With the holidays now well in the past, the international food and drink events circuit is starting to heat up. February has a lot to offer, starting with a gathering of chefs in Spain (Madrid Fusión) and ending with a major festival celebrating fine dining Down Under (Melbourne Food & Wine Festival). If you're looking to escape the chilly winter weather, then consider visiting a warm locale: Head to Arizona Cocktail Week for a good drink, or to Miami's South Beach Wine & Food Festival for the chance to hang with celebrity chefs. And, if you can hold off until March, there are also opportunities to feast in South Carolina (Charleston Wine + Food) or catch panels and live music in Austin (SXSW).
Mark your calendars:
When: February 2 — February 4, 2015
Where: Madrid, Spain
What: The theme for this year's international gastronomic conference in Madrid, Spain is "traveling cuisines." Chefs like Joan Roca, David Muñoz, Tom Sellers, Elena Arzak, and Daniel Patterson will all be in attendance. Plus, expect two major talks: one with legendary chef Joël Robuchon and another by Mugaritz's Andoni Luis Aduriz, who will give a presentation on the "mechanisms of creativity."
Chefs' Week PDX
When: February 5 — February 8, 2015
Where: Portland, OR
What: Portland is welcoming big-name chefs from across the West Coast for its second-annual Chefs' Week PDX. Visiting chefs like Seattle's Brian McCracken will pair up with Portland locals like Joshua McFadden (Ava Gene's) and Gabi and Greg Denton (Ox) for collaborative dinners that center on themes like "Present Culture" or "West Coast Modern."
When: February 6, 2015
Where: New York City
What: Bitten's one-day New York City food conference promises to cover a wide range of topics, including current trends, culinary start-ups, technological innovations, and food as pop culture. Expect talks from the likes of food stylist Claudia Ficca, Exo Protein co-founder Gabi Lewis, Blue Marble Ice Cream co-founder Alexis Miesen, and Benzi Ronen, CEO of the tech-driven CSA startup Farmigo.
JBF's Celebrity Chef Tour
When: February 11, 2015
Where: Washington, DC
What: The James Beard Foundation's obviously named culinary tour will make a stop in Washington, DC this month, where renowned chefs will collaborate during a dinner at Del Campo. The lineup includes chefs like Jamie Bissonnette (NYC and Boston), Anthony Lamas (Louisville, Kentucky), Michael Schlow (Boston), Antonio Soriano (Buenos Aires, Argentina), and Jonah Kim (Arlington, Virginia).
Arizona Cocktail Week
When: February 14 — February 21, 2015
Where: Various locations throughout Arizona
What: The fourth-annual Arizona Cocktail Week will feature booze-heavy events across the state. Drinks can expect everything from a poolside "Cocktail Carnival" to a bartending competition appropriately called "Last Slinger Standing."
South Beach Wine & Food Festival
When: February 19 — February 22, 2015
Where: Miami, FL
What: The lineup for this year's South Beach Wine & Food Festival includes a slew of TV chefs: Giada De Laurentiis, Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay, Alex Guarnaschelli, Rachael Ray, Aarón Sánchez, and many more. Other well-known chefs like Dominique Ansel (Dominique Ansel Bakery, NYC), Juan Mari Arzak (Arzak, Spain), and Jose Garces (Volvér, Philadelphia) will also be in attendance. In addition to tastings, seminars, and dinners, the event will feature a José Andrés-hosted celebrity chef golf tournament, an entirely vegan dinner, and, of course, the famous Burger Bash.
Montréal En Lumière
When: February 19 — March 1, 2015
Where: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
What: This huge winter festival returns for its 16th year of celebrating arts, culture, and wintertime in Quebec. For the food-focused, Montréal En Lumière will offer a series of dinners — including many celebrating the food of Switzerland, this year's featured country — not to mention a showcase at Montreal's famed Jean-Talon Market and multiple tastings for wine lovers.
NYC Beer Week
When: February 20 — March 1, 2015
Where: New York City
What: The multi-day event returns under the direction of the New York City Brewers Guild. It kicks off with "Opening First Tap," which features 100 rare beers poured at 100 NYC beer destinations. Participating breweries include Brooklyn Brewery, Eataly Birreria, Rockaway Brewing Company, Sixpoint Brewery, and more.
When: February 22, 2015
Where: Boston, MA
What: Cochon 555, the traveling celebration of all things pork, is back again with its 2015 tour, which kicked off in New York City and is now heading to Boston. Chefs like Mary Dumont of Harvest will compete to see who will become this year's "Prince or Princess of Porc."
Melbourne Food & Wine Festival
When: February 27 — March 15, 2015
Where: Melbourne, Australia
What: This year, the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival offers nearly 300 events across 17 days. Events include the "World's Longest Lunch" — during which more than 1,500 people will sit down at a 530-meter-long table for a three-course meal — a host of classes and intimate dinners, and restaurant crawls across the city. Chefs in attendance will include Johnny Di Francesco (400 Gradi, Melbourne), Jamie Bissonnette (Toro, NYC), Ruth Rogers (River Café, London), and Eric Kayser (Maison Kayser, Paris).
Charleston Wine + Food
When: March 4 — March 8, 2015
Where: Charleston, SC
What: A huge lineup of chefs from around the country are headed to Charleston for its Wine and Food festival this year, including Andy Ricker, Jonathan Benno, Ashley Christensen, Kelly English, Gabrielle Hamilton, Hugh Acheson, Linton Hopkins, George Mendes, Vivian Howard, and more. In addition to the tastings, there will be a brand-new music stage, plus plenty of dinners, demonstrations, and parties.
All-Star Chef Classic
When: March 11 — March 14, 2015
Where: Los Angeles, CA
What: The All-Star Chef Classic returns to Los Angeles for its second year. Chefs like Daniel Patterson, Suzanne Goin, Jenn Louis, Brooks Headley, Wylie Dufresne, Dominique Crenn, and Jonathan Waxman will be cooking together at the festival, which also features a "Restaurant Stadium" where fans can see the action up close. This year will also features a series of "Masters Dinners" where renowned American, French, and English chefs will cook a dinner with their fellow countrymen.
When: March 13 — March 22, 2015
Where: Austin, TX
What: As per annual tradition, the city of Austin will soon be overrun by people who are into tech, film, and music during the SXSW festival. Food has become a major component of the festival over the years, as well. This year's panels include a talk with Eater's very own editor-in-chief Amanda Kludt on how food can change the world, a discussion on how to build a better breakfast with Andrew Zimmern, and a look at the future of coffee. Plus, there will be a chance to eat barbecue with some of Texas's best pit masters and indulge in some solid taco lunches. Expect restaurants and bars across town to be slammed.
When: March 27 — 30, 2015
Where: Washington, DC
What: The International Association of Culinary Professionals hosts its 37th-annual conference in Washington, DC this year. There, IACP will announce the winners of its cookbook and journalism awards while also hosting a culinary expo, book fair, and talks. This year, the conference will celebrate esteemed chef Jacques Pepin's 80th birthday (by serving 80 birthday cakes), and chef José Andrés will deliver the keynote speech. Other speakers include blogger Deb Perelman, editor Francis Lam, and The Chew's Carla Hall.
Pebble Beach Food & Wine
When: April 9 — April 12, 2015
Where: Pebble Beach, CA
What: This West Coast event returns for its eighth year, once again bringing together hundreds of wineries and a slew of big-name chefs for four days of drinking and eating. The all-star chef lineup includes the likes of Dominique Crenn, Neal Fraser, Nick Elmi, Hugh Acheson, Anita Lo, Floyd Cardoz, Stephanie Izard, Matthew Accarrino, Seamus Mullen, Kevin Nashan, John Tesar, and more.