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.
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.
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.