With the end of the year just a month away, it's time to look ahead at some of the highlights of the food and wine festival circuit for the next couple of months — everything from pricey beachside cookouts, to quirky Parisian happenings, to progressive Spanish congresses.
42nd Annual Fungus Fair
When: December 3-4, 2011
Where: Berkeley, California (but of course)
What: Get up close and personal with more varieties of mushrooms than you probably care to see, pick up a fungus-themed t-shirt, check out some lectures, or even bring your own mushroom (BYOM) to have an expert analyze the specimen.
When: January 12-15, 2012
Where: Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
What: Eric Ripert hosts his annual food and wine festival in the Cayman Islands, with chefs and cohorts like Anthony Bourdain, José Andrés, April Bloomfield, Laurent Gras, and Richard Blais; Ferran Adrià was originally on the bill but has since dropped out. No surprise to see that this isn't a cheap party, with individual events hovering around $200 and full packages running as high as $2,300.
International Gourmet Festival
When: January 12 - 22, 2012
Where: Across Portugal, specifically Lisbon, Alentejo, and the Algarve.
What: The International Gourmet Festival shows a clear focus on star chefs from across the globe, presenting an event made up almost exclusively of show-stopping dinners from Michelin-starred cooks. Tickets are still available for Laurent Gras, Joachim Wissler, Alain Passard, and Massimo Bottura, among several others. Depending on how baller you want to do it, tickets for each meal will run you from 350 to 500 Euro.
When: Multiple dates, kicking off on January 22nd in NYC
Where: Multiple cities
What: The porcine competition will have ten events in ten different cities to determine the ten chefs that will square off at the Grand Cochon — the finale — at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colorado.
Paris des Chefs
When: January 22-24, 2012
Where: Paris, France
What: If you don't know Paris des Chefs, here's the basic idea: throughout the course of three days, duos made up of a chef and a designer will present and publicly exchange ideas. On the food side, there's Daniel Patterson, the guys from Torrisi Italian Specialties, Sat Bains, Mauro Colagreco, Kobe Desramaults, Sven Chartier, and many, many others.
When: January 24 - 26, 2012
Where: Madrid, Spain
What: The avant-garde-obsessed, star-studded Spanish festival enters its 10th year with the likes of Heston Blumenthal, Paul Liebrandt, Nathan Myhrvold, Nuno Mendes, and — pleasant surprise — Momofuku Milk Bar's Christina Tosi. Do expect the Spanish staples to be there, too, save for Ferran.
Bocuse d'Or USA Finals
When: January 28-29, 2012
Where: Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York
What: The biennial global cooking competition, often referred to as the culinary Super Bowl, is currently in an off-year. This coming January, however, four American chefs will compete to determine who will captain the U.S. team at the 2013 event in Lyon, France.
Omnivore World Tour
When: Multiple dates, starting with Geneva in February.
Where: 12 cities across the globe.
What: The irreverent French publication again takes its show of pop-up dinners and master classes on the road, but in more ambitious ways than ever: they have cemented a series of three-day events to take place throughout the year in Geneva, Paris, Brussels, Moscow, Copenhagen, Shanghai, New York, Montreal, Sao Paulo, San Francisco, Istanbul, and Sydney.
South Beach Food & Wine
When: February 23-26, 2012
Where: Miami, Florida
What: Lee Schrager's annual mega festival, with more chefs and food media stars than you can shake a stick at. As usual, get your tickets fast.
Charleston Wine & Food
When: March 1-4, 2012
Where: Charleston, South Carolina
What: A very cool food weekend intensely focused on local flavors, traditions, and chefs, including one Sean Brock. There's a nice variety of events on offer, and few of them are devastatingly expensive — that's if you don't count an epic-sounding $1000 dinner from all-star outsiders Marc Vetri, Andrew Carmellini, Mark Ladner, and Michael Tusk.
Melbourne Food & Wine Festival
When: March 2 - 21
Where: Melbourne, Australia
What: For their 20th anniversary, Melbourne Food & Wine have organized a monster of a festival: 20 days of tastings, master classes, and parties all across Victoria. Draws include the "Theatre of Ideas," a congress of sorts in which René Redzepi, Ben Shewry, David Chang, and Massimo Bottura will make presentations, as well as special dinners from chefs like Redzepi, Chang (who'll be collaborating with the team from New York's Torrisi Italian Specialties), Corey Lee, and even barbecue legend Ed Mitchell.
The Food & Wine Festival in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo
When: March 22-24, 2012
Where: Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, Mexico
What: A decidedly luxe, laid-back production from Food & Wine, in which the focus is on regional Mexican cuisine, American stars like Michael Symon and Marcus Samuelsson, and spending lots of time drinking mezcal, enjoying spa treatments, and lounging on the beach.
Something missing? Email it in.
· All EventWire Posts on Eater [-E-]