Hawaii Food and Wine Festival
Drum roll please. Grapes, Grains and Grub has chosen the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival as a 2020 culinary destination.
Co-founded by two of Hawaii’s James Beard award-winning chefs, Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong, the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival promotes itself as the premier epicurean destination event in the Pacific. The 10th annual event is October 2nd through 25th.
Of course, Hawaii is a remarkable destination, no matter when or why you may travel there, but we love this festival because of their mission to reignite a love of the land by looking back to a time when Hawaii was 100% sustainable and their emphasis on the diverse cuisine of this world-class destination. The festival puts it best when they say “Taste our Love for the Land.” The proceeds support local beneficiaries committed to sustainability and cultural and educational programs in Hawaii.
Did you know that this festival has expanded from a three day event in Waikiki to more than 10,000 attendees across three weekends and multiple islands, and they’ve donated more than $2 million to community organizations that support sustainability, culinary programs and agriculture. Every ticket purchased goes towards supporting the farmers, ranchers, and fishermen of Hawaii, and invests in the up and coming talent at local culinary colleges and agricultural education for children.
The full event features more than 150 master chefs, wine makers, spirit producers, and a lot of activities like wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, one of a kind excursions and dishes that highlight the state’s bounty of local produce, seafood, beef and poultry. The Hawaii Food and Wine Festival is a program of the non-profit, Hawaii Ag and Culinary Alliance, whose mission is to shine a light on culinary talent and locally grown products to ensure Hawaii maintains its status as a world class destination.
And on that, we agree.
The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad
The majestic West has a rich and flavorful culinary history of its own, and we have found a ride to get you there that will completely blow your mind.
According to visit New Mexico, the Cumbres & Toltec is a steam-powered railroad virtually unchanged from how it looked, sounded and felt more than a century ago. The railroad has been lovingly restored and continues to be maintained by the non-profit, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad Commission. Visitors travel through national forest, high plains, mountain tunnels and steep canyons, all with the wisdom of on-board docents guiding the trip.
One of the many things we love about this living museum is that the Cumbres & Toltec is jointly operated by the states of New Mexico and Colorado. These two states joined together because they realized the importance of this heritage railroad experience and historical ride through the many legs of the journey.
According to docent, Rich Muth, this ride through unique terrain is an exploration learning about the flora and fauna, history of people in the area, and the challenges faced for the many who carved the narrow gauge, laid the track and forged history to settle the West. One can only imagine the stories.
The steam locomotive is at the head of beautifully restored passenger cars that make the incredible climb through the mountain pass.
Options to start your day journey include culinary and cultural destinations Santa Fe, Denver, Albuquerque, and more that lead to Antonio, Colorado, or Chama, New Mexico. Links to the maps are on our site to help you choose your breathtaking ride. These affordable memory making day trips also include meals and libations depending on your route.
We suggest beginning the experience with a hearty meal in your starting city and spend the day riding the rails where you can also enjoy beer and wine along the way. You’re going to have plenty of memories to talk about over dinner that same night. Wow. What a day.
The North Carolina Seafood Festival
If you love the water, love food, and love to have fun, then this week’s destination is definitely for you. The North Carolina Seafood Festival is a not-for-profit organization of citizens and businesses in Carteret County, along with the town of Morehead City, North Carolina. Their mission is to recognize the importance of seafood to eastern North Carolina, and the results are delicious and meaningful.
So make plans to attend the first weekend in October. It’s a real doozy. While there you can fill your belly at a Low Country Boil, drink unlimited samples from breweries at the Port of Pours, cook with some renowned Chefs, listen to great music and entertainers, and the best part of all is watching a beauty queen compete in a fish tossing contest.
We love the World’s Best Oyster celebration, and that includes an oyster shucking contest for professionals and amateurs brought to you by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and the Shellfish Growers Association. There’s also the Babes and Bubbles event that begins with yoga on the water, followed by brunch and a signature cocktail all to benefit a local healthcare clinic.
There’s also a sailing regatta, a half marathon, 10 and five K races, and so much seafood to savor prepared in more ways than you can imagine. Really there’s something for everyone. Even the kiddos.
You don’t want to miss the important Blessing of the Fleet. The commercial fishing vessels that make their home port in North Carolina continually bring in the many varieties of fish that we have become so used to having in our grocery stores across the nation.
Festival proceeds are shared with community organizations who donate their efforts to the event. Since 1987 over $1.8 million has been dispersed among participating Carteret County non-profit groups as a result of this fun and delicious event.
The Taste of Chicago
So we have a really delicious pick for you this week. It’s the Taste of Chicago or just the Taste if you’re a local. Now here’s the really cool part. It’s the world’s largest free admission outdoor food festival. This incredibly fun and delicious event is held for five days every July in Grant Park. You can buy as many food and drink tickets as you wish for tastings or full servings from over 80 local restaurants, popups and food trucks who are always there, and that’s just on the food side of things. There’s a wide variety of performances, including dance and other fine arts. You name the musical style, and you’ll see it performed at this festival. From big name chefs and globally known music artists to locals serving the original tastes and sounds of Chicago, this Grapes, Grains and Grub culinary destination pick is really a multi-pallet and multi-cultural blend of flavors and experiences. So put on those stretchy pants, come hungry, and really take advantage of public transportation to fully enjoy the Taste of Chicago.
Okay, so this week we are excited about this really cool destination. It’s Alpine, Texas. Now Alpine is a small town in the gorgeous Big Bend country of far West Texas. There’s a ton of culture packed into this casual laid-back destination. It’s part university town, part artists mecca and part live music legend. There are many local cafes, restaurants and bars with menus that seem to fit the venues vibe. It’s known for preserving its original architecture from the 18 to early 19 hundreds, you may be strolling through a gallery, a honky tonk, an artist space or vinyl, yeah, I said vinyl record store with food, libations, and live music at every turn. Look for the restaurants that honor the incredible exterior and interior murals that Alpine is known for and ask to see their private art collections. There are some really cool ones. From West Texas style Mexican food to barbecue to upscale menus in relaxed dining rooms, you can walk your way through downtown Alpine and experience a whole lot of delicious culture at our pick for this Grapes, Grains & Grub Culinary Destination.
The Willamette Valley
Our culinary destination pick is the Willamette Valley in the Oregon Wine Country. Did you know there are more than five hundred wineries to visit? This lush green culinary destination is for those who also love the outdoors.
Within one hundred and fifty miles there are gorgeous vineyards and family farms to visit, and chefs who specialize in cuisine showcasing earths bounty from the land and water ways of the great Northwest.