After enduring years of travel restrictions and canceled events, adventurous gourmands are resuming their epicurean travels. The world’s finest chefs are once again on the road, appearing at various dinners and festivals to wow audiences with their vision and technique.
With price tags that stretch into the five figures, these exclusive events are worth making plans around.
While every major city hosts its fair share of pricey wine dinners with notable names, the Wynn Las Vegas has been taking things to another level by partnering with Napa Valley’s famed Domain H.
for an ultra-exclusive dinner series this fall.
At US$10,000 per person and limited to 20 guests, the series offers attendees an opportunity to sample a variety of the most elusive labels from Harlan’s time-honored wineries—including Harlan Estate, BOND, and Promontory—paired with specially curated menus from Wynn’s acclaimed chefs. The first dinner, which featured Harlan Estate wines paired with caviar, toro, white truffles, and Kobe beef, took place on Sept. 10, and two more will be held on Oct. 15 (featuring BOND wines) and Nov. 12 (Promontory).
Lovers of cult Napa Cabernets rarely have the chance to taste through Harlan’s portfolio—the 2016 Harlan Estate vintage is priced at US$1,600 per bottle, while most Bond and Promontory labels are priced around US$800 per bottle.
“We received tremendous feedback from the sold-out September event,” says
the resort’s executive director of wine. “Over the next two dinners, we are exploring different settings and locations, sourcing unique ingredients, planning to pour mini-verticals for each course, and offering wine never released outside of the winery.”
Taking place on-property at notable venues including the two-story Encore duplex suite and the 18th hole of Wynn Golf Club, the series provides guests with immediate membership to Harlan’s wine club, bypassing a lengthy waitlist. Each ticket also includes a one-night stay in a newly-renovated Wynn Tower Suite room.
Celebrity chef acolytes have a new option this year with the inaugural Bahamas Culinary & Arts Festival, taking place Oct. 21-23 at the Baha Mar resort. The program is filled with food, art, culture, and VIP access to globally celebrated chefs such as
VIP tickets for the weekend are US$499, and special chef experiences such as an interactive bouillabaisse and rosé luncheon with Daniel Boulud are available for an extra fee.
This month, the third edition of Hokol Vuh—a Mayan-themed gastronomic journey founded in 2020 by chefs
to promote the welfare and sustainability of the local communities—will bring 18 culinary superstars to
just outside of Mérida on the Yucatán Peninsula. Headlined by
Redzepi, and other Michelin-starred chefs, the event lineup reads like a who’s who among global culinary talent.
The chefs will travel to the Yucatán a week prior to the Oct. 22 dinner to become acquainted with and work alongside Mayan communities, using ingredients from their journeys into the jungle. For US$1,500 per person, the all-inclusive dinner will allow guests to discover Yucatecan culture via a sumptuous nine-course meal; each dish will be a special creation, inspired by the Mayan culture, and accompanied by traditional Mayan music performed by local musicians.
Guests seeking the full experience can opt for one of the packages (US$4,500-US$10,000) that includes a stay in historic properties and ecological-cultural tours in which participants learn about traditional Mayan practices.
Billed as the premier epicurean destination event in the Pacific, the 12th annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, from Oct. 21-Nov. 6, features a roster of more than 150 internationally renowned chefs, culinary personalities, winemakers, and mixologists.
The festival is a program of the non-profit Hawaii Ag and Culinary Alliance; since its 2011 launch, the festival has donated more than US$3 million to community organizations that support sustainability, culinary programs, and agriculture.
Amateur duffers can play with the chefs at the
Golf Classic, and for US$1,500 per person, big meal hunters can nab at seat at the closing event, The Art of Food & Wine. Held at the iconic Halekulani resort on Waikiki Beach, this annual gala begins with a cocktail reception and specially curated art showcase—this year, local artist
will debut several new interactive AR experiences—followed by a five-course dinner with wine pairings.
In late October, dozens of the culinary world’s brightest stars will descend upon Texas for a pair of notable events.
and the Southern Smoke Foundation will host the 2022 Southern Smoke Festival in Shepherd’s adopted hometown of Houston on Oct. 21-23. More than 60 of the country’s biggest culinary stars—including chef
Top Chef judge
and former Olympian-turned chef
—will be on hand, all to benefit the foundation, a nonprofit founded and powered by current and past F&B workers (including Shepherd), with a goal to create a meaningful safety net of support that doesn’t exist for most industry workers.
To date, the foundation has distributed more than US$10 million directly to F&B workers in crisis via its emergency relief fund; the most recent Southern Smoke Festival, which took place in 2019, raised nearly US$600,000 for the emergency relief fund.
This year’s festival will focus on three events: A Texas-sized welcome party hosted by barbecue icon
at the historic Lott Hall at Hermann Park; a blowout (US$1,000 per person) raw bar party featuring an interactive whole tuna breakdown, with made-to-order hand rolls to follow; and an “East Downtown Throwdown” with live fires, trailers, and pits. Individual event tickets are available, and guests can buy a “Baller Pass”—VIP tickets to all three events—for US$2,000 per person.
The Tasting Texas Wine + Food Festival, held in partnership with the James Beard Foundation, will take place Oct. 27-30 in San Antonio. Individual event tickets are available, and weekend packages cost US$300, US$600, and US$1,025 per person. Money raised from the festival will go to the James Beard Foundation for culinary scholarships in Texas.
The extensive program of events will give attendees the chance to taste and learn about interesting topics such as the growing Texas wine scene or international influences on Texas BBQ. But the main attraction will be The Collective, a market-style, grand tasting event at the city’s Travis Park, a stunning downtown space that was once the Mission farmlands of the Alamo. In addition to food and drinks from more than 50 chefs and brands, ticket holders can experience hands-on demos and educational seminars, shop artisan stalls, enjoy live entertainment, and recharge in a cooling/wellness zone.
Wine lovers have long circled the second annual Cabernet Classic—Napa Valley’s premier event focused specifically on Cabernet in all its styles—on their calendar. Taking place Nov. 4-6 at The Meritage Resort and Spa, the gathering will bring together master sommeliers, wine aficionados, industry experts, and world-class wineries in celebration of the region’s most renowned variety.
A weekend passport runs US$1,650 per person, and “sip and stay” packages with accommodations cost US$4,000-US$5,000 for two people.
Returning for its 11th iteration, the annual Punta Mita Gourmet & Golf event will take place Dec. 8-11, allowing visitors to indulge in the best of Mexican cuisine, wine, tequila, and mezcal alongside international tastemakers, all while experiencing world-class golf at a pair of
-designed courses along Mexico’s Pacific Coast.
Golfers can improve their game with a warm-up lesson led by professionals
Jean Van de Velde,
and this year’s event will celebrate the launch of Wines of Golf Legends by the French wine merchants Peuch & Besse. As part of the launch, legendary golfers will select a wine bottled in their region and then partner with one of the visiting chefs from the same region to prepare a curated menu to complement the selected wines.
Culinary events will be set across various venues within the gates of Punta Mita, including the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, and El Surf Club, with custom menus from a carefully selected roster of guest chefs. Packages run from US$888-US$2,499 per person.