Food Festivals Around The World for 2016

Posted on January 25, 2016

Here’s a mix of food festivals large and small, traditional and avant-garde, to delight and inspire you in 2016!

February - Seattle Wine & Food Experience, Seattle, USA

This small but eclectic weekend festival celebrates the city’s chic Pacific Northwest cuisine style.  The vibe, where the wine flows freely and you’re never more than a few steps away from another delicious mouthful, is a genteel party of like-minded foodies. 

The main event held in the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall features the area’s finest eateries offering bites of their latest creations.  Wineries from Washington, Oregon, California and Idaho offer regular tastings, plus there are craft beers, cider and liquors. Enjoy cooking classes, a distillery row, and demos from artisan food producers, winemakers and chefs. 

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Kick off with the Annual Pop! Bubbles & Seafood event held at the elegant McCaw Hall, where succulent seafood is perfectly matched with fine wines.

Some of last year’s most memorable food offerings featured caramelised pork belly with beer-braised red cabbage, clay pot chicken with pickled jicama and carrots over a shrimp chip, potato gnocchi with creamy mushrooms, lobster salad, nutella brownies, truffle macaroons and more.

March 2016 - IMG’s Taste of Hong Kong 2016, Hong Kong

This famous international moveable feast will be held in Hong Kong for the first time in 2016. Participating restaurants present bite-sized offerings of four of their favourite creations, in an alfresco setting at Central Harbourfront.  Add cooking masterclasses, wine talks, artisan producer stalls, sake tastings and live music for fresh Asian food heaven.

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in Hong Kong for the first time in 2016. Participating restaurants present bite-sized offerings of four of their favourite creations, in an alfresco setting at Central Harbourfront.  Add cooking masterclasses, wine talks, artisan producer stalls, sake tastings and live music for fresh Asian food heaven.

Attending chefs this year so far include Siu Hin Chi of the two Michelin starred Duddell’s, Chris Whitmore from Aberdeen Street Social, ex Pied à Terre‘s award-winning Shane Osborn, now at Arcane Hong Kong, and many more.

April 2016 - 16th Asparagus Festival, Lovran, Croatia

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This charming local festival announces the beginning of spring with the first wild asparagus shoots served in a variety of ways in the village’s restaurants and taverns.

The picturesque coastal town celebrates with music, brass bands, lively dancing and feasting on the fresh young shoots.

The festival kicks off with its annual giant frittata bake;

30kg of wild asparagus and 1,000 eggs cooked in a 2 metre wide pan specially made for the event, fired in the town square to the cheers of hungry locals.

June 2016 - Haro Wine Festival, Haro, Spain

A word to the wise - don’t wear white.

Haro is a delightful town in Spain's La Rioja region, most famous for its full-flavored vino tinto.

Every year on the 29th June thousands of revellers clamber to the top of a nearby mountain and douse each other afterwards with the local rioja from water pistols, sprayers, camelbaks and even buckets.

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Known as the Wine Fight, this annual grape ‘bash and splash’ celebrates the region’s numerous wineries and is attended by partying tourists and wine-drenched locals alike.

Originally a festival to celebrate the local patron San Pedro, locals would celebrate at mass and gather for a feast afterwards, which usually got a little rowdy.

While mass still begins the day and feasting takes place afterward, the main attraction is now pouring wine all over each other.

It’s probably best to just go with the flow. 

July 2016 - Stragusto, Sicily, Italy

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This annual festival is a unique celebration of Mediterranean street food, where the best street chefs from different parts of Italy and the world demonstrate their culinary traditions passed down through the generations.

Over 4 days you can enjoy the flavours of traditional street food from Sicily and beyond including other regions of Italy, Greece, Serbia, Senegal and Morocco. 

Experience the colour and life of this festival of flavours, prepared and served in the market square of the old Sicilian town of Trapani.

Forget risottos, pastas or pizzas; try fried seafood, fritters, beans, delicious breads, salads, arancini, sfincioni and more.

As well as food, wine and laughter, there will be workshops and demonstrations of multi-cuisine recipes from all over the Mediterranean.

October 2016 - Food on the Edge Symposium, Galway, Ireland

Food on the Edge (#FOTE2016) is an industry symposium open to the public, for chefs and food enthusiasts worldwide who want to share their ideas for a better way to produce, create and consume food. 

Guest speakers are drawn from the world’s most innovative and awarded food industry leaders, who share their thoughts on an aspect of the cultural, social, environmental and educational aspects of food.

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Last years speakers included:

  • Albert Adrià, talking on his creative connection with one of his biggest food sources, the sea in Cala Montjoi and in Barcelona 
  • Davide Scabin, who explained how he uses the classic Golden Ratio in his production of new dishes and creations 
  • Gunnar Gislason, whose topic was Icelandic food, preservations and tradition 
  • Elena Arzak on Re-thinking cooking 
  • Tim Raue on Flavour.

Some highlights from this year’s starry lineup so far include:

  • Amanda Cohen of New York’s Michelin starred vegetable restaurant, Dirt Candy, discussing Vegetables are stupid
  • Clare Smyth, Chef Patron at the 3 Michelin starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, on Fair trade in the food trade
  • Mikael Jonsson of the one-star Hedone in Chiswick on Specialisation – the future of fine dining.

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