The July 4th holiday has passed and it's time to look at the food and drink events coming up this month and just a bit beyond that. You'll find celebrity chef dinners, craft beer festivals, international summits, and crowd-pleasing staples, all of which are worth the drive or even a flight or two. The docket for July includes a massive craft beer festival (The Oregon Brewers Festival), the mother of all cocktail festivals (Tales of the Cocktail), a Bastille Day party in Paris (Le Fooding's La Cafête Nationale), and a five-day food festival in Chicago's Grant Park (Taste of Chicago)
Taste of the Nation
When: July 2012
Where: Multiple cities
What: These events are great: eat food from some of the best restaurants in the country while helping fight childhood hunger. This month they'll make a stop in Miami on July 19th and host three No Kid Hungry dinners: Nashville (July 15), Little Rock (July 31), and Raleigh (July 23).
Park City Food & Wine Classic
When: July 5 - July 8, 2012
Where: Park City, Utah
What: What this festival in Park City lacks in big names it makes up for in the beautiful setting and thoughtful program, which ranges from pricey dinners to intimate classes/
Taste of Chicago
When: July 11 - 15, 2012
Where: Chicago, Illinois
What: Grant Park on a summer's day is a wonderful thing, and for five days this month, it'll be filled with stalls from some of the city's best restaurants. To accompany the eating, there's a lineup of artists set to perform at the Frank Gehry-designed bandshell that includes Jennifer Hudson and Death Cab for Cutie.
Le Fooding's La Cafête Nationale
When: July 14, 2012
Where: Paris, France
What: On Bastille Day, France's favorite alternative gastronomic publication will host one hell of a party: a full day of food from killer chefs like Sven Chartier, Mauro Colagreco, and Alexandre Gauthier. The price: 15 Euro.
California Wine Festival
When: July 19 - July 21, 2012
Where: Santa Barbara, California
What: A very manageable program of five wine tastings spread across three days, with a couple of them happening right on the beach.
Tales of the Cocktail
When: July 24 - July 29, 2012
Where: New Orleans, Louisiana
What: The mother of all cocktail festivals, Tales of the Cocktail is held in New Orleans every year. For this event, its tenth, some of the world's leading mixologists will gather for a week of panels, seminars, and competitions throughout the city.
When: July 24 - July 28, 2012
Where: Mexico City
What: Taking inspiration from other food events and congresses around the world, the chef Enrique Olvera of the acclaimed restaurant Pujol is organizing a five-day festival to shine a light on the stars of Mexico's food scene. The festival recently announced its lineup of foreign presenters, which includes Carlo Mirarchi, Christopher Kostow, Brooks Headley, Albert Adrià, and The Young Turks.
Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival
When: July 26 - 29, 2012
Where: Atlantic City, New Jersey
What: This event has been going on for six years, and this time, it'll be three days instead of two. It's a partnership between Caesars and the Food Network, so expect stars like Anne Burrell, Robert Irvine, and Paula Deen to pop up at the tastings, dinners, and various other events that'll be going on throughout the weekend. The highlight: brunch and a party with Andrew Zimmern.
The Oregon Brewers Festival
When: July 26 - 29, 2012
Where: Portland, Oregon
What: Over 80,000 beer lovers will descend on Portland for the 25th installment of the Oregon Brewers Festival, which features around 80 craft beers from around the world and a venue right on the Williamette River.
Celebrity Chef Tour
When: July 27, 2012
Where: Roanoke, Indiana
What: The Celebrity Chef Tour will make one stop this month: a dinner at Joseph Decuis Restaurant with guests Tom Sheridan, David & Krissy Tallent, Greg Hardesty, Neal Brown. Chef Aaron Butts hosts.
When: July 30 - August 5, 2012
Where: San Francisco, California
What: A festival featuring a pretty wonderful lineup of chefs from the area, among them Gary Danko, Tyler Florence, Charles Phan, Hubert Keller, Joanne Weir, and Russell Jackson.
Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival
When: August 9 - 12, 2012
Where: Los Angeles, California
What: This festival boasts an impressive lineup of chefs that, rather sensibly, shows a strong emphasis on the west coast.