U.S. Food Events This Week: Harbor Harvests, Cocoa Chowder, Women In Wine

This week, the Big Apple is flaunting its culinary chops with the star-chef-studded NYC Wine and Food Festival, and Grub Street's Food Festival on Hester Street (where everyone's favorite cronut-baker is debuting a new dessert). But the rest of the nation isn't taking a backseat. Chicago is hosting a food-centric film fest, and over on the West Coast, California celebrates winemakers, beers and bites with... a life-sized Jenga set! Maine fêtes the local harvest with a lobster-cooking competition within view of a killer coastline. Get out of the house and into the food stall–spangled streets, because it's bound to be a delicious week.

New York City Wine & Food Festival

New York, NY

Through Oct. 20

The 6th annual NYCWFF celebrates the culinary culture of the city while making strides to end world hunger with proceeds benefitting the Food Bank For New York City and Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign. Fitting with the bustling nature of its new (mostly) Midtown location, the festival is filled with seminars, intimate dinners, grand tastings and late-night parties. Highlights include "Date Night Memories: Tempting Tastes and Passionate Pairings from Union Square Café," a Master Sushi Rolling Class with Masaharu Morimoto and the always entertaining and gluttonous Burger Bash.

Craft Beer & Bites

San Diego, CA

Oct. 19

On October 19, SILO in San Diego's Makers Quarter will host San Diego State University College of Extended Studies' Business of Craft Brewing Program. The event will bring local brewers and food trucks to celebrate local food and drink and benefit the San Diego Brewer's Guild. Local artisans will also give demos in the art of custom menswear, murals and silk-screening. If the brews, grub and art don't do it for you, the festival also promises an epic game of life-size Jenga.

Chef Homaro Cantu At Chicago Film And Media Summit

Chicago, IL

Oct. 20

Chef Homaro Cantu is a leading innovator in molecular gastronomy. On October 20, the chef of Chi-town's Moto Restaurant will serve as a panelist at Chicago's Film And Media Summit. His food web series provides video shorts for all of his dishes, so diners can enjoy a virtual experience before digging in with their forks. Other participating Chicago filmmakers at the Summit will include actor Michael Shannon and director John McNaughton.

Grub Street Food Festival

New York, NY

Oct. 20

Cronuts are so last summer. The new hot item from Dominique Ansel Bakery? It's called "Cocoa Chowder" and takes form in a warm hazelnut brioche bread-bowl filled with hot dark chocolate and finished with toppings ranging from cinnamon marshmallows to fleur de sel. The dish is only available at Grub Street's 4th annual food festival on Hester Street. And because cronuts are just too delicious to go out of vogue, Ansel is hiding a dozen coupons for free cronuts, Willy Wonka-style, in cocoa chowders. The festival will also feature over 75 different vendors and restaurants, live music, a beer garden, and an interactive video game corner.

Harvest on the Harbor

Portland, ME

Oct. 23-26

The 6th annual Harvest on the Harbor festival is a toast to the bounty of Maine's harvest season, and coastal Portland, home of five James Beard Award winners, is the perfect place to celebrate. The Festival kicks off with the Grand Tasting on the Harbor, which will feature 29 beer, wine and spirit vendors offering over 100 varietals, plus a seafood and raw bar, coffee, gelato, whoopee pies, and more of the state's trademark bites. Take it all in to the sound of sweet jazz from the Fogcutters Duo and stick around on Friday to bear witness to the Maine Lobster Chef of the Year competition. Saturday, participate in the Down East Insider Wine-Tasting Experience where you can play the part of the winemaker and blend your own varietal.

Women Winemakers at Saltbox

San Diego, CA

Oct. 24

Master sommelier Emily Wines — yes, that is her real last name — hosts a night of girl-powered wine pairings at San Diego's renowned Saltbox gastro-lounge. The dinner features a four-course menu by Chef Jeremiah Bryant, and each dish will be accompanied by a wine from California's best women winemakers. To make things even sweeter, $5 from every ticket will go to the Susan G. Komen Race for the cure in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month.


Life is Beautiful

Las Vegas, NV

Oct. 26-27

What's the point of making a Vegas trip if not to be completely overwhelmed? This weekend, the city will offer all the unabashed glitz of sensory overload at the Culinary Village at the Life is Beautiful Festival. The bazaar will feature over 50 restaurants offering gourmet dishes à la carte for $10 or less. The weekend will also host a lineup of chefs including Tom Colicchio, Jonathan Waxman and Cat Cora who will take the stage giving demos on how to create their most celebrated dishes. After a full day of food tours and lectures, be sure to relax at the Alchemy Garden with libations from brewers, winemakers and spirit distillers.

L.A. Sriracha Festival

Los Angeles, CA

Oct. 27

It's about time this cult condiment got a day of its own. At the 1st annual Sriracha Festival held in L.A.'s Arts District, guests can sample an assortment of Sriracha-themed dishes from the city's more creative chefs such as Eric Greenspan of The Foundry on Melrose and Ernesto Uchimura of Plan Check Kitchen + Bar. After you've had your fill of hot sauce, dance to tunes from a live DJ and assuage the spice with drinks from Eagle Rock Brewery, Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, and Los Angeles Ale Works.