Summer means the return of
outdoor food festivals.
We asked our chef friends
from around the country to
tell us their must-do’s.

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Food Festival
Photography by Max Flatow
| Credit: Photography by Max Flatow

Get Your Meat On

Heritage Fire Napa in  St. Helena, CA
August 27, cochon555.com

The Scene: More than  50 chefs and butchers cook  3,500 pounds of "heritage"  meat—meaning the whole  pigs, lambs, ducks, rabbits  and more are from smaller  breeds sustainably raised  on family farms—over  open flames. The setting  in picturesque Napa  Valley doesn't hurt either.

The Chef Rec: "Chefs craft  custom-built steel structures  for roasting ducks and chickens,  or drape whole pigs and lambs  over open fires," says chef  Thomas Boemer, co-owner  of Corner Table in Minneapolis.  "My all-time favorite: Someone  slow-roasted a five-foot whole  sturgeon vertically, next to  a column of fire. A crowd  gathered to see the unveiling  of the perfectly cooked meat,  and then they devoured it."

Tomato drink
Credit: Photography by Bryon Photography; Erik Meadows

Say Tomato! 

Attack of the Killer  Tomato Festival  in Atlanta 
July 16, killertomatofest.com

The Scene: All-you-can-eat  peak-season tomatoes are  served up every which way  by more than 40 chefs, 40  farmers and 15 mixologists.  

The Chef Rec: "Nothing  beats a summer tomato,"  says festival founder chef  Ford Fry, owner of JCT  Kitchen & Bar in Atlanta.  "Everyone goes all-out  showing how creative they  can get. One year, there  was a tomato jelly doughnut  filled with bacon-fat mayo.  It was out of this world."

Ribbon Fries
Credit: Photography by Bryon Photography

Eat Like a Cincinnatian  Glier's Goettafest  in Newport, KY
August 3 to 6, goettafest.com

The Scene: Sample—or  gorge on—Cincinnati and  northern Kentucky's pride:  goetta, a scrapple-ish  breakfast staple made of  beef, pork, oats, onions and  spices. Try it worked into a  Reuben, loaded "ribbon  fries" (above), mac 'n' cheese  and dozens of other dishes.  

The Chef Rec: "This is a  celebration of America's  greatest and most  underappreciated  breakfast meat," says chef  Brendan Haren, of  Coppin's Restaurant &  Bar in Covington, KY.