Food Events This Week: The French Take NYC, Oakland Eats Real & More

There's nothing wrong with late-night pizza delivery followed by lazy Sunday morning pancakes, but then again, nothing cures a weekend food-rut like taking a trip to Chicago to dine black-tie style on the roof of Bruce Wayne's apartment from The Dark Knight. This week offers a lineup of food events that make a day in the life of your local superhero seem dull. After all, Spiderman never did get to sample confections from iconic culinary epochs at a time-traveling dinner. And Wolverine only wishes he could jam out to the Zac Brown Band while eating oyster PoBoy sliders in Nashville.

Oakland Eat Real Festival

Oakland, CA

Sept. 27-28

This festival is claiming to "put the food back in fast." Focused on local purveyors and ingredients but steeped in the delicious tradition of Bay Area street food (think variations on tacos, falafel and curry), the Eat Real Festival will host over 50 vendors and feature a market where you can shop for artisan homemade foodstuffs. After grabbing some grub, quench your thirst at the Beer Shed, Wine Barn, Jam Bar (where you can order cocktails and spirits) or two Bev Shacks offering non-alcoholic agua frescas and natural sodas. All the food and drink will likely have you feeling inspired to try your hand at making the stuff yourself. Visit Craft Marketplace for a variety of hands-on demos. DIY Foods will offer workshop in making sauerkraut, bitters, jam and cheese. Sweet Maria's Coffee will school attendees in the art of coffee-roasting.

Le Grand Fooding Time Mach'Inn 2013

New York, NY

Sept. 27-29

This weekend, attendees of Le Grand Fooding's Time Mach'Inn dinner will taste their way through the decades with a three-part menu centered around three eras culinary history (for more, check out our full preview). The dinner will begin with an appetizer from Peter Gordon representing the fusion cuisine era of 1991-1999. Spoiler alert: it involves coconut, goat cheese and a smoked salmon dumpling. Next, guests will experience the Bistronomy years of 1998-2007 with a veal breast from Chef Yves Camdeborde, and finally Chefs Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli, steeped in presnt-day farm-to-table sensibilities, will present a simple dessert of tomatoes and honey.

Southern Ground Music & Food Festival

Nashville, TN

Sept. 27-29

Just because the summer is behind us doesn't mean there aren't still opportunities to go all out on a weekend-long music fest studded with culinary gems. Nashville's Southern Ground Music & Food Festival will feature a line-up of country and indie-folk artists including Zac Brown Band, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Head and The Heart, Dawes and a special sit-in performance by Jason Mraz. Once the music has revved up your appetite, attend a celebrity chef cooking demo and sampling — you can choose between Stephanie Izard's Sloppy Goat Sandwiches and Giuseppe Tentori's Oyster PoBoy Sliders with Kimchi and Peanuts. More food events include a craft beer pairing class from Sommelier Gary Valentine and a lesson at Chef Shon Foster's "S'more School" in which he'll throw a dark-chocolate salt-cured bacony twist on the old classic.

Taste of France

New York, NY

Sept. 28-29

This weekend, there's a slice of France hidden in the Big Apple's Bryant Park. Organized by the New York French Community, the Taste of France festival seeks to explore the diversity of French lifestyle, technology, beauty, culture and cuisine. Sample wines and charcuterie at a Provençal-style marketplace, sit in on a cooking demo from one of the 30 featured French master chefs, and at Saturday's Le Grand Wine Tasting Event, join 10 of New York's best sommeliers in a virtual tour of the country, region by region, by way of tasting over 100 different wines and champagnes. Ticket proceeds from Le Grand Wine Tasting will benefit Action Against Hunger and Wheeling Forward.

Imbibe and Inspire

Chicago, IL

Sept. 29

This day-long conference held on the rooftop of Chicago's Hotel 71 (AKA Bruce Wayne's apartment in The Dark Knight) will bring together chefs, spirit-makers, restaurateurs, and farmers to discuss and lecture on the roots of America's food culture. The speakers (whose identities are being released slowly to build suspense) won't just talk the talk — they'll host a dinner whose ticket proceeds will go directly to Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign. The event's host, website Imbibe and Inspire, highlights leaders, entrepreneurs, and luminaries in the culinary field by featuring video interviews in which they share their own personal stories and influences. Check it out here.

New Amsterdam Market Cheese Market

New York, NY

Sept. 29

Manhattan's once-a-month New Amsterdam Market will kick off this Sunday an all-star lineup of 30 Northeast cheese makers, mongers and purveyors such as Campbell, Edgwick Farm, and Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company. If your appetite is still strong after all the cheese-tasting, visit the other 50+ stands featuring the best bites from local purveyors. Plunge a spoon into a cup of Sohha Savory Yogurt, get your caffeine fix from Pushcart Coffe, or relive the shell-cracking days of summer with a lobster roll from Luke's Lobster.


North: Nordic Food Festival

New York, NY

Oct. 2-7

This weeklong event, hosted by Honest Cooking Magazine, will bring the pioneers of Nordic cooking together to offer master classes in Scandinavian cuisine. Over the course of the 30-40 minute sessions, the chefs will share their backgrounds, influences and cooking styles, and give guests an inside look at how to cure gravlax or prepare classic Swedish meatballs. Friday October 4 and Saturday October 5 will culminate in dinner featuring tasting menus by Finnish star chef Sasu Laukkonen from Helskini's Chef & Sommelier and New York's Carl Kristian Frederiksen of Aamanns Copenhagen. You can expect to experience all the inventiveness and flavor-whimsy that only Nordic cuisine can deliver: e.g. dill cheese with elderberry and rye puffs, liqourice with cherry and lavender.

Identita New York

New York, NY

Oct. 4-6

Mario Batali's Manhattan-based Italian Food Empire, Eataly, and international chef forum Identita Golose, will partner to host a culinary weekend featuring all-star American and Italian chefs. Representing the American luminaries of Italian cuisine: Daniel Boulud, Jeremy Bearman, Matthew Lightner, Sara Jenkins, and Batali himself. And from across the pond: Italians Davide Scabine, Carlo Cracco, Moreno Cedroni and Massimo Bottura of this year's third best restaurant Osteria Francescana. After an afternoon of seminars and cooking demos, Friday and Saturday will culminate in a six-course dinner under the stars at Eataly's Birreria.

Street Eats

San Francisco, CA

Oct. 5

Online hub for cultural connection, OneVietnam, will host their biennial charity gala, and it sounds delicious: a night of street food from 15 of the Bay Area's best star chefs. The event offers guests much more than an on-the-run roadside taco. The evening's highlights include a semi-formal, walk-around gourmet tasting event; 15 street food tasting stations; bars featuring cocktails by Erik Adkins of Hard Water, beers by Stella Artois, and a wine menu curated by Chaylee Priete of The Slanted Door; an auction with proceeds benefitting OneVietnam, and an Instagram booth. Because these are some sights and tastes you're going to want to remember.

70x7 The Meal

Philadelphia, PA

Oct. 5-6

Part educational initiative, part performance art, this event will seat 900 individuals around a communal table in Philadelphia's historic Independence Mall Park. The table itself is an aesthetic spectacle, studded with enameled plates and specialty-printed table runner from Paris-based artists Lucy and Jorge Orta, and the performative art will transpire through spontaneous conversation—conversation surrounding the meaningfulness of a heirloom produce-focused meal and the notion of community. And the meal is certainly something worth talking about. Celebrity Chef Marc Vetri will serve a menu of fennel and parmesan gratin, squash caponata, baugna cauda, and haricots vert with purple potatoes. All heirloom ingredients will be provided by three local Pennsylvania farms.