Hands up if you’re obsessed with amazing food? Yes, us too – but are you willing to travel for it? Citizen Femme has tracked down the five best events for foodies in the world.
From the refined festivals celebrating France’s finest wines to gourmand fêtes honouring the world’s most masterful chefs, these are the global gastro events that every elite foodie will find well worth the trip.
W Verbier’s Haute Cuisine Verbier, Switzerland
With a tagline boasting “The ultimate gastronomic experience,” you better be prepared to deliver. Luckily, W Verbier’s annual Haute Cuisine event does just that: it delivers—and then some. For four days every April, the ultra-chic W Verbier hotel transforms into the definitive destination for high-end food lovers. This past edition featured 10 mind-blowing chefs with a collective 17 Michelin stars between them, hosting daily interactive cooking classes and five-course, themed dinners focusing on things like art and design; fashion; and music. This year featured celeb chefs like Sergi Arola (who also operates as the Culinary Director at W Verbier’s Eat-Hola Tapas Bar), Franck Giovannini, Michel Roth, Alain Caron, and Thierry Drapeau, “Every year we have more Michelin stars,” says Stéphanie Oliver, Director of Marketing and Communications at W Verbier. “Our chefs, they come from France, Spain, Netherlands, and Switzerland, but they know each other. Gastronomy is a small world, and they are connected already. That means that our chefs give a very vibrant experience because of the warm atmosphere. It’s gastronomy, but informal. Like W: luxury, but informal. The chefs are very easy to approach, to talk with. They play. There’s a lot of interaction—but in a W way, a cool way.” What better way to get up close and personal with your favorite chefs?
Image courtesy of W Verbier
La Paulée New York and San Francisco (alternating yearly)
Focusing on the prestigious—(and expensive!)—Burgundy wine region, La Paulée is a weeklong event for winemakers and wine-lovers. The event, which alternates between New York and San Francisco, features wine-fueled dinners, tastings, and an incredible BYOB Gala Dinner, which is a straight-up bacchanalia of sorts…Cork Dork author Bianca Bosker doesn’t hold back in her glorious and frank depiction: “In was, in its own way, an orgy…It was sick. It was indulgent. It was messy—‘like two thousand pounds of foie gras just shoveled in your face,’ one of the sommeliers…yelled into my ear.” It all sounds amazingly and insanely decadent, which is never a bad thing when it comes to wine.
Image courtesy of La Paulée®, copyright Todd Martin photography 2018
FOOD & WINE Classic Aspen, Colorado
For three days in June during the FOOD & WINE Classic, Aspen—beautiful in every season—morphs into an epicurean epicenter featuring over 80 cooking demonstrations; wine seminars; and a massive gathering at the Grand Tasting Pavilion, where new products and trends are showcased by over 200 brands to both industry insiders and everyday food lovers. This year, it’s the 30th Anniversary of the Best New Chefs dinner, which will be hosted on the top of Aspen Mountain and will feature an all-star line up including Hugh Acheson, Rick Bayless, Stephanie Izard, and Rocco DiSpirito.
Image courtesy of FOOD & WINE Classic
Cayman Cookout Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Eric Ripert. Anthony Bourdain. Emeril Lagasse. Daniel Boulud. If the mere mention of these culinary demigods sends shivers of delight straight to your stomach, then you need to head to Grand Cayman for this annual event set in the super swanky Ritz-Carlton along the Cayman Islands’ spectacular Seven Mile Beach. (So dreamy!) Highlights from prior editions include barefoot barbeques; sails to Stingray City with lunch at Rum Point; a live-action cook-off brunch; and a whopping ten-course grand finale dinner. Sun, sand, and superior sustenance? Sign us up.
Image courtesy of Cayman Cookout
Le Dîner en Blanc Paris, France
In case you need an excuse to go to Paris, picture this: thousands of elegant guests—all dressed in white—sitting down for a communal gourmet dinner, in the shadow of one of Paris’ most iconic landmarks. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? At Le Dîner, the location is always secret up until the last moment, but previous years’ dinners have been hosted at Pont des Arts, Champs-Élysée, the garden of the Palais Royal, and Place Vendome. For the event’s 25th anniversary, the dinner was held at Le Louvre, in the garden of Trocadero, and in front of the Eiffel Tower. Started in 1988 by François Pasquier, this event has always been about good food and good company and has now expanded to over 80 countries. This year is the landmark 30th Anniversary of the legendary Parisian event, so get yourself on this guest list ASAP.
Image courtesy of Le Dîner en Blanc