Food fes­ti­vals

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VIS­I­TORS seek­ing a true taste of Amer­ica will be in foodie heaven with a huge choice of food fes­ti­vals tak­ing place through­out the year. From big-city gas­tro­nomic events fea­tur­ing fa­mous chefs and cel­e­bra­tions of re­gional favourites, to quirky small-town fes­tiv­i­ties hon­our­ing the likes of gar­lic, morel mush­rooms, cheese curd, frog legs and spam, there’s plenty to whet the ap­petite.

TASTE THE WINDY CITY

The United States’ pre­mier out­door food fes­ti­val and the world’s largest, the five-day Taste of Chicago fes­ti­val show­cases the city’s di­verse cuisines and at­tracts over a mil­lion vis­i­tors. The free-ad­mis­sion event is held in Grant Park, fronting Lake Michi­gan, in July and fea­tures cook­ing demon­stra­tions by celebrity chefs, food booths, pop-up restau­rants and con­certs by top acts.

FOOD ON THE BEACH

More than 80 events in­clud­ing pre­sen­ta­tions, din­ners and classes are held over five days on Mi­ami’s South Beach each Fe­bru­ary dur­ing SOBEWFF – the an­nual Food Net­work and Cook­ing Chan­nel South Beach Wine & Food Fes­ti­val. It fea­tures over 400 top chefs, culi­nary per­son­al­i­ties and wine­mak­ers.

RIB IT

Head to Fargo in North Dakota for Happy Harry’s Ribfest where slow-cooked chicken, ribs and pulled pork are firm favourites. The four-day meat fi­esta in June show­cases some of the best bar­be­cue chefs in the U.S. and be­yond. Watch demon­stra­tions, tuck in, play games and en­joy the evening mu­sic en­ter­tain­ment.

ROCKY MOUN­TAIN HIGH

Colorado’s hills are alive with the sound of corks pop­ping and the aro­mas of cook­ing in June for the three-day an­nual Food & Wine Clas­sic in Aspen. This top event has been on the cal­en­dar for 35 years and serves up cook­ing demos, wine tast­ing and talks by food and wine ex­perts.

SURE BET

Savour culi­nary de­lights, wine and spir­its dur­ing Las Ve­gas Un­cork’d, and rub shoul­ders with celebrity chefs such as Gor­don Ram­say. Held at re­sorts along the Strip, the four-day spring party of­fers cook­ery sem­i­nars, dis­cus­sions, demon­stra­tions and the Grand Tast­ing out­door pool party at Cae­sars Palace.

PIC­TURED Main im­age: Mary­land crabs on the grill; Above: San Fran­cisco Street Food Fes­ti­val; Right: Cloud Gate, Chicago; Op­po­site page: visit a vine­yard for won­der­ful wine tast­ing

Squir­rel gravy over bis­cuits, teriyaki-mar­i­nated

bear and deer sausage are among

weird dishes cooked up at the WEST VIR­GINIA ROAD­KILL COOKOFF in Mar­ling­ton, West Vir­ginia, in Septem­ber. It also in­cludes a Road­kill Cook-off Pageant, to find Miss Road­kill, Mrs Road­kill and Grandma Road­kill!

Watch gar­lic­cook­ing demos; learn how to cook gar­lic; buy gar­lic dips, spreads and cheeses; and try deep-fried gar­lic, gar­lic roast pork sand­wiches and gar­lic ice cream – you can do it all at the an­nual CON­NECTI­CUT GAR­LIC & HAR­VEST FES­TI­VAL in Beth­le­hem for two days every Oc­to­ber.

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