Saturday, June 13
I love the beach and think South Beach is great, but I really think I enjoyed myself more at last year's festival in New York. Some events, like the Grand Tasting felt less crowded, and the October weather was just perfect for enjoying a few (okay, hundreds) bites and beverages. In SoBe, it's kind of hard to enjoy a steaming sausage sandwich when you're in a crowded tent on the beach and it's already 85 degrees at 10 a.m.
A big surprise this year will be the appearance by Ina Garten, who will be doing one of the TimesTalks interviews on Saturday, October 10.
If the ticket prices seem a little steep, keep in mind that all the proceeds from the festival will benefit the hunger-relief organizations Food Bank For New York City and Share Our Strength. Last year, the 2008 festival raised over one million dollars for those organizations. And from the culinary celebs I've talked to who appear each year, none of them receive payment for their appearances.
So think about making it a part of your Columbus Day weekend this year. I'll be there!