California Food Festivals

Eat your way through Garlic Alley Gilroy's garlic festival and learn what good food really tastes like.

Where else can one feast on food laced with over two tons of fresh garlic, enjoy three stages of musical entertainment, shop in arts and crafts, view the great garlic cook-off and other celebrity cooking demonstrations, spend time in the children's area, visit interactive displays set up by many of our sponsors, soak up some glorious sunshine, and mingle with a fun bunch of garlic-loving people? The GILROY GARLIC FESTIVAL in Gilroy, California!! We have over 4,000 spirited volunteers ready to make your trip to the Gilroy Garlic Festival a most memorable experience. Whether you are a first-time visitor or a "seasoned" veteran, the Gilroy Garlic Festival is always a fun and fragrant experience. Over 3 million honored guests have made the pilgrimage.
Recipe Contest and Cook-Off What It Is The Great Garlic Cook-off is one of the most well-known cooking contests in the country. Starting in December of each year, the Gilroy Garlic Festival puts out a call across the United States and Canada for the best garlic recipes. Hundreds of amateur chefs respond with delicious sounding recipes that run the gamut from soups to desserts and from every type of cuisine. Recent winners have included Basil and Garlic-Stuffed Sea Scallops wrapped in Prosciutto and served with a Spicy Citrus Beurre Blanc and Garlic Seafood Soup The most delicious-sounding recipes, approximately 50, are forwarded to a professional food consultant who makes the final selection of the eight recipes. The consultant prepares each recipe to ensure correct measurements and use of ingredients. These finalists' recipes are those considered to make the most interesting and exciting contest. The finalists come to Gilroy to prepare their recipes on the Saturday of the festival in front of the public. By 12:15, celebrity judges pick their favorites. The winner of the Great Garlic Cook-Off is appropriately honored with a crown of garlic and goes home $1,000 richer. Second place is awarded $750; third, $500. The other finalists are given $100.00 each. For garlic tips and new recipes, the Great Garlic Cook-Off Stage is the place you want to be!
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mal said...

This festival is gar-licky-good!! I sampled the garlic ice cream, stuffed garlic mushrooms, garlic scallops and calamari. The funny part about this festival is that there are almost no flies due to the high volume of garlic.

irishlass said...

The Carmel Tomatoe Fest is the opposite style of the Garlic Festival, but it's equally delicious. If you love tomatoes, be sure and get your tickets early, since they usually sell out about 2 months in advance.

If You Love Tomatoes...
don't miss America's most spectacular tomato event.

Featuring a tasting of more than 350 tomato varieties from around the world, an extravagant outdoor BBQ, delicious tomato recipes created by 60 of America's best chefs, a tasting of 100 great wines from Monterey County, a "Salsa Showcase" tasting of 90 tomato salsas, "The International Olive Oil Tasting" featuring extra virgin olive oils from 8 countries and the best of California, live music and dancing. Bring the whole family! Net proceeds are donated to local youth charities. (Since 1999 the Carmel TomatoFest has donated more than $200,000.00 to local charities.) Photographs of the Carmel TomatoFest®.

Tickets are limited to assure the best possible experience for our guests who travel here from around the nation. The event has sold out every year (as much as 2 months prior to the event)

Anonymous said...

Take your Dad (if he likes to party) to the Crawdad Festival in Isleton (near Sacto) on Father's Day weekend.

Lots of crawdads, cajun music, drinks and fun.

Anonymous said...

San Francisco Annual Crab Festival is going on now.

Participating North Beach Restaurants

Columbus Avenue:
Andrew Jaeger’s House of Seafood & Jazz at The Condor
300 Columbus Avenue

The Stinking Rose, 325 Columbus Avenue
All Crab Cioppino
Dungeness Killer Crab Feast – 6 pounds
Surf and Turf (Prime Rib and Crab)

Steps of Rome Caffe, 348 Columbus Avenue
Crab Ravioli in a light tomato cream sauce

Steps of Rome Trattoria, 362 Columbus Avenue
Linguine with crabmeat, jumbo shrimp, extra virgin olive oil and organic garlic in a fresh tomato sauce

Ristorante Figaro, 414 Columbus Avenue
Risotto stuffed crab. Large steamed crab stuffed with a delicate and creamy shrimp risotto.

Calzone's, 430 Columbus Avenue
Dungeness Crab Cocktail
Crab Meat
Crab Pizza
Fresh Fettucine with Crab
Dungeness Crab Salad

Panta Rei, 431 Columbus Avenue
Whole Dungeness Crab with Penne in a Spicy Tomato Sauce
Fresh Crab Ravioli

Abitare, 522 Columbus Avenue
Mechanical Crab Toys
Fancy Crab Match Boxes

Gold Spike, 527 Columbus Avenue
Crab Cioppino
Crab Bisque

Rose Pistola, 532 Columbus Avenue
Dungeness Crab Cioppino
Whole Roasted Dungeness Crab with Chili and Garlic

Ristorante Volare, 561 Columbus Avenue
Dungeness Granchio con Pasta

Piazza Pellegrini, 659 Columbus Avenue
Fresh Dungeness Crab Ravioli


Impala, 501 Broadway
Craboccino (crab bisque)

Mason Street:

Fior D'Italia, 2237 Mason Street
Dungeness Crab Salad

Union Street:

Pasta Pomodoro, 655 Union Street
Dungeness Crab Linguine Granchio

Iluna Basque, 701 Union (at Powell)
Fresh Dungeness Crab with Avocado and Lemon Dressing

Green Street:

O'Reilly's Irish Bar & Restaurant, 622 Green Street
Galway Bay Crab Cakes
The Oscar Wilde Fresh Bay Crab Benedict
Samuel Beckett Omelette with Prawns and Crab.

Stockton Street:

Tony Nik’s, 1534 Stockton Street
Crabby Mary Shooters (Weekend’s only)

Mangarosa Restaurant, 1548 Stockton Street
Artichoke Crab Dip with Onions, Grana Padana and Parmesan Crostini

Palermo Delicatessan, 1556 Stockton Street
Crab Salad Sandwiches
Crab Cakes

Sponsored by the North Beach Chamber of Commerce

Anonymous said...

The 20th Annual California Avocado Festival, Carpinteria

The Avocado Festival has evolved into one of the largest festivals in California with three days of fabulous food, terrific music, and great safe family fun.

OCTOBER 6, 7 & 8 2006

Friday: 4 PM - 9 PM
Saturday: 10 AM - 9 PM
Sunday: 10 AM - 6 PM

Admission to the California Avocado Festival is FREE.

Enter the Recipe Contest!

2005 1st Place Guacamole Recipe

By: Gayle Bamber of Fallbrook, CA

5 Avocados
1 Large tomato, diced
½ Large onion, Diced
½ Can diced chillies
½ Bunch cilantro, chopped
Serano chilli sauce to taste
Garlic salt to taste
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Mix and season to taste.

Anonymous said...

Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival
Saturday and Sunday, September 9 - 10, 2006

Be decadent in your own sweet way as Safeway presents the 11th Annual Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival.

This year the Festival gets sweeter as the fun swirls onto Beach Street in addition to the courtyards of Ghirardelli Square. Indulge in the chocolate delicacies, sip Ghirardelli Squartinis at The Chocolate Bar, or get nutty enjoying the chocolate inspired family activities.

This event is free and open to the public. Tickets must be purchased to participate in chocolate tasting. Tickets will be available at Ghirardelli Square and on Beach Street the day of the event. $10 ticket - 6 chocolate samples. $20 ticket - 15 chocolate samples.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Main Stage on Beach Street

2:30 Earthquake Ice Cream
Sundae Eating Contest

Take a chance at being one of the contestants who will compete, without using your hands, to finish a Ghirardelli Chocolate Earthquake Ice Cream Sundae featuring 8 scoops of ice cream, 8 toppings, whipped cream and of course a cherry on top. The winner will receive his/her weight in chocolate. Contestants will be selected at random the day of the event.

Chef Demonstrations (West Plaza)

2:00 Tony Gemignani –
World Champion Pizza Tosser

3:00 Ghirardelli Chocolate making
"Chocolate Truffles"

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Main Stage on Beach Street

2:00 Children’s Ice Cream Sundae
Eating Contest (ages 5-8)

2:30 Children’s Ice Cream Sundae
Eating Contest (ages 9-12)

Take a chance at being one of the contestants who will compete, without using your hands, to finish a Ghirardelli Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae. The winner will teceive Ghirardelli Chocolate. Contestants will be selected at random the day of the event.

Chef Demonstrations (West Plaza)

1:00 Annie Clemmons
Pastry Chef at Cyrus Restaurant

2:00 Pamela Keith

3:00 Cheryl Burr, Pastry Chef at

Both Days

Children’s Chocoland
Children can participate in chocolate decorating, balloon entertainment among other activities.

The Chocolate Bar, presented by Cost Plus World Market. Take a break from chocolate tasting and sip on a glass of wine, beer or our signature cocktail the Ghirardelli Squartini.

Must be over 21 years of age to enter.