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CELEBRATING ALL that is good about local food and drink, food festivals offer an enticing combination of fabulous holiday locations and scrumptious local products – the perfect combination for foodies.
These events are designed to appeal to all ages and tastes, including plenty of activities for families and children. Use food festivals as an opportunity to introduce your children to food producers, find out how food is grown and made and explore fantastic countryside.
A trip to a food festival could mean an encounter with celebrity food writers, cookery demonstrations, workshops, farm walks, talks and special open days to picnics, barbecues, special menus at pubs and restaurants, tastings and markets. So if you love food, check out this guide to some of the world’s top food events.
The watercress capital of the world is laying on a grand celebration of the UK’s most historic salad leaf. With cookery demonstrations from celebrity chefs, children’s cookery workshops, street theatre, live jazz music and loads more, there is something to interest the whole family.
Lille’s Festival of Flavours is the perfect place to wander around stalls and meet with local farmers. You’ll also be able to taste unique local specialities such as tarte au sucre and crème brûlée á la chicorée.
Cape Town, South frica
South Africa’s premier food, wine, lifestyle and gourmet travel event, the Cape Gourmet Festival: Good Food & Wine Show, features a host of celebrity chefs. From gourmet greats to culinary cuisine, organic produce to specialty seafood, you won’t want to miss the edible antics of international and South African culinary masters.
Now in its third year, the Porto Gastronomy Fair is held in the Alfândega Congress Centre, on the banks of River Douro and celebrates all that is good about Porto’s famous food and wine – including, of course, a special tribute to Port.
Knysna, South Africa
The Pick ‘n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival is essentially a celebration of sport and the good life and has established itself as one of the most popular annual events in the Western Cape of Africa. Highlights include the Oyster Cooking Competition and the Oyster Eating Competition. This year an attempt will be made to break the Guinness record set last year of 24 oysters eaten in one minute and eight seconds!
Join those crazy Swedes as they don decorated bibs, with matching hats and napkins, for a frenzy of crayfish feasting. The seafood party really kicks off at the opening ceremony of Malmö Festival in Skåne.
Ludlow has more Michelin-starred restaurants than any town in the UK, apart from the capital. It also does a fine line in pork pies, cider, pickles, preserves and cake, all of which will be on offer at the Ludlow Marches Food Festival.
O Grove, Spain
Crustascain lovers flock to the Galician resort of O Grove as locals celebrate the Fiesta de Exaltacion del Marisco, a showcase for the best seafood in Europe.
If you prefer to sample excellent food within the environs of a restaurant, a new survey has revealed that seven of the world’s top 50 restaurants are in the UK. Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck held on to second in the survey of 651 judges from around the globe adjudicating for S Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards 2007. The Berkshire-based establishment was kept off the number one spot by Spain’s El Bulli for the second year running. However, Gordon Ramsay’s eponymous restaurant in Chelsea fell 10 places from last year to come in at number 24. London’s Nobu and Hakkasan came in at numbers 17 and 19. Le Gavroche at 28 and St John at 34 are also based in the capital. London’s The River Café entered the top 50 at 44 to boost the UK’s total by one restaurant compared with last year.
The top ten eating establishments in the world are as follows:
1. El Bulli, Spain – World’s Best Restaurant & Best in Europe
2. The Fat Duck, UK – Chefs Choice
3. Pierre Gagnaire, France
4. The French Laundry, USA – Best in the Americas
5. Tetsuya’s, Australia – Best in Australasia
6. Bras, France
7. Mugaritz, Spain
8. Le Louis XV, Monaco
9. Per Se, USA
10. Arzak, Spain
If this guide to the world’s best gastronomic highlights has whetted your appetite to travel why not call PDM for some great deals on foodie destinations.