Summer's end is upon us, as are some major food festivals and events around the country. On the docket for September 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. Among the standouts is the mind-bending Feast Portland, a bourbon festival in Kentucky's countryside, two alt-food festivals in New York City at the same time (Le Fooding and Omnivore), and the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival.
Denver Food and Wine
When: September 5 - September 8
Where: Denver, CO
What: This is a small series of events that includes a few seminars, a party hosted by Kelly Liken, and a grand tasting featuring 35 area restaurants.
Hawaii Food & Wine Festivals
When: September 6 - September 9
Where: O'ahu, Hawaii
What: Food & Wine magazine hosts this impressive and one imagines very vacation-y festival on the island of O'ahu, where around 50 chefs — like Seamus Mullen, Roy Choi, Susan Feniger, Nancy Silverton, and Morimoto — will take part in dinners, excursions, and demonstrations. If you need confirmation that this is kind of a rich people thing, see the event "Chefs who have cooked for presidents and royalty," a seven-course dinner.
When: September 8
Where: New York, NY
What: Food writer Josh Ozersky's annual city of meat on New York's Randall's Island, with a whole bunch of different neighborhoods serving up meat, pork, lamb, and much more from some of the country's great chefs.
Nordic Food Lab
Where: Denmark and Norway
What: The folks who run the Nordic Food Lab, the research and investigation facility that's in a houseboat docked outside of Noma, will make two presentations this month in Europe. The first will be in Oslo on September 5, where they will present the same subject they did at the MAD Symposium: "'Delineating the? Edible and Inedible" (there will likely be talk of eating ants). The second will be a joint presentation with Momofuku R&D head Dan Felder at the Arhus Food Festival, which runs from September 7 to September 9.
Kentucky Bourbon Festival
When: September 11 - September 16
Where: Bardstown, Kentucky
What: For six full days, Bourbon enthusiasts will descend on the Kentucky countryside for a series of historical tours, galas, educational events, and lots and lots and lots of drinking. Participating brands include Buffalo Trace and Maker's Mark.
Taste of WGBH: Food & Wine Festival
When: September 13 - September 15
Where: Boston, MA
What: Barbara Lynch and Ming Tsai are among the chefs participating in this three-day festival from public network WGBH, which has several educational, not-completely-frivolous components: demos, a farmers market, wine auctions, and "The Artisan Taste," a kind of grand tasting that features wineries and food from local restaurants.
Langham Food & Wine Festival
When: September 13 - September 23
Where: Hong Kong
What: A festival featuring tastings, gala events, and dinners from several international talents, like Claude Bosi (Hibiscus, London), Susur Lee (Lee and Lee Lounge, Toronto), and Igor Macchia (La Credenza, Piedmont).
Le Fooding Brooklyn Fling
When: September 19 - September 23
Where: New York, NY
What: This year the alternative French gastronomic publication Le Fooding sets its sights on Brooklyn for its popular and very cool yearly series of events. Among the impressive roster of happenings is a brunch at the Nitehawk Cinema with Iñaki Aizpitarte, a picnic at the Brooklyn Flee with Magnus Nilsson, parties with Mike D and Dave 1 DJing, and dinner collaborations between Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli and Sean Brock, as well as Ignacio Mattos and The Young Turks.
Los Angeles Beer Week
When: September 20 - September 30
Where: Los Angeles, CA
What: Every day for 11 days straight, there will be several beer-related events throughout Los Angeles, many of them barbecues.
When: September 20 - September 23
Where: Portland, OR
What: One of the most exciting festivals of the fall season, Feast Portland consists of a mind-bending number of great events that will bring together some of the best chefs in the country — and the world. Case in point: a dinner between Iñaki Aizpitarte, of Paris' Le Chateaubriand, and Daniel Patterson, of San Francisco's Coi. Bon Appétit presents.
Omnivore New York
When: September 21 - 23
Where: New York, NY
What: In case the third weekend in September isn't Gallic enough for you already, Omnivore, the other French alternative gastronomic publication and event organizer, will be putting on dinners and master classes on the same dates and in the same city as Le Fooding. The stand-out this time around is a dinner collaboration between Carlo Mirarchi and Del Posto's Brooks Headley at Blanca, Mirarchi's intimate tasting restaurant behind Roberta's.
Savor The Central Coast
When: September 27 - September 30
Where: San Luis Obispo, California
What: There isn't an overwhelming amount of star power at this festival sponsored by Sunset Magazine. The setting in central California, however, will make for an extremely pleasant place to go on various excursion and taste food from Rick Moonen and Susan Feniger. To top it off, Elvis Costello is playing the performing arts center on the 29th.
When: September 28 - September 30
Where: Chicago, Illinois
What: For three days, Chicago's Millenium Park will be filled with booths and stalls showcasing food from over 100 area restaurants. The event, which is hosted by Bon Appétit, will this year kick off on the roof of the Harris Theater with a hamburger cooking competition.
When: October 7 - 10, 2012
Where: San Sebastian, Spain
What: Gastronomika is one of the monster chefs congresses in the world, a kind of UN for the world of food. This year the festival returns in October and not November, as is usually the case, with a focus on France and its chefs: included in the lineup are Pascal Barbot, Yves Camdeborde, Mauro Colagreco, Michel Bras. Non-French presenters include René Redzepi, Massimo Bottura, and most of the Spanish staples.
Music To Your Mouth
When: November 13 - November 18
Where: Bluffton, South Carolina
What: Films, bourbon tastings, demos, and even 5k races make up the program of Music To Your Mouth, which returns this year to the picturesque waterfront resort Palmetto Bluff. The lineup skews southern, with familiar names like Sean Brock, John Currence, Linton Hopkins, John T. Edge, Hugh Acheson, and Ashley Christensen running much of the show.
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