12 FEB 2018: At the recent VisitBritain event in Toronto I couldn’t resist having my photo taken holding the sign “I travel for food and drink.” That about says it all for me. I’m not alone. I keep seeing more and more countries and regions promoting what they have to offer on the plate and in the glass.

New culinary events keep springing up every day and the old favs continue on with increasing enthusiasm.  Ontario alone has over 400 culinary-themed festivals and events listed in their on-line culinary calendar. www.ontarioculinary.com My inbox overflows daily with announcements pertaining to food and drink events, trails and travels. Here are a few of the latest upcoming events here and abroad, which came in the past few days.

After Alberta Premier Rachel Notley announced a boycott on all imports of wines from British Columbia last Tuesday in retaliation over BC’s decisions regarding the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline, the BC wine industry decided to respond with love instead of hate.

On February 22nd, a group of BC wineries will host a walk around food and wine evening featuring BC wine and Alberta food at Edible Canada on Granville Island. The idea, as expressed by Christine Coletta, owner of Okanagan Crush Pad, is to ask people to support the local wine industry during the month of March, while continuing to purchase Alberta products.

Winery principals from 50th Parallel Estate Winery, Haywire, Liquidity, Painted Rock Estate Winery, Poplar Grove Winery, Summerhill Pyramid Winery and more will showcase their wines along with Alberta foods such as beef and bison in dishes made by Edible Canada and guest chefs. Tickets are $55 with all proceeds donated to the BC Hospitality Foundation. www.ediblecanada.com

In England the 17 day long Eat & Drink Festival, back for its second year, takes place from 17 March to 2 April at Olympia London. The festival brings together street food vendors, artisan food producers, top brands and experts in cuisines around-the-world.

During the festival kitchen super-stars and beverage professionals will appear live on the Foodie Stage and at The Drinks Station. Top chef Aldo Zilli will be preparing seasonal fish recipes with an Italian twist, TV star and celebrity chef Rosemary Shrager will demonstrate quick versions of family classics and BBC TV’s Masterchef: The Professionals star chef Monica Galetti will talk about how to create show-stopping dishes at home.  www.eatanddrinklondon.com

In New Orleans, the Second Annual New Orleans Bourbon Festival takes place from March 7 –March 10 this year. The four days of festivities includes competitions, dinners and seminars.  Imbibers can mix and mingle with Master Distillers, including Fred and Freddy Noe of Jim Beam and Eddie and Bruce Russell of Wild Turkey. NOLA’s hottest restaurants are offering four-course pairing dinners hosted by Master Distillers and the Grand Tasting features live music and all things bourbon. www.neworleansbourbonfestival.com

In May, the SIAL Canada International Food Show is back for its 15th edition at Montreal’s Palais des Congrès. Spain is the country of honour this year in this show for food industry professionals and media. It brings together more than 1,000 exhibitors to meet with 18,500 visitors from 60 countries. www.sialcanada.com

A local event I always like to attend is the annual Cuvée weekend in Niagara Falls. Now in its 30th year, the 2018 celebration takes place March 23 to 25. Participating wineries roll out the red carpet to visitors with tours, tasting flights of wine, wine pairings and wine shopping opportunities along the wine route for the three days of Cuvée. The weekend kicks off with the Grand Tasting event where copious amounts of great Ontario wines are matched with signature dishes created at live cooking stations by local and guest chefs. It’s a bash which keeps on going with dancing into the night. www.cuvee.ca

The above of course is just a smattering of what’s out there for the foodie. I see no end in sight to culinary adventures and that’s okay with me.


Margaret Swaine

Margaret is a nationally published wine, spirits, food and travel writer, who has authored thousands of articles on these subjects for magazines and newspapers.

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