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21 Food & Drink Events for May and Beyond

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The Sweetlife Music + Food Festival, Columbia, MD.
The Sweetlife Music + Food Festival, Columbia, MD.
Photo: Facebook

May has arrived and, beyond flowers, it also brings with it a ton of food and drink events across the country and beyond. Indeed, this is the season of music festivals, from a hip Maryland festival from salad chainlet Sweetgreen (The Sweetlife Music + Food Festival) to two laid-back food-and-wine-friendly music festivals in California wine country (Bottle Rock Napa Valley and Huichica Music Festival). International chefs will take over Mexico City to discuss their craft in May (Mesamérica), while front of the house experts will similarly descend upon New York for a brand new hospitality conference in June (Welcome Conference). Not to mention the return of two of the year's biggest food festivals (Atlanta Food & Wine Festival and the Aspen Food & Wine Classic). Here's the full list:

Tasting Australia
When: April 27 — May 4, 2014
Where: Adelaide, Australia
What: Tasting Australia aims to celebrate "real food heroes" in this year's event that focuses on an "origins" theme. Events include a "nose-to-kale" dinner with Fergus Henderson, Ian Curley, and Andrew Davies, as well as a biodynamic wine lunch with James Henry of Paris' Bones, Pope Joan's Matt Wilkinson, and Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin.

James Beard Foundation Awards
When: May 2 & May 5, 2014
Where: New York, NY
What: America's food world luminaries will congregate in New York City over the first weekend in May for this year's James Beard Foundation award ceremony. Books, broadcast, and journalism nominees will be revealed on May 2, while the restaurant and chef awards take place on May 5. After-parties will ensue.

When: May 5 - May 11, 2014
Where: Washington, DC
What: As usual, the massive celebration of beer featuring more than 70 craft breweries from across America known as SAVOR is sold out. But never fear, there's an insane amount of SAVOR-related events going on around town all week, including a "Best of the Midwest" salute at Smoke and Barrel, a beer cocktail competition at Jack Rose, collaborations with local restaurants, tap takeovers, and more.

Vegas Uncork'd
When: May 8 - May 11, 2014
Where: Las Vegas, NV
What: Vegas Uncork'd will take over the Venetian, Aria, the Bellagio, Caesars Palace, and the MGM Grand in May with some massive gastronomic events, such as a night market featuring Mario Batali and Thomas Keller, a sushi and sake class with Nobu Matsuhisa, and a number of masters dinners.

Sweetlife Music + Food Festival
When: May 10, 2014
Where: Columbia, MD
What: The Sweetlife Music + Food Festival, produced by the salad and frozen yogurt chainlet Sweetgreen, returns with a lineup that includes Lana Del Rey, Foster the People, Fitz & the Tantrums, and more. Sweetgreen's own goods will be there, of course, as well as Baltimore and DC chefs Spike Gjerde and Erik Bruner-Yang, plus various DC restaurants such as DGS Delicatessen, Roofers Union, José Andrés' Pepe truck, and Dolcezza Gelato. Among the chains? Shake Shack and Stumptown Coffee.

Terroir Symposium
When: May 12, 2014
Where: Toronto, Canada
What: David Chang, Daniel Boulud, Margot Henderson, Albert Adria, Amanda Cohen, Normand Laprise, Peter Meehan, and Joe Beef's David McMillan and Frédéric Morin are headed to Toronto in May for the Terroir Symposium. This year's symposium will explore the topic of "growing ideas" through community building and collaboration. There's also an American/Canadian collaborative lunch provided by the likes of Lauren Resler, Kristen Kish, Jamie Malone, Sarah Simmons, and Soja Finn on the American side.

UCLA Science & Food Public Lecture Series
When: May 14 — June 1, 2014
Where: Los Angeles, CA
What: This year's UCLA Science & Food lecture series kicked off with a lecture from LA chef Morihiro Onodera on the Science of Sushi on April 23, and continues on May 14 with Wylie Dufresne and Peter Meehan on How We Taste. In June, Dave Arnold and Lena Kwak weigh in on Harnessing Creativity (and the Science of Pie).

Ballymaloe LitFest
When: May 16 - May 18, 2014
Where: Shanagarry, Ireland
What: Ireland's Ballymaloe LitFest returns to East Cork this year with another fantastic lineup of speakers, including René Redzepi, Diana Kennedy, Sandor Katz, Ben Reade, and the Jerusalem duo of Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.

NRA Show 2014
When: May 17 - May 20, 2014
Where: Chicago, IL
What: This year's National Restaurant Association show is bringing in the likes of Maxime Bilet, Barbara Lynch, Ming Tsai, Art Smith, and Rick Bayless for its World Culinary Showcase in Chicago. In addition, Andrew Zimmern is hosting the Sunday night after-party, Restaurants Rock, which includes a Star of the Bar mixology competition, plenty of booze for revelers, and live music from an 80s cover band. There will also be all kinds of other chef presentations over the course of the show.

When: May 20 - May 22, 2014
Where: Mexico City, Mexico
What: Enrique Olvera's celebration of Mexican cuisine continues in May with Mesamérico in Mexico City. Presenters at this year's festival include Americans Alice Waters, Mario Batali, Danny Bowien, David Gelb, and Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, while David Thompson will represent from Bangkok, Renato Giovannoni from Argentina, and Rodrigo Oliveira from Brazil.

Cochon 555
When: May 25 - June 22, 2014
Where: Various locations.
What: Traveling pork orgy Cochon 555 already kicked off this year's tour in New York City, and now it continues its route around America to crown more Princes and Princesses of Pork. Next up is Philadelphia on May 25, followed by the culminating Grand Cochon in Aspen on June 22.

Food on Film
When: May 28 — July 9, 2014
Where: Toronto, Canada
What: The Toronto International Film Festival is bringing back its monthly "Food on Film" series in which chefs and food experts come in to talk about their favorite food movies. Momofuku Milk Bar's Christina Tosi will discuss Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on May 7, mixologist Charlotte Voisey will talk about the documentary Hey Bartender on May 28, and Booker and Dax's Dave Arnold will weigh in on Soylent Green in July.

Atlanta Food & Wine Festival
When: May 29 - June 1, 2014
Where: Atlanta, GA
What: This year's Atlanta Food & Wine Festival is chock full with amazing dinners such as the About South collaboration dinner featuring dozens of chefs from across the South exploring the dishes, desserts, and music of the region. Tasting tents include "trails" that celebrate the likes of barbecue, bourbon, breakfast, seafood, craft beer, pork, and more. The chef lineup includes nearly every big-name Southern chef you can imagine.

Bottle Rock Napa Valley
When: May 30 - June 1, 2014
Where: Napa Valley, CA
What: This wine and food-friendly music festival sports a lineup that includes The Cure, Weezer, Outkast, LL Cool J, Matt and Kim, Heart, Third Eye Blind, Blues Traveler, and many, many more. Perhaps more importantly, the food is coming from the likes of Morimoto, La Condesa, The Thomas & Fagiani's Bar, plus there will be dozens of wine tents featuring pours from local vineyards.

Looking Ahead:

Big Apple Barbecue Block Party
When: June 7 - June 8, 2014
Where: New York, NY
What: Pitmasters from across America are descending upon New York for a weekend of barbecue, music, seminars, and booze. Mike Mills, Mike Emerson, Chris Lilly, Daniel Delaney, and more will be serving up plates of barbecue, while rock, blues, and soul artists will perform live in Madison Square Park.

Cultivate Festival
When: June 7 - October 18, 2014
Where: Various locations.
What: Chipotle kicks off its fourth-annual Cultivate Festival on June 7 in San Francisco. The musical lineup includes Neon Trees and Andrew McMahon, while the likes of 4505 Meats, Ritual Coffee Roasters, El Porteno Empanadas and, of course, Chipotle and its sister concept ShopHouse will be providing sustenance in the Artisans' Hall. Also expect some chef demos from Graham Elliot, Amanda Freitag, and more.

Summer by the Sea
When: June 9, 2014
Where: New York, NY
What: Here's a peek at the crazy lineup for this year's Summer by the Sea fundraiser for New York's Citymeals-on-Wheels: Michael Anthony, Jonathan Benno, Daniel Boulud, Bobby Flay, Marc Forgione, Nobu Matsuhisa, Charlie Palmer, Ari Taymor, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jonathan Waxman, Sang Yoon, and many more. They'll be interpreting coastal, summer fare at tasting stations scattered across Rockefeller Center Plaza.

Huichica Music Festval
When: June 13 - June 14, 2014
Where: Sonoma, CA
What: The Huichica Music Festival returns to Sonoma's scenic Gundlach Bundschu Winery with sets from David Longstreth, Mount Eerie Vetiver, and more, plus food from Bunk Sandwiches and Salumeria. Not to mention, plenty of wine (and beer) to be had.

Welcome Conference
When: June 17, 2014
Where: New York, NY
What: Eleven Madison Park's Will Guidara and former Per Se general manager Anthony Rudolf are hosting a one-day conference on the art of restaurant hospitality this June. Speakers include former New York Times critic Frank Bruni, Shake Shack's Randy Garutti, Brian and Mark Canlis, and Nick Kokonas of Alinea/Next/The Aviary.

Aspen Food & Wine Classic
When: June 20 — June 22, 2014
Where: Aspen, CO
What: The annual Food & Wine Classic returns to Aspen this year with as star-studded a lineup as ever. Chefs Grant Achatz, Richard Blais, Alex Stupak, and Jonathan Waxman are teaming up for a dinner with a "Wonderland" theme, while Gail Simmons hosts a dessert party featuring a serious spread of sweets from well-known pastry chefs.

The RAMMY Awards Gala
When: June 22, 2014
Where: Washington, DC
What: Awards season continues in June with the annual RAMMY Awards Gala, a celebration of Washington, DC's dining scene. Chefs and restaurants from the region — only those that are members of the local restaurant association — will be honored for everything from best new restaurant to favorite gathering place of the year.

Something missing? Email it in and we'll add to the roster.

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