10 Food Events to Look Forward to This SummerBy Scott Kearnan
May 27, 2014
Somerville Food Truck Festival - Saturday, June 7
Gas up and head over to Assembly Row (a new retail, restaurant and residential complex) for the first Somerville Food Truck Festival from 11 AM-4 PM. Admission is $5 in advance or at the gate for access to about two dozen food trucks slinging all sorts of delights, from Roxy's Gourmet Grilled Cheese (pictured) to Vietnamese favorite Bon Me and from ice cream sandwiches at Frozen Hoagies to spicy fusion from The Latin Spoon. Our engines are revved.
Bacon and Beer Festival - Saturday, June 7
We hate to tease, but we can't neglect to mention this one. Tickets sold out in a record 45 minutes for the third annual Bacon and Beer Festival at Landmark Center, a fundraiser for Community Servings and Lovin' Spoonfuls that will feature 70-plus participating brewers and restaurants, including The Gallows, Merrill & Co., Aquitaine and The Salty Pig. (There's even a bacon-themed art show.) But you can still head here to add your name to the wait list, or start begging your friends to buy off their spare tickets.
Hyper-Local Craft Brewfest - Friday, June 13-Saturday, June 14
Pay tribute to the still-growing grassroots beer scene. The Hyper-Local Craft Brewfest at the Somerville Armory will offer unlimited 2-oz. tastings from imaginative Boston-area brewers who make innovative varieties using everything from locally sourced apples to locally harvested oysters. Friday night's Homebrew Showcase (6:30-9:30 PM) adds a more informational element to the mix; otherwise choose one of two Saturday sessions (3-6 PM or 7-10 PM) to sip your way through the best local brewers the area has to offer. Tickets ($45-$85) are here.
Chefs in Shorts - Friday, June 20
Your favorite toques will trade aprons for Bermudas at the annual Chefs in Shorts event, which sees over 40 chefs stage summer cookout-style tasting stations in the glorious open air of the Seaport World Trade Center. From 7 to 9:30 PM, the harborside venue will be filled with aromas from spots like Fairsted Kitchen, Merrill & Co., Poe's Kitchen at the Rattlesnake (chef Brian Poe and his team above), Prezza and Row 34, to name a few. Tickets ($80) are available here, and proceeds benefit Future Chefs, a local nonprofit school-to-career program focused in culinary arts.
Phantom Gourmet’s BBQ & Music Festival - Friday, June 20-Sunday, June 22
The local food show Phantom Gourmet is known to be somewhat cheesy - literally. But on Friday, June 20, they'll spice up their BBQ & Music Festival with a little Salt-N-Pepa, riding the wave of '90s nostalgia with a live performance from the rap trio of "Shoop" and "Push It" fame. If you'd prefer a rock 'n' roll vibe, Saturday's event will host the Boston-bred ska-punk act The Mighty Mighty Bosstones (alongside Gaslight Anthem). And on all three days you'll find City Hall Plaza filled with an endless array of ribs, pulled pork, fried chicken and other sauce-slathered offerings from a half-dozen traveling barbecue gurus hailing from Australia to Texas. Tickets ($5-$15) and more info here.
Boston Jerkfest - Saturday, June 28
It’s said that the barbecue-style process of jerking was perfected by Africans who eventually settled in Boston, a town in the Portland Parish of Jamaica. Now our own Boston will host this hot (hot, hot) event at the South End's Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology. Expect plenty of spicy plates from local restaurants (two of whom will participate in a "Seafood Throwdown" cooking demo/contest), small-batch food artisans strutting and selling their stuff, a thirst-slaking Rum and Brew tasting and live Caribbean music. Tickets ($12-$45) and more info here.
Boston Seafood Festival - Sunday, July 27
Celebrate the 100th anniversary of Fish Pier with the Boston Seafood Festival, which from 11 AM to 6 PM will shell out (get it?) plenty of seafood tastings from local chefs - plus live cooking demos, an oyster-shucking contest and more. You can expect plenty of emphasis on sustainable seafood, since the event is hosted by the Boston Fisheries Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting and expanding New England's sustainable fisheries. More info here.
Dine Out Boston - Sunday, August 17-Friday, August 22 and Sunday, August 24-Friday, August 29
The food event formerly known as Boston Restaurant Week returns for a summer installment in August. Under its new moniker, Dine Out Boston, the city-wide initiative will feature dozens of participating restaurants offering discounted price tags for multicourse dinners. (Details on the summer Dine Out are still forthcoming, but the March outing included $28, $33 and $38 prix fixe options.) Keep an eye out here for additional info, including the soon-to-be unveiled list of participants.
Taste of WGBH Food and Wine Festival - Thursday, September 11-Sunday, September 14
This four-day fest kicks off with a Thursday Chef's Gala (7-10 PM) featuring 25 top toques pairing fantastic eats with stellar wines and craft beers, among them, Jody Adams (pictured) of Rialto and Trade, Will Gilson of Puritan & Company and Chris Coombs of Deuxave and Boston Chops. On Friday comes a Food & Wine Auction featuring collector's bottles and unique dining packages, and Saturday has two Artisan Taste sessions with exhibitor tables representing over 100 international wines and local restaurants, plus a demo stage and book signings. It wraps up with the event's first Sunday Brunch Bar. For details, hours and tickets for each component, head here.
Boston Local Food Festival - Sunday, September 14
Wrap up the summer with a free outdoor festival (and "zero-waste" event) on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. The Boston Local Food Festival showcases regional farmers and food trucks, specialty food products, and restaurants doing their part to promote a sustainable food scene. Expect plenty of restaurant vendors (the still-growing list already includes Flour Bakery, Red Lentil and Granary Tavern), chef and DIY demos, and plenty of live music and entertainment. Head here for the details as they roll in.