The weather is warming up, so it's the perfect time to get outside and attend a major food festival. Here are the top three to check out right now:
Bottega Gran Fondo, Napa Valley, CA
You don't have to be a cyclist to enjoy the fun at Bottega Gran Fondo, April 25-26 in Yountville, CA, in the heart of northern California wine country. Hosted by Chef Michael Chiarello of the legendary restaurant Bottega, it pairs amazing food and wine with cycling talent riding through the Napa Valley. (Six each of celebrity chefs, celebrity sommeliers, pro cyclists and special guests, to be exact.) On hand for the two-day bonanza are cooking demos, a four-course VIP dinner, wine tastings, a silent auction and chef-sponsored rest stops packed with tasty dishes to keep riders going. The entire event helps support a few of Napa Valley's major initiatives, so you don't even have to feel guilty about going back for seconds.
Vegas Uncork'd by Bon Appetit, Las Vegas
Talk about top chefs! The creme de la creme of celebrity chef, wine and foodie talent convene for three days of gluttony at Vegas Uncork'd by Bon Appetit, April 23-26. Expect three days of multi-course dinners, demonstrations and ticketed events that lead up to the Grand Tasting finale. A-list celebrity chefs participating include Gordon Ramsay, Guy Savoy, Hubert Keller, Brian Malarkey and Emeril Lagasse. Plenty of master sommeliers and top-notch mixologists will be on hand at this over-the-top Las Vegas extravaganza, showing off their talents and libation creations. Events will take place at a variety of Strip dining hot spots at MGM Grand, Bellagio, Caesars Palace and Aria. Our picks? The Master Series: Premiere Pairings With Krug Champagne And Guy Savoy, and Decadent Delights: Wine and Chocolate Pairing With Master Chocolatier Francois Payard.
Austin Food and Wine Festival, Austin, TX
If it's set in Austin, you automatically know it's cool -- and that there will be plenty of mouth-watering meats on the BBQ. Austin Food and Wine Festival combines numerous artisanal food stations, beer, wine, live music, and edgy food celeb guests for one sought-after ticket. Held April 24-26 at Austin's Auditorium Shores and Republic Square Park, plan for three days of cocktail tasting sessions, demos, special events and delicious samplings from more than 40 purveyors. Sip and savor from various spirits exhibitors, nosh your way through the H-E-B Grand Tasting Pavillion, or saddle up to the Fire Pit for grilling tips from the pros. There will even be a chance to mingle with Chef Tim Love and try your hand at cooking with his help. Gail Simmons, Andrew Zimmerman and Graham Elliott are just a few foodie personalities making appearances.
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