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May 21, 2014

’Tis the Season: Three Summer Food Festivals

By Sasha Levine | Food

Summer Food Festivals
Courtesy of BottleRock Napa Valley

There is no shortage of excuses to indulge in excellent food these days, whether it’s a fleeting pop-up dinner by a hot chef or a five-day island event. Summer brings food festivals, and we singled out three to try this year.

  • It’s difficult to distinguish which is the bigger draw at BottleRock: the food and drink or the music. Held on 26 acres in Napa Valley, the three-day fest features numerous restaurants (La Toque, Angèle, The Thomas), a craft-brew beer garden, a food-truck alley and wine cabanas and bars, as well as music by the likes of Outkast, the Cure and TV on the Radio. May 30 to June 1; bottlerocknapavalley.com.
  • Nothing signals summer like barbecue, and the Windy City Smokeout brings some of the country’s best pit masters to downtown Chicago. For three days, talent from Texas (The Salt Lick), New York (Dinosaur Bar-B-Que) and St. Louis (Pappy’s Smokehouse) joins chefs from local joints Bub City, Smoque and Lillie’s Q for a finger-licking good time. Three-time barbecue world champion Myron Mixon will even serve up a whole hog. Plenty of beer and country music are also on offer. July 11–13; windycitysmokeout.com.
  • The Hawai’i Food & Wine Festival invites chefs from around the world to whip up regional cuisine during the weeklong event held on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island. Guests can experience delicious locally-inspired dishes by chefs like Masaharu Morimoto, Stephen Durfee and Jenn Louis, but—for the first time—they are encouraged to do more with the pros, including working with them to restore an 800-year-old fishpond and cultivating taro, a local root vegetable. August 29 to September 7; 808-738-6245; hawaiifoodandwinefestival.com.

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