The World's Best Food Festivals
Whet Your Palate at These Notable Feasts
Attention Foodies! Are you looking for some new places to sample culinary delights? Then, you don’t want to miss out on tasting a few delicious dishes, learning some quick cooking tips from pros or rubbing elbows with celebrity chefs at the best food festivals. We selected the most exciting epicurean events from Canada to Cornwall that will allow you to eat your way around the world. We suggest breaking out those elastic waist pants for this amazing global food crawl.
Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
In March, this festival unveils a mouth-watering program of more than 250 events bringing food and wine to the streets of Melbourne over a two-week period. One of its most iconic events is the ‘world’s longest lunch,’ where a gathering of some 900 diners enjoy a three-course al fresco lunch seated at a snaking 1312-foot-long table, the location of which changes each year.
The Cuisine: Traditional Australian (think surf ‘n’ turf, not Vegemite). The festival has introduced a special focus on heritage and long-lost culinary skills such as preserving, pickling and smoking.
The Wow Factor: Michelin star and award-winning international chefs host the series of exclusive dining events.
Montreal Beer Festival, Canada
Tilt back a few at this hops and barley extravaganza in June. The Montreal Beer Festival is the largest of its kind in Canada, attracting over 80,000 thirsty revelers every year for five days of brewery tastings, beer and cheese workshops, flavor contests, food-beer paring seminars, musical entertainment and plenty more. Welcoming everyone from curious novices and self-confessed epicureans to the finest beer connoisseurs on the planet, the Mondial de la bière has long been championing the reinstatement of beer’s noble status.
The Cuisine: With over 500 international beers, expect a hugely diverse collection of tipples from domestic draughts to Indian pale ale. There’s also several food booths offering hearty fare such as boar, ostrich and smoked meats.
The Wow Factor: Don’t miss the sought after ‘Rendezvous’ event. Every evening after the festival closes, many of Montreal’s craft breweries hold an exclusive event to carry on the tasting and good times.
Taste of London, UK
The who’s who in the culinary world showcase their gastronomic skills in June at this annual festival. The Taste of London, a four-day celebration of food and drink, is held n Regents Park, where London’s top restaurants – such as Yauatcha, Theo Randall and The Modern Pantry – serve sample-sized dishes with award-winning chefs revealing their tricks of the trade. You can also take part in wine tutorials and cooking classes, and watch chefs wield their knives in the cookery theater.
The Cuisine: This is London, so expect an eclectic array of cuisines, which make this a diverse and multi-cultural event, representing foods from around the world.
The Wow Factor: The festival operates its own currency, Crowns, with which you can purchase food and drinks. A series of different tickets offer everything from entry only to Connoisseur packages that include Crowns, a gift bag and show guides.
Fete de la Crevette, Honfleur, France
Heading to Paris in September? Drive a few hours northwest of the City of Light to attend the largest seafood festival in France. The Fete de la Crevette is a two-day event with nautical-themed concerts and gatherings of historical old sea vessels near the mouth of the Seine. There’s even a shrimp-peeling competition for the nimble fingered.
The Cuisine: Shrimps, especially the little grey shrimp, or ‘petite grise’, a local specialty, plus a variety of seafood including all manner of unusual subterranean dwellers such as sea spiders (not for the faint-hearted).
The Wow Factor: Picturesque Honfleur is undoubtedly a jewel in the Norman coast with its medieval cobbled streets and one of the few remaining old-style harbors in Normandy.
Taste of Beverly Hills, Los Angeles
A relative newcomer to the festival scene, Taste of Beverly Hills is nonetheless an epicurean spectacular worth celebrating. Set on the famous Wilshire Boulevard behind the Beverly Hilton, the five-day event includes cooking demos with world-famous chefs and wine seminars with some of the best vintners in the state. Previous festivals have provided a showcase for celebrity chefs and restaurateurs including Wolfgang Puck, Curtis Stone, Top Chef winner, Michael Voltaggio; French chef Ludo Lefebvre; and Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of the trendy LA restaurant Animal.
The Cuisine: Modern Californian plus beer, wine and cocktails.
The Wow Factor: Spotting celebs in the crowd—hey, is that Pitbull over there chowing down on jalapeno poppers?