So here’s the thing. We’ve always liked people who can tell the difference between eating incessantly and the ones who get the art behind preparing food, blending flavors and assorting scents. As about the United States of America, if you’re our kind of person, you should already know by now that you can enjoy an absolute paradise as far as food festivals are concerned. For every taste or category of food, there’s one to suit anybody’s wishes. So here’s where you should be heading to this summer. Or, anyhow, what’s left of it.
Bite of Oregon, Portland, Oregon
At its 31st edition this year, I’ve never been sure if this festival celebrates rather the great food and mixture of styles with influences from coast to cascades to canyons, or the high quality of life. From craft brews to farm-to-table dishes, there’s nothing that could be missing. And if you made an exercise of asking the organizers what’s the most important part of the festival, you’d be surprise to hear the same answer each time: for the attendants to feel great and speak of it for the rest of the year, then come back for another edition. It is, indeed, one of the most expected food festivals in America.
And since we agreed that what matters most is for the guests to be happy, you should know that great rumor’s always got arguments. Besides being fascinating in every way from the organizing effort to the exceptional dishes, the hosts understand that the key to success is not the people’s stomach, but their heart. And while we know, seafood, beef, blackberries, blueberries & raspberries, potatoes, and dairy are pretty emotional for a gourmet, the nights aren’t for the people to sleep, but to have a good time.
There are concerts organized for every night of the festival. The mouth watering menus are only in a special kind of symbiosis with the entertainment events that happen after nightfall. From soul-jazz, piano and French cabaret, to Zimbabwean mbira music, there’s nothing missing to make the atmosphere outstanding and unprecedented.
The second city in California by the number of wineries, Oregon has 314 ambrosia factories, each for every taste. Even if you’re not a fan of wine, and you’d rather like beer or whiskey, you’ve certainly heard of Pinot Noir. Everybody has – after all, it’s the most widely planted white wine in Oregon, with more than a thousand acres of grapes. Just to make a picture, it’s a little more than twice towards the horizon line. In any case, if you’re a wine enthusiast but there’s something about Pinot Noir that you don’t like, there’s no reason to worry about. From Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay to Sauvignon Blanc, there’s a pretty wide range of quality wine to make even the most pretentious professional tasters put a large smile on their face.
Aside from being popular and worth attending, this festival’s located on the Portland’s waterfront, which is not only marvelous in terms of panorama, but it’s easily reachable by public transportation as well.
Date: 8-10 August 2014
Best in the West: Nugget Rib Cook-Off, Sparks, Nevada
An extravaganza worthy of Scott F. Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby. 500,000 people are going to attend the barbecue cuisine feast of this year. Join them without any hesitation! 230,000 pounds of ribs are going to be transformed into crunchy, juicy, heavenly-tasting dishes by 24 of the world’s most appreciated rib chefs.
Unlike many of the other events of this kind, the admission is free – celebrate quality cuisine with luxuriously prepared food for free. To bring: appetency, great expectations and a good mood.
Bonus: one of the largest arts and crafts fair that Nevada’s ever hosted to make the time in-between the divine meals pass pleasantly. And if you feel like time’s passed too quickly, we’ve got the perfect fun-implying solution: the annual Rib Eating Championship.
Must: you have to be very competitive and your appetite’s got to overpass your fear of not being able to get off the Main Concert Stage (where the event’s going to take place) after this is done.
A very family-friendly event, the Nugget Rib Cook-Off is the perfect place to make your children remember their summer holiday. The access to the kid’s area costs $1, but it gets better if you’re buying more tickets at once: 50 tickets – $35; your child’s great time during the entire festival – priceless.
You’re probably wondering by now that’s going to happen on the stage when it doesn’t gather people round to watch the rib eating contest. In this case, you should prepare to listen to alternative rock, rock’n’roll, pop or funck’n’soul. LIT, Joan Osborne, Joe Diffie and Jefferson Starship are just some of the names that are going to perform, all of them awarded different important prizes during their musical careers.
Date: 27 August – 1 September
Hawaii Food & Wine Festival
Yes, it’s only the fourth annual festival. But instead of making you feel skeptical about its quality, you should take into consideration that it’s being the most appreciated culinary event in the Pacific. From Australia to Korea, China to New Zealand, all kinds of chefs are going to fight to show off their mastery. And while the idea of showing off is generally speaking perceived as a negative characteristic, just think about it: international, multicultural cuisine specialists giving their best to make the guests of the event carry their name.
The annual theme of the event is ‚A Lucky Modern Buddha Belly’ and it gathers 14 worldwide appreciated chefs. So the good news is there’s going to be lot of creativity involved and amazing time while admiring the boundlessness of the ocean, just after having had one of the most exquisite meals of your life.
The whole food-making and service is not only perfect, but it’s so immaculate that it looks glamorous. From Aloha ʻAina, Aloha Kai – Love of the Land, Love of the Sea to It’s a Food World After All, every day’s going to host another culinary event, with tickets from VIP to casual. The signature of each day won’t only have a special theme but it will also fit under the umbrella of the modern Buddha Belly.
The events are going to include wine tasting, cooking demonstrations, special excursions, and the best local dining opportunities, chaired by Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong, two of the best chefs in Hawaii.
Date: 29 August – 7 September
Hudson Valley Food & Wine Fest, Rhinebeck, New York
22 famous wineries and over 100 popular vendors are going to compete for your approval.The varieties from which you’ll be invited to pick your favorite are some of the world’s most renowned. And in between the sips you’ll have the chance of asking all kinds of curiosities, since many of the wine growers will be in attendance. Oenophile’s heaven, this is going to be a huge event for anyone who’s ever thought that wine is about art and not just random domestic consumption.
Thoughts, nose, palate. All are going to be taken care of during the wine seminars. Wine authorities nationally popular are going to teach you a lot of their secrets, from tasting to choosing, serving or storing the most valuable liquor.
Gourmet specialty food vendors are going to take good care of your cuisine experiences, and make the most of your time. Aside from exquisite dishes, you’ll have the chance to learn about assorting the wine to the best kinds of food. And who kows – with a little luck you may even get some recipes for home! Horse-dish in flavors, alcohol wine ice cream, Locally produced Ginger Elixer & Organic and Fair trade loose leaf teas, balsamic vinegar, olive oils, salsa seasoning, – Organic fruit and fresh herb salad dressings, dried pasta and frozen ravioli using the most creative and unexpected recipes are going to change your perspective over cooking to the point where you’ll think that ‘you belong in the kitchen’ is nothing but a high-class compliment.
Just to complete the festival atmosphere, there will be live music on stage every night of the festival. An exhaustive experience is about pleasing all the senses, and you’ve got a great deal of a chance to say farewell to summer without any hard feelings after this event.
Date: 6-7 September 2014
Beer, Bourbon and Barbecue Festival, Carry, North Carolina
This is one of the best American traveling festivals. It’s about youth, fun, good time and showing that the most popular national dishes aren’t necessarily a kind of superificial cuisine. On the contrary, the event is meant to show the art behind cooking a barbecue.
As loving beer is sometimes perceived as being almost a felony, the attendants should dramatically disagree with this idea. And because there’s nothing wrong with admitting that beer’s an important part of your life, there’s a Triangle’s Best Beer Belly Contest. Based on size and personality, the audience is going to applaud and hail to the owner of this title. So if you’re not ashamed of your special relationship with beer, and you’re over 21, here’s the great way to prove it!
Part Time Blues Band, Johhny Folsom Four, Will McBride Group are going to keep the festival rockin’ during two days of fun and guilty pleasures.
Date: 1-2 August
Truckeroo Food Festival, Washington DC
If you’ve lost the first two editions this year, don’t panic. There are other two approaching. One on August 8th and another on September 12th. From 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Washington D.C is going to be the host of live music and explosive atmosphere for all those who don’t have enough time to travel for other festivals and roam around the country, chasing good food and vibrant music.
So the mountain does come to Mohamed, after all. Live music sings all day long, just to help you sink in the atmosphere – feeling as if you were in a holiday is possible in the middle of Washington, especially when you’ve got over 20 food trucks filled with all kinds of specialties ready to make you postpone any problem there is.
Crab sandwiches and salads, lobster rolls and shrimp rolls, Korean BBQ with tacos, Spanish small plates, sweet and savory crệpes, buritos, Southern cuisine, plant-based menus, Italian gelato and sorbet – everything you’d ever wish to taste on a hot summer day while leaving the day-by-day problems behind is going to be at your disposal.
In ways you’ve never even imagined, these dishes are going to be prepared with special recipes designed to make you taste not only the food, but the entire cultural weight along with it.
Date: 8 August; 12 September 2014
Austin Ice Cream Festival
At the 8th annual edition, this event is going to remind you the flavor of childhood and the best tastes of ice cream you’ve ever had. And after this, it’s going to outstrip them all. But because the organizers understand the importance of being a child regardless of age, children under 8 are not going to pay any admission fees.
There’s going to be a contest of the best home-made ice cream and recipes to take you back a hundred years, when grandma would taste the best flavors of her childhood herself.
Fiesta Gardens are going to witness a family experience, where it’s a must to come with friends and family. From ice cream making contest, eating contest or popsicle stick sculpture contest are all going to remind you of childhood. Not the hot weather or the holiday were the signals of summer, but the first sound of the ice cream truck. Remember how you learned the importance of sharing when your mother used to break a popsicle in two and give you and your sibling a half each. Bring your childhood memories and spend the best time!
Date: 9 August 2014, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.