Although there is only one of me and thousands of them, there are five that are on the top of my list this year. Some are old favorites while others are new but all promise a good time, great entertainment and lots of great food!
2010 World Cup
June 11 – July 11, 2010
The country of South Africa is truly about to come alive during the 2010 World Cup.
Cuisine Noir’s very own Wanda Hennig returned home to capture all of the excitement as it takes place day by day. 32 countries are scheduled to compete and over 350,000 fans are expected to cheer their favorite teams on.
The anticipation of the World Cup that takes place every four years is bigger than the Olympic Games.
The food is expected to be simply unbelievable as the country has restaurants that can serve cuisine from any part of the world. From its authentic South African cuisine to Italian, French, Brazilian, Chinese and Thai, it will all be deliciously available. Musical artists expected to perform at the kick-off concert in Soweto on June 10 include Alicia Keys, Black Eyes Peas, Shakira, Vieux and Hugh Masekela. To check out more of the highlights, see this month’s Delicious Life.
2010 Taste of Chicago
June 28 – July 4, 2010
It is has been 12 years since I have been home to attend the Taste of Chicago and I can’t wait. My memories take me back to eating until I had to be rolled back to the car.
The food was just that good. Now in its 30th year, this event has truly set the standard for other cities offering a “taste” event of their own.
54 restaurants will deliver culinary experiences that are out of this world to over 3 million visitors.
Free to attend, the Taste as we call back at home, will also feature the Dominick’s Cooking Corner and performances by Bell Biv Devoe, Salt-n-Peppa, Trey Songz, Rob Base, Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh. This is really a food event like no other and if you go, I strongly recommend attending over a few days and taking your time so you can taste as much as possible.
2010 Essence Music Festival
July 2 – 4, 2010
New Orleans, LA
Any reason is a good one for going to New Orleans. The food, culture, history and of course the Essence Music Festival. It has been a few years since I have been back but it still remains a summer favorite. Over half a million people are expected to come through this wonderful city for just three days of fun. Not intended for those who have a phobia of crowds, you’ll have to be prepared to be bumped, stand in long lines and wait for hours to eat at one of the city’s gems like Dooky Chase or Mother’s. But let me tell you, it is worth it. You’ll meet people from all over the world, have you pick of the real taste of the south and party like it is 1999 (I had to get in there). If you plan to attend the concerts, the line-up is fabulous as usual. Jill Scott, Raphael Saadiq, Keri Hilson, De La Soul and Charlie Wilson are just a few on this year’s rooster. Great food and music at its best.
2010 Scotiabank Caribana
July 15 – August 2, 2010
If you didn’t have a chance to make it to Carnival in Brazil in February, come on up to Toronto where the party will take place for 19 days. Celebrating its 43rd anniversary, Scotiabank Caribana is an expression of Toronto’s multicultural society. 1.2 million visitors will travel to hear some of the city’s best Calypso, Soca, Reggae, Hip Hop, Chutney artists as well as Steel Pan and Brass bands. They will also enjoy an array of food from selected food vendors who will represent the cultural diversity of Toronto’s people. Caribana kicks off with its free opening ceremony event on July 15 and from there it is nothing but a party. Other highlights include the King and Queen Competition on July 29th and the parade on July 31st. As a member of the Federation of Carnival Cities, I am making my travel plans now because there is nothing more exciting and beautiful than watching a country show off their culture through the performing arts.
2010 Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival
July 29 – August 1, 2010
Atlantic City, NJ
Atlantic City brings back fun childhood memories of walking down the Boardwalk and eating great cheesesteak sandwiches. When I turned 21, it was the first place I put a coin in a slot machine just to get it out of my system. But now, it is home to the city’s Food and Wine Festival that will take place for four delicious days. This year Harrah’s Entertainment has teamed up with the Food Network and attendees are in for a great time. Event highlights include an evening with Sunny Anderson on top of Caesars around the pool for Sunsets, Spirits and Sliders. The Neelys will host a Gospel Brunch at The House of Blues where you can get your praise on while enjoying pecan caramel sticky buns, hickory smoked bacon and sausage links, homemade biscuits and country gravy, homemade waffles, an omelet station, southern fried chicken, homemade macaroni and cheese, Creole chicken and shrimp jambalaya. Over 20,000 culinary enthusiasts are expected to attend over the weekend with the Grand Market on both Saturday and Sunday being the cornerstone of the event. Sounds like a good reason to go back to me.