Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

January 2015 Food & Wine Events Calendar

It's not a food fest in the Caribbean without a beach barbecue

Seasonal Tip:
It's OYSTER harvesting time.
This is also the season for wild mushrooms, tangerines and oranges, as well as Camembert and blue cheeses. Look for these ingredients in markets and on restaurant menus.


January 1-February 6
Yosemite National Park, CA

2015 Chefs' Holidays

Learn cooking techniques from culinary masters at the annual event Chefs' Holidays at Yosemite National Park

If you do not already have a reason to visit The Ahwahnee, then the hotel’s annual event Chefs’ Holidays is a great one! This occasion offers an amazing culinary experience that spans across eight sessions in which participants have the opportunity to meet renowned chefs, attend cooking demonstrations and tastings, enjoy a sumptuous dinner prepared by the day’s featured chefs,and participate in a tour of the kitchen. This year’s noted chefs include Kent Rathbun of Abacus and Donald Link. Chef Suzanne Goin, who has prepared meals for President Obama and Michelle, will also be present, as well as Ron Siegel, the first American chef to win the Japanese “The Iron Chef.” For more information, visit www.yosemitepark.com


January 15-18
Cayman Islands

Cayman Cookout 2015

Get away for a weekend in the tropics for food, wine and fun at the Cayman Cookout

Escape for the weekend to the tropical paradise of the Cayman Islands and take part in the culinary adventures of this year’s Cayman Cookout. Acclaimed chef Eric Ripert will spearhead the event, and will be accompanied by Anthony Bourdain, Daniel Boulud, Marcus Samuelsson, Lynn Crawford and many other notables. There is a multitude of events to partake in, such as cooking demonstrations, wine and Champagne tastings, the barefoot barbeque and a wine fair and auction. If you have a difficult time deciding, there are special packages that include specific activities, such as the Sous Chef package, Executive Chef package,and Master Chef package. It is the perfect chance to soak in the sun, savor delicious food and drink and mingle with fellow epicureans and oenophiles. To purchase tickets to the event, go to www.caymanislands.ky


January 15-18 & January 23-25
Portland & Yamhill; Eugene, OR

Oregon Truffle Festival

Enjoy the culinary delicacies of truffles in Oregon

The truffle industry in Oregon has remained mostly under the radar for quite some time, but the annual Oregon Truffle Festival seeks to commemorate the state’s promising production of these delicacies. The event takes place in different locales, Portland & Yamhill for the first half, and Eugene for the second. Each offers an abundance of activities to partake in, such as truffle and wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, foraging for truffles, and the Better Together: Black & White Dinner Series prepared by Portland’s elite chefs. As part of the festival’s effort to educate attendees about Oregon’s truffle industry, there is also a Truffle Growers’ Forum taking place at the Eugene location where there will be truffle experts discussing topics such as truffle agriculture and marketing truffles. You can also enjoy a hands-on truffle cooking class to tap into your culinary skills, and participate in The Joriad North American Truffle Dog Championship, where you can witness harvesters and their dogs hunt for truffles. To partake in this event, visit www.oregontrufflefestival.com


January 16-19
Napan Valley, CA

Napa Truffle Festival

Join chef Ken Frank, Riccardo Agostini and Tony Esnault for an enriching experience at the Napa Truffle Festival

The Napa Truffle Festival is entering its fifth year and the activities on the agenda are sure to please. Host chef Ken Frank will be joined by Riccardo Agostini and Tony Esnault. While the festival definitely features delectable cuisines, it also proves to be quite educational. Guests have a unique opportunity to attend seminars about truffles and truffle cultivation, to forage for mushrooms and tour a truffle orchard. The lunch and wine pairing at the Peju Province Winery and St. Supery Estate Vineyards & Winery offer palatable fare, fine wines and beautiful scenery. On the final day of the event, the Napa Truffle Festival Marketplace takes place where guests can enjoy cooking demos, buy specialty goods, and see what participating merchants have to offer. For those desiring to experience everything the festival has to offer, there are two special packages available: the Epicurean and the Grand Truffle Weekend packages. For additional details, visit http://napatrufflefestival.com/


January 22-25
Beaver Creek, CO

Beaver Creek Food & Wine Weekend

Beaver Creek in Colorado hosts an annual event filled with food, spirits and skiing galore

Food & Wine magazine hosts its fourth annual event at Beaver Creek in Colorado, and it promises to be a weekend filled with delectable food, good wine, great company and plenty of skiing! Each day of the event is a perfect balance of outdoor and indoor activities, such as the guided snowshoe tour followed by a gourmet lunch & wine pairing on day two. There is also ample skiing time during Ski. Eat. Ski, a five-hour block where ski instructors help you explore the mountainous terrain of Beaver Creek. Throughout the four-day weekend, enjoy culinary and spirit tastings, meet-and-greets with celebrity chefs and a benefit brunch that has chefs competing in a ski race to raise money for their charity of choice. To get more info, go to www.beavercreek.com


January 23-25
Naples, FL

Naples Winter Wine Festival

Raise money for various children's charities while sipping wine at Naples Wine Festival

What can be better than enjoying sumptuous wine and tasty fare, while raising money for a noble cause? Since 2001, the NCEF (Naples Children & Education Foundation) has held the Naples Winter Wine Festival annually to benefit charities that provide aid to the under-privileged children of Collier County, Florida. The fundraiser gives participants the opportunity to meet with various children’s charities and the children that these organizations benefit. This year’s event, “Imagine the Possibilities” is sure to be a success, as there will be more than 60 auction lots to bid on and a raffle for a three-year pre-paid lease on a 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe! If that hasn’t whet your appetite, the festival will also feature a wine tasting and luncheon with Olivier Krug of the Krug House of Champagne, dishes prepared by renowned chefs such as Tom Colicchio, and meetings with internationally recognized sommeliers, such as Larry Stone. To be a part of this wonderful event, go to www.napleswinefestival.com


January 23-25
Uncasville, CT

The Sun Wine Fest

Sample more than 1,000 wines and beers at Sun Wine Fest in Conneticut

Join the 12th annual Sun Wine Fest at the Mohegan Sun for three days filled with exciting events, which include a Bourbon tasting presented by Jim Beam and the Elite Cru Tasting, where you can sample the best vintages available internationally and get up-close and personal with the winemakers. One of the major highlights is the Grand Tasting on Saturday and Sunday where you can sample more than 1,000 wines and beers! Also not to be overlooked is the Celebrity Chef Dine Around where you can watch renowned chefs create amazing dishes paired with a wine or beer that best complements the victuals. For more information, visit mohegansun.com


January 27-29
Sacremento, CA

Unified Wine and Grape Symposium

The Unified Wine and Grape Symposium exposes attendees to over 600 wine exhibitors and over 80 speakers

The countdown is underway for the 2015 Unified Wine and Grape Symposium at the Sacramento Convention Center, and there will be a menagerie of educational exhibits and presentations for winemakers, grape growers and other attendees involved in the wine and grape industry. The three-day conference provides current news and in-depth information for those in the wine and grape production business, with experts in the field of viticulture giving lectures and presenting new research. The symposium is a great opportunity for professionals to network and to stay aware of changes occurring in the wine and grape industry. For more information, check out www.unifiedsymposium.org


January 29-31
San Francisco, CA

Zinfandel Experience

The Zinfadel Experience is an event filled with all you need to know about Zinfandel wines

2015 ushers in the 24th annual Zinfandel Experience, which will run for three days at Presidio of San Francisco and Four Season Hotel San Francisco. The event is organized by ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates and Producers), whose primary initiative is to broaden the public’s knowledge of American Zinfandel and its place in American history and culture. There are four main events, the first being the Epicuria Food & Zin Pairing. The Epicuria is a perfect opportunity to mix and mingle with winemakers, fellow oenophiles and connoisseurs of the culinary world. Wineries are paired with particular restaurants, and include Andis Wines with Stanley’s Steakhouse, Brazin Cellars with Sauce, and Dry Creek Vineyard with Bistro Boudin, to name a few. On the second day, Flights! Forums of Flavor offers a professional tasting of superlative Zinfandel wines. There is also a winemakers benefit dinner later that evening and this year’s theme is Go Glamorous!, as inspired by the show Mad Men. The final event of the Zinfandel Experience is sure to sustain the momentum with The Tasting. During this six-hour affair, over 100 wineries will be pouring samples of their premium Zinfandels. For more information, visit www.zinfandelexperience.com


January 29-February 2
Santa Fe, NM

Taos Winter Wine Festival

Enjoy a Champagne brunch on Super Bowl Sunday at the Taos Winter Wine Festival this year

The 29th Taos Winter Wine Festival is a wonderful weekend get-away for those that appreciate good wine and food. Enjoy tastings where you can sample wines from more than 36 wineries and cuisine from acclaimed Taos restaurants. There are also seminars that take the wine tasting experience to new levels, and a Sunday brunch that has plenty of sparkling wines to choose from. When you are not reveling in the flavors of exquisite wine and food, explore the slopes of Tao and squeeze some skiing into your schedule. Visit www.taoswinterwinefest.com for more information.


Annual Calendar

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There's always more to learn about wine. Take part in a class, a wine and cheese pairing or a fancy prix-fixe meal at these events across the country.

Eat, drink and celebrate at these festivals, special dinners, happy hours, cooking classes and more from Los Angeles to New York to London.