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Tis the Season of the Food Festival. Here's Your Agenda.

A Scene from San Sebastian Gastronomika 2009
A Scene from San Sebastian Gastronomika 2009

The New York Wine & Food Festival just wrapped up. We're still nursing a beef and Blue Moon hangover, and the Eater blogger lounge is littered with extension cords and the bodies of exhausted interns. But if you can't get enough of groups of people congregating around food and wine and booze and beef, you're in luck. This is festival season. So buckle your seatbelts, loosen your belt belts, and get at it.

Kohler Wine and Food
Dates: October 21-24, 2010
What Chefs Will Be There: Anne Burrell, Graham Elliot, Bryan Voltaggio, Sara Moulton plus a bunch of wine and spirits folks like Martin Duffey, master of Whisky for Johnnie Walker, Angela Maculan of the Maculan Winery this dude named Marc Mondavi from some wine place.
The Crowd: Kohler is in Wisconsin so the crowd might be largely middle state and since the event is heavily wine oriented, there shall be many quaffers. We'll be there too, giving Graham Elliot grief and trailing the brothers Voltaggio and pretending we know about golf.
Tickets: From $40 for a seminar by Bryan Voltaggio on Home Cooking techniques with Molecular Gastronomy to $150 for a seated dinner with Chefs Gary Wigand and Bruce Sacino of dishes served at the British Open at St Andrews and the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits
The Draw: Golf, wine, whiskey, chefs and Wisconsin.

San Sebastián Gastronomika
Dates: November 21-24, 2010
What Chefs Will Be There: Pretty much everyone from Spain and beyond. From New York, David Chang, Anthony Bourdain, Daniel Boulud, Wylie Dufresne, David Bouley and Thomas Keller. From Spain, the regent household of Molecular Cuisine will be in attendance, including Ferran Adrià of elBulli, Juan Mari Arzak of Arzak Restaurant, Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz and Jose Andres.
The Crowd: More than any other festival here, this is the most like a conference or a congress or a colloquium. It's like the FUBU for chefs so expect the crowd to be highly literate, with enough coin to trek out to Donostia to hear chefs talk about food and to understand fairly heady approach to cuisine.
Tickets: $475 for a 3-day conference ticket
The Draw: If you have ever even thought about foams beyond their use insulating things, this is a pretty rare chance to see practically the entire vanguard of molecular gastronomy come together and kibbitz. Oh, and you know, San Sebastián.

Southern Foodways Alliance
Dates: October 21-24
What Chefs Will Be there: It's funny. This event probably has the fewest big name chefs but certainly one of the most promising in terms of line ups. Take, for example the Main Event, held on Friday:

TED OWNBY WELCOMES one and all to the Global South
DIANE ROBERTS on how “Little Havana is a little Southern town, smelling of gasoline, hot fat, and sugar”
HOT TAMALE CHARLIE and other poems from Greg Brownderville
MARTHA WHITE TAMALE LUNCH of smoked quail tamales, turnip greens and cracklins tamales, and other delights, curated by Jon Sanchez, with an assist by Eddie Hernandez
MEREDITH ABARCA on how to read a hot tamale from a Hispanic perspective
AFRICA’S BOTANICAL LEGACY, as interpreted by Judith Carney
VALERIE ERWIN offers a Geechee perspective on the African rice kitchen
SCREENING OF THE LATEST JOE YORK DOCUMENTARY, honoring this year’s winner of the Ruth Fertel Keeper of the Flame Award, presented by Randy Fertel
TAYLOR GROCERY CATFISH FEED, brought to you by The Catfish Institute, featuring Lynn Hewlett, master of the fry basket. With modern catfish flights of fancy from Suvir Saran and Eddie Huang

I actually don't have any idea what most of this stuff is and that's pretty exciting.
Tickets: $585
The Draw: Probably the most academic — SFA is a project of UMiss — but also the one that most explicitly draws the connection between sociology and food. Plus lots of hot tamales, barbecue and — duh — Japanese Elvis music.

Barbados Food and Wine and Rum
Dates: November 19-22
What Chefs Will Be There: The usual roster of Food and Wine celebrity chefs including Tom Colicchio, Ming Tsai, Tim Love and Marcu Samuelson as well as Fergus Henderson.
The Crowd: Well-to-do rummies and probably, one hopes, Jimmy Buffet
Tickets: Events range from $45 for a cooking demo to $250 for a dinner with Tom Colicchio.
The Draw: The star-power of F+W without the hoi polloi. And sun. Lots of sun.

South Beach Food and Wine Festival
Dates: February 24-27
What Chefs Will Be There: Usually a re-do of NYC. Expect the usual suspects: Rachael Ray, Paula Deen, Guy Fieri, Morimoto, Duff Goldman, Sandra Lee — raving somewhere madly, plus a couple new names like Danny Meyer thrown in plus Baron Eric de Rothschilde because he's a baron.
The Crowd: Lots of industry and lots of Miamians who really love hair gel, tanning and working out. More populist than even NYWFF — perhaps because the beach lends a Dionysian flair — SoBe is like Spring Break for foodies.
Tickets: Tickets range from $20 for something called "Kohl's presents Fun and Fit as a Family featuring Kellogg's Kidz Kitchen" to $300 for the Burger Bash. Weekend passes will run you $1,280
The Draw: A weekend of pure raging under the sun and hard partying for chefs and participants. This is Miami which is like Vegas but with a more vibrant — not to mention politically conservative — Cuban population. At any rate, what happens in Miami stays in Miami and thusly, there are more keg stands by Michelin-starred chefs than any other festival.

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