What’s that decadent whiff drifting in over the horizon? It must be a food festival… We really like festivals and we really like food… It’s a match blended in the kitchen of heaven!
When we’re not at home cooking and throwing dinner parties, we’re scouring the world in search of the coolest places to eat and party. And of course we wouldn’t be the lovely wonderful people we are if we didn’t share our knowledge with you guys so… here you are… Our specials board of culinary carnivals when you happen to be in that part of the world! Enjoy your meal!
Hokitika Wildfood Festival- New Zealand
The Wildfood Festival takes place in Hokitika (west coast, bordering the Tasman Sea) every March. The title of the festival says it all. Extreme delights are added to every festival and in the past years have involved wasp larvae ice cream and cucumber fish. The excitement is in celebrating natural food and drink sources from the South Island.
The festival has over 80 stalls where all your wildest fantasies are spread before you – from the common; sausages and whitebait, to the unique; bugs and even snails!
If the food does not sell this festival to you, then go along for the entertainment! Music, dance, fancy dress and comedy can keep you happy and your husband away from a second helping of that strange smelling burger. It is a few days of fun and amusement for all the family.
Date: 9th March 2013
The Curry Festival is a particularly special event this year as it has been presented with the title of the official ‘Olympic Curry Village’ in time for the 2012 Olympics. This is a huge award as it shows awareness of the curry culture inherent in this area of London. It is obviously a well-loved and popular festival and has gained this title for the right reasons!
The week long curry festival provides culinary delights from areas such as Bangladesh and India and is a perfect place for curry lovers to find their favourite dishes, which have, you don’t need to be told, been cooked to absolute perfection. Up to 40 restaurants participate and all have stall set up outside their restaurants for pit-stop Korma’s.
This event is not only loved by the locals, but internationally. The atmosphere is bubbly, and relaxed which makes the whole experience thoroughly enjoyable. Not only will you enjoy a lovely curry, but a colourful procession of Bhangra musicians and dancers will entertain your bloated stomachs.
This show travels to 3 different areas including Cape town (May), Durban (August) and finishes off in Gauteng (September). It has been running for 10 years and allows the locals and worldwide visitors to see master classes and demonstrations provided by chefs from all over the world.
The good food and wine show holds many seminars on healthy eating for adults as well as children, and food tasting, it chooses to fully emphasis the tastes and textures of chocolate and wine.
This festival allows its visitors to learn about and taste food from all over the world, healthy and unhealthy, but provides a wide range of information that is sure to be very interesting. For foreign visitors, it is more than exciting to taste food made by South African chefs, something you may not have the chance to do very often!
Date: May, August, September
There are over 500 varieties of the Indian national fruit – the mango. So what better way to recognise this juuicy fact than to hold a 2 day festival in honour of the symbol of joy and spiritual attainment? The festival has been running since 1987 and yet, whilst India is the largest producer of mangoes, they choose to eat most of their own produce instead of trading so the rest of the world doesn’t get much chance to taste the delicacy.This festival then offers visitors a chance to sample the worlds largest collection of mango species.
I bet you cannot believe this intense variety of mangos. A mango is a mango right? Definitely not. The festival allows visitors to compare and understand with stalls detailing the differences in each. Even rare species of the fruit can be tasted.
Held in Delhi, the International Mango Festival provides visitors with a lot of fun whilst still learning about the fruit. You can take part in mango eating competitions, and watch demonstrations on how to carve a mango correctly and make mango jam. So there is something to do for all mango loving families and a lot to learn about their national fruit, and what better way to do this then at a festival!
Date: 7th – 8th July, 2012
Hatch Valley is well known for its hot chillies and has been running the festival since 1912. Head down to Hatch Chile festival on Labor day each year, where there is plenty to try and learn about. Remember to bring some resreshing cold drinks!
The festival has chilli eating competitions and cook offs for the more daring, but for the less courageous music, dancing and amusement park rides can provide the entertainment.
There is food to try involving, of course, chillies; of all heats and various colours, so come down to Hatch Valley if you want to enjoy the thrill of the chilli and feel the heat!
Date: September 2st and 2nd 2012
Heston is an English chef well known gastronomic experimentation, mixing cooking and science to form amazing outrgeous dishes. His television programs allowed the world to see his style of cooking and sparked a high interest in his different methods.
He blends multi sensory textures in his creative food which allows the diner to enjoy it in more senses than just taste. He puts a lot of emphasis on the look of the food, and how the diner feels before tasting it.
His most popular dishes include bacon and egg ice cream, snail porridge, mock turtle soup and meat fruit. Sounds weird, but words cannot describe the taste and textures of the food that he produces. The differences between this and normal food are overwhelming, and just trying to think about how he produces and comes up with these insane ideas is impossible.
He currently owns 4 restaurants with his most well known being The Fat Duck (a three Michelin star restaurant) in Bray and Dinner (his only restaurant outside of Bray, in London). For something different and exciting this is definitely worth a try.
El Bulli is a Spanish three star Michelin restaurant which experiments with the senses. Similarly to Heston, they provide food which defies what is normal and uses scientific ways to do this.
The restaurant can only serve 8000 visitors per season, less than 1% of the million people that tried to reserve tables.
Although it was amazingly popular and extraordinarily cheap for the amount of dishes and ingredients that were used (the restaurant only just made a profit), it is now unfortunately shut down as a world famous restaurant, soon to be made into a creativity centre in 2014.
If you still want to have a taste of the El Bulli food there is a restaurant in the El Bulli hotel, Benazuza (near Seville) called La Alqueria, a 2 Michelin star establishment. They provide the past foods from El Bulli but in a 12 dish tasting menu instead of the regular 30 dish one.