Best General Food Festival (2015)


Mouthwatering tastings, live cooking demos, beautiful venues, celebrity chefs and sommelier-paired wine lists – USA TODAY 10Best went on a mission to find the nation's best general food festivals. A panel of food and festival experts selected 20 nominees for Best General Food Festival, and after four weeks of voting, the polls are closed and the winners have been chosen.

  • Vegas Uncork'd

    Vegas Uncork'd

    No city has as many celebrity chef restaurants as Las Vegas, and as a result, no festival in the nation can offer such a star-studded array of culinary talent, from Wolfgang Puck and Bobby Flay to Joel Robuchon and Gordon Ramsay. Many of these chefs host intimate dinner lunch and dinner parties in their own restaurants, and each day there are seminars and demos offered. The main event is the Grand Tasting, featuring a Who’s Who of Vegas eateries, along with lots of adult beverages, all laid out around the open air Garden of the Gods pool complex at Caesars Palace.
    Photo courtesy of Vegas Uncork'd

  • Bounty of Yamhill County

    Bounty of Yamhill County

    While relatively new, this four year old summer festival has quickly been well received, thanks in large part to its setting in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, a prime spot for both winemaking and farm to table cuisine. The schedule is built around a triumvirate of chefs, farmers and wineries, almost all of them local, and many classes and events are held at the wineries and farms themselves, rather than in more typical hotel ballrooms.
    Photo courtesy of Bounty of Yamhill County

  • Music City Food + Wine Festival

    Music City Food + Wine Festival

    Nashville comes alive for this two day September event replete with Southern flair, but not exclusively. Out-of-town talent like Michael Symon and Masaharu Morimoto joining a large slate of regional chefs such as Sean Brock, Tim Love and country superstar turned cookbook author Tricia Yearwood. Both days feature a morning lineup of classes and seminars followed by a grand tasting, and all events are held in tents set up in the city’s Public Square Park and Walk of Fame Park.
    Photo courtesy of Music City Food + Wine Festival

  • Park City Food & Wine Classic

    Park City Food & Wine Classic

    Utah’s classic ski town takes a much different approach to the food festival, pairing outdoor activities with food and drink. The offbeat slate of offerings includes a pairing of yoga with wine (Vino and Vinyasa), stand-up paddle boarding with beer (SUPs and Suds), and horseback trail rides with barbecue (Gallop & Grill). Other featured activities paired with food or wine themes include road and mountain biking, golf, shooting, and hiking, but there are also plenty of food-only offerings for the less adventurous.
    Photo courtesy of Park City Food & Wine Classic

  • Food and Wine Classic

    Food and Wine Classic
    Aspen, Colo.

    For those in the culinary world, June’s Aspen Food & Wine Classic is the annual industry highlight, with a mix of top name celebrity chefs, journalists, restaurateurs, investors, television food personalities and winemakers gathering in the beautiful Colorado Rockies. Events include a mix of public seminars, five grand tasting events, and private invitation-only parties. Going strong after 33 years, the gathering, sponsored by Food & Wine Magazine, has one of the most prestigious talent pools of any festival.
    Photo courtesy of Food and Wine Classic

  • Hawai'i Food & Wine Festival

    Hawai'i Food & Wine Festival

    Created by the 50th State’s two most famous culinary personalities, Chefs Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong, this festival is unusual in its breadth and scope. One of the few week-long events of its kind, it is also statewide, spanning multiple locations on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii, and last year it drew more than two dozen James Beard Award Winners and Iron Chefs. The festival is focused more on marquee events than a daily roster of classes and sessions.
    Photo courtesy of Hawai'i Food & Wine Festival

  • New Orleans Wine & Food Experience

    New Orleans Wine & Food Experience

    For more than 20 years NOLA has hosted one of the nation’s premier food and wine festivals, with grand tastings, a full schedule of seminars, frenzied closing gala and the Royal Street Stroll presented by Rouses, in which the famed antique shopping street in the French Quarter is transformed into an open air, 8-block long wine tasting. Throughout the duration of the festival, more than 20 top New Orleans restaurants offer special festival dinner packages as well.
    Photo courtesy of CHRIS GRANGER

  • Atlanta Food & Wine Festival

    Atlanta Food & Wine Festival

    One of the more user-friendly food festivals, this spring weekend is based almost entirely at the Loews Atlanta Hotel, home to all classes and seminars, with tasting tents set up within a two block radius of the hotel. Classes and tastings have a definite Southern spin, with high-profile regional chefs such as Edward Lee and Chris Lilly, while topics span everything from Texas wines to BBQ and moonshine to South Carolina cuisine.

  • Beaver Creek Food & Wine Weekend

    Beaver Creek Food & Wine Weekend

    One of the rare wintery food and wine festivals, this January event is set at the nation’s poshest ski resort, self-contained Beaver Creek, CO. It mixes outdoor recreation with cuisine, including celebrity chef led ski outings and a snowshoe/gourmet lunch outing. There are also traditional classes, demos and a grand tasting, all set close together in an intimate atmosphere within the luxury hotels of Beaver Creek Village.
    Photo courtesy of Zach Mahone, Beaver Creek Resort

  • New York City Wine & Food Festival

    New York City Wine & Food Festival

    The Big Apple puts on a big festival, with more than one hundred events throughout the city, featuring over 500 participating wineries, restaurants and food suppliers. There is a large slate of A-list chefs, experts, food personalities like Martha Stewart and Rachel Ray, and even professional athletes. Large events such as the grand tastings are intermixed with intimate specialty dinners, demos, seminars and many hands-on classes, all held at various locations and famed restaurants throughout the city.
    Photo courtesy of Getty Images


It was a close and hard-fought fight between the top three finishers, but in the end, Vegas Uncork'd by Bon Appétit snagged the first place spot. It's no surprise that a city with so many celebrity chef-owned restaurants would throw a food-centric party featuring tons of celebrity chefs – from Wolfgang Puck and Bobby Flay to Joel Robuchon and Gordon Ramsay.

Oregon's Bounty of Yamhill County and Nashville's Music City Food + Wine Festival finished second and third respectively.

The top 10 winners in the category Best General Food Festival are as follows:

  1. Vegas Uncork'd
  2. Bounty of Yamhill County
  3. Music City Food + Wine Festival - Nashville
  4. Park City Food & Wine Classic
  5. Food and Wine Classic - Aspen, Colo.
  6. Hawai'i Food & Wine Festival
  7. New Orleans Wine & Food Experience
  8. Atlanta Food & Wine Festival
  9. Beaver Creek Food & Wine Weekend
  10. New York City Wine & Food Festival

Other nominees included Flavor! Napa Valley, Epcot International Food & Wine Festival in Orlando, Feast Portland, Austin Food + Wine Festival, Taste of Chicago, South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Charleston Wine + Food Festival, Pebble Beach Food & Wine, Savor Sonoma Valley and the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival.

10Best and USA TODAY extend their congratulations to all the winners. The contest was promoted on 10Best and USA TODAY.


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