food for thought

Top 5 Hottest Culinary Events in the Country

For restaurants and chefs, getting out of the kitchen and attending national food events can be a fantastic opportunity to meet people, learn about trends, and gain and maintain a competitive edge in the culinary industry. 

From Miami to New York City to Aspen, these events attract some of the most well-connected and passionate food and wine enthusiasts from across the country. They offer a prime platform for networking with other restaurateurs, investors, vendors, and suppliers – offering an opportunity to make valuable connections that can lead to new opportunities. 

They’re also a great way to learn about industry trends and consumer preferences, and if you’re exhibiting/sampling, gather direct feedback from a diverse audience. 

Exhibiting, or even just attending, can also enhance your reputation by positioning you as a serious player in the culinary scene. 

Here are our top 5 recommendations for the best national food and wine events to consider attending!

Food & Wine Classic Charleston


When: September 27-29, 2024

About: The Food & Wine Classic in Charleston is the premier three-day culinary experience on the East Coast showcasing hospitality, foodways, culture, and history in the Holy City. Features celebrity chef demos, wine seminars and tasting events

Who:  Over 100 wine, food, spirits, and beer brands. 2000+ attendees

NOTE: As of press time, you can still get passes at a special summer rate via the link above!

New York City Wine & Food Festival


When: October 17-20, 2024

About: The Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival (NYCWFF) is NYC’s premier wine and food festival. The four-day annual Festival showcases the talents of the world’s most renowned wine and spirits producers, chefs, culinary personalities, and America’s most beloved television chefs. There are 80+ events over 4 days. 

Who: 500+ chefs from around the country participate, and 47,000 attendees

South Beach Wine & Food Festival


When: February 20-23, 2025

About: Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF®) is a national, star-studded, four-day destination event showcasing the talents of the world’s most renowned wine and spirits producers, chefs, and culinary personalities. There are over 105+ events.

Don’t Miss the Burger Bash: A signature event at SOBEWFF that almost overshadows the rest of the Festival! Over 30 chefs and restaurants from across the country participate in a burger competition. Participants vote on who will win the prestigious Heinz® People’s Choice Award.

Who: 500+ experts participating, from Food Network stars, celebrities, TikTok influencers, chefs, restaurants, sommeliers and more

National Restaurant Association Show


When: May 2025 (date TBD)

About: The National Restaurant Association Show is the Western Hemisphere’s most influential foodservice event showcasing industry innovations and trends. Each year since 1919, the Show brings together restaurant operators and food service professionals in Chicago for 4 days of celebrity-led demos, exhibits, sampling, education, and networking. The Show unites a global community and enables exploration of the latest advancements in food, beverage, equipment, technology, and solutions driving the industry forward.

Who: 2,250+ exhibitors and 58,000 food service professionals attended the 2024 show, including buyers, suppliers, and manufacturers, all eager to explore emerging food and flavor trends, advancements in equipment, cutting-edge technology, and unmatched educational opportunities.

Food & Wine Classic Aspen


When: June 20-22, 2025

About: This leading culinary event has been a must-visit experience for more than four decades. Three incredible days of cooking and beverage demonstrations, wine & spirit tastings, seminars and panel discussions, and parties galore.

Who: Over 150 brands of wine, food, spirits, and beer, and 70+ celebrity chefs and beverage experts.

If you’re a chef, restaurateur, or marketing professional looking to increase visibility, grow your reputation, and get more butts in seats, we’d love to chat about how we can help. Send a quick hello through our Contact page here.

Photos courtesy of Food & Wine, NYC Wine & Food Festival, South Beach Wine & Food Festival, National Restaurant Association.  


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