and Wine – May 25th-28th, 2011. This is new and intended to drive tourism for local non-profits. At the event, you can expect to get up close and personal with some of the Big Easy’s top chefs and Paula Deen. http://www.nowfe.com/
9. Chicago Gourmet – September 25th-26th, 2011. This is home to multiple James Beard winners so you know the food will be scrumptious. Next year Rick Bayless (Top Chef – Master Chef winner) will be there cooking up his authentic Mexican cuisine.
10. Taste of Addison – May 21st-23rd, 2010. Another local event and you get to sample food from local restaurants while listening to live music.
Some of the other perks include being one of the first to hear about the unveiling of new restaurant projects. At the American Food and Wine Festival, guest got to preview the new Cosmopolitan Resort’s restaurant portfolio. Many are particularly excited to see what Jose Andres does with his Vegas outpost of Jaleo and new China Poblano Asian-Latin concept. I believe that Costas Spiliadis fames Estiatorio Milos may give the current Vegas seafood king Paul Bartolotta (Wynn) a run for his money. Unfortunately, none of these epic chefs have plans for a Dallas expansion anytime soon.
Hope to see you at an event and cheers to living, loving and cooking with passion!