Summer might be slowing to meet autumn with its last bounty of late-August heirloom tomatoes and sweet corn, but the change in season means our appetites are all the more revved up for new food-focused events. This week offers an eclectic lineup of festivals suited for the theater-enthusiast foodie, craft-brew junkie, and locavore gourmand alike. And the Hawai’i Food & Wine Festival promises a ridiculous alignment of natural beauty, regional cuisine specialties and celeb chef insights.
This block party brings dinner and a show to a whole new level. After a farm-fresh meal dedicated to showcasing the bounty of the Pacific Northwest, attendees can sink further into their seats at the premier of the national-touring musical Chicago at the Pantages Theater. Chef Dustin Joseph’s menu has some superstars of its own: braised pork macaroons, chile dust heirloom tomato salad and caramel sea-salt biscuits all promise to be show-stealers.
Savannah Craft Brew Fest
The southern-style afternoon celebration offers everything you could hope for in a craft brew festival: food pairings, beer seminars, cider and mixology gardens, music and, of course, unlimited samplings. Located in downtown Savannah overlooking the Savannah River, the event will rally a crowd of over 5,000 around the city’s growing love for craft beer. If you’re still craving more after 5 p.m., head to The Distillery for the festival’s official after party.
Hawai’i Food & Wine Festival
If you happen to be on the island of O’ahu, you may as well capitalize on your luck and stop in on the Hawai-i Food & Wine Festival. Founded by two James Beard Award-winning chefs, Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong, the Festival features wine-tastings, cooking demonstrations, and lectures led by over 50 renowned chefs, sommeliers, mixologists, farmers and producers. [Read our report from last year's event.] This year's talent includes Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar, Marcel Vigneron and Sheldon Simeon of Top Chef fame, and Iron Chef superstar Masahuru Morimoto. Somewhere amidst the scent of slow-roasting pig you might be able to sniff our envy wafting over the Pacific.
Denver Food And Wine
Created by the Colorado Restaurant Association and Southern Wine and Spirits of Colorado, this four-day festival celebrates the best of Denver Metro’s regional food and drink culture. Each day centers around an event: Friday is the Art of the Cocktail Party with competitions hosted by James Beard winner Andy Husbands, and you can look forward to a grand tasting of more than 600 featured wines on Saturday.
Hudson Valley Wine & Food Festival
Located on the Dutchess Co. Fairgrounds, the 12th Annual Hudson Valley Food & Wine Destival celebrates the gourmet cuisine of the Hudson Valley. Regional chefs and sommeliers will host cooking demonstrations and wine seminars to the sound of live music from Kyle Esposito & The Backburners and Moondance DJs. If the shopping urge strikes, you can browse the stands featuring foods from over 100 gourmet specialty food vendors.
The Brooklyn Brewery MASH: Washington, DC
From March-December of 2013, New York’s Brooklyn Brewery will be touring U.S. cities, hosting interactive events in food, drink, music, comedy and literature with ticket proceeds benefitting Slow Food USA. In September, MASH heads to Washington D.C. with a series of events including Chaos Cooking, a dinner where guests come with their own recipes and ingredients; Books & Beer: The American Way of Eating with Tracie McMillan, where guests can engage in conversation regarding the American food system over complimentary Brooklyn beer; and the beer-belly-laugh-inducing comedy event Found Footage Festival, which shows video footage from garage sales, thrift stores, warehouses and dumpsters across the country.
Music City Eats: Nashville Food, Wine & Spirits Festival
2013 marks the debut of this food, drink and music festival created by Grammy winners Caleb and Nathan Followill of Kings of Leon, chef Jonathan Waxman, Austin-based producer C3 Presents, and Vector Management’s Ken Levitan and Andy Mendelsohn. The festival offers demos, panels, tastings and parties, so fill up your schedule with an arancini and lobster cooking demonstration from Giada de Laurentiis, a bourbon vs. moonshine formal debate, and after a farm-to-plate Harvest Night dinner, enjoy an all-star review of the music of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at Petty Fest.