I’m designating October 1-30, 2013 as “October Feast” in Boston. Frankly, I didn’t think we could top last October’s spectacular month of food events or even this September’s pleasures (check out my post on JP Patch for the remaining events this month), but this October is shaping up to be a great month. And if you don’t live in Beantown, you’ll probably wish you did by the time you’ve finished reading this post.
The month kicks off with the oddly named “Let’s Talk About Food” Festival on Saturday, October 5, 10:30am-6pm in Copley Square and Trinity Church, Boston. The focus will be on learning about and discussing food, not eating it. (Is this where we go to eat our words, ala The Phantom Tollbooth?) The free event features talks, food demos, and discussions about school lunches, food science, fermentation, the Mediterranean Diet, whole grains, seafood, and foraging. Two of my favorite cookbook authors–and people–will be presenting: Maria Speck and Didi Emmons, as well as many other famous local chefs, including Jody Adams, Michael Leviton, Tony Maws, Ana Sortun, to name drop just a few, so even if we can’t eat their fabulous food, we can hear what they have to say about cooking it.
There are two earlier LTAF events, both at Trinity Church. On Thursday, October 3, 6-8pm, a stellar panel of food policy visionaries will discuss, “Can New England Feed Itself? How Close Can We Get to Sustainability?” Free, but preregistration required. And on Friday, October 4, 6-8pm, another stellar panel will discuss “Breaking Bread Together: A Conversation on Food, Ethics and Community.” Free, but preregistration required.
People won’t just be talking about food at the Boston Local Food Festival on Sunday, October 6, 11am-5pm on The Greenway, Boston, we’ll be slurping, sipping, and savoring luscious local eats. This free outdoor fest–Boston’s best, IMHO–features local food vendors; farmers; fishermen; chef, DIY and butchering demos; a seafood throw-down competition; music and performances; a family fun zone, and more. The Greenway location gives it a carnival atmosphere, but instead of fry bread and cotton candy, you get to eat delicious, healthy, local food from some of the area’s best chefs. The perfect place for pescovegetarians to find a nosh! Produced by the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts (SBN) (full disclosure – I’m a board member), the festival promotes “healthy local food for all.” Here are a few highlights from year one and last year. For more info, visit bostonlocalfoodfestival.com.
The very next weekend, SBN is holding its 4th Annual Local Craft Brewfest on Saturday, October 12, 3:30-6:30 pm at the Moakley U.S. Courthouse on the Boston waterfront, Fort Point. Okay, I know brewfests are all the rage now, but SBN was one of the first groups to hold a brewed deliciousness event in Boston. Even if you’re not a fan of craft beer (shame on you), there’ll be plenty to taste: the event features more than 50 local craft brewers, distillers, cideries, meaderies (who knew meaderies was a word?), artisan beverage brewers, food producers, and live music. Plus, you can drink in the great view. Tickets are $45 and benefit the SBN Local Food Fest (featured above).
October is a big month for food activism. For one thing, it’s National Farm to School Month. That’s thirty days dedicated to celebrating the connections between farm, community, classroom and cafeteria across the country. And October 24 is Food Day, a nationwide celebration and a grassroots movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. Massachusetts is celebrating Food Day in a big way, with over 500 events already planned on or near October 24. Visit the Food Day MA blog to read about some of the good food work happening around the state.
Closing out “October Feast” is the annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival on Saturday, October 26, from 11am-6pm and Sunday, October 27 from 10am-4pm at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center, 1350 Tremont St., Boston. Even nonvegetarians seem to get a kick out of wandering around tasting all the delicious tidbits. This free event gets jammed with a wonderfully diverse mix of people, so if you hate crowds, come early, or pay $5 in advance to visit the exhibitor room for a glorious hour of sampling from 10-11am on Saturday.
Most visitors come to Boston in October for the foliage, but I say, forget the leaves. Come for October Feast!