Hotels turn up the heat with food-and-beverage festivals

The Westin Savannah (Ga.) Harbor Golf Resort & Spa hosts the Savannah Gourmet Seafood & Spirits Festival every August.

Summer means festivals of all kinds, and hotels have turned the public’s interest in these types of events to their advantage—especially when it comes to food-and-beverage. A number of properties host food festivals that attract locals in particular to their grounds.

One such hotel is the Westin Savannah (Ga.) Harbor Golf Resort & Spa, which every August hosts the Savannah Gourmet Seafood & Spirits Festival, one of Savannah’s most celebrated summer events.

This year’s event, the fourth annual installment, will feature celebrity chefs, renowned restaurants, competitive mixologists, flagship spirits and more during the four-day run. Last year’s festival welcomed more than 1,000 guests and this year’s events is expected to draw even more attendees.

Events such as the “Coastal Chef’s Table,” (a five-course dinner pairing event featuring chef and cocktail demonstrations); the Fresh Catch & Cocktails Jazz Brunch; and the Lowcountry picnic will be held at various spots around the property, including the grand ballroom, the River Lawn & Esplanade and Aqua Star Seafood.

Hotel Matilda and Rosewood San Miguel de Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, are launching a new Mexican food and art festival this July that is expected to become an annual event.

“The Market of Arts & Gastronomy will be the grandest and most dynamic food and art festival in Mexico, bringing together an array of high-profile participants including leading chefs, hotels, restaurants, food and spirits companies, wineries, artists, major media and others,” Bruce James, director of Hotel Matilda, said in a statement. “And we are currently talking with other cities to hold the festival in a different Mexican destination each year.”

Dozens of events and activities are planned over the four days of the initial MAG festival in San Miguel, starting with a kickoff dinner in Moxi at Hotel Matilda with renowned Mexican chef Enrique Olvera.

The Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center in Boston

The Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center in Boston hosts not one but two F&B events: the BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational, which features more than 70 microbrewers pouring more than 250 types of beer, cider, kombucha, mead and sake; and the Chefs in Shorts event, which is now in its 20th year. Chefs in Shorts brings together a many of the area’s leading chefs, who will fire up the grills and create their favorite dishes during this outdoor barbecue. 

Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort in Maui, Hawaii, will host the first Fire It Up! culinary event in July, providing guests and locals with a taste of tantalizing barbecue flavors from around the country. A live-fire food, wine, beer and bourbon event, Fire It Up! is curated to showcase Hawaii’s meats, seafood and produce cooked exclusively with fire. The event features culinary stars from around the country coupled with live entertainment, activities and more.

Hosted by Grand Wailea’s all-star chef team, Fire It Up! will feature signature dishes from renowned celebrity chefs such as Hubert Keller, and pit masters across the U.S., who will each serve a signature dish cooked by live-fire.

Alongside the cuisine will be cocktails complimenting the fare prepared by John Tiogo, Grand Wailea beverage manager and mixologist. Guests can also enjoy a selection of bourbon and tequila cocktails, wines, and Grand Wailea’s signature Gose beer, brewed exclusively for the resort by Maui Brewing Company.

The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival is at the Loews Atlanta Hotel and surrounding area for the seventh time this year. The festival features lectures, demonstrations, tasting tents, and special dinners, with culinary talent from Atlanta and around the Southeast. 

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colo., has partnered with Colorado State University this year to host the first CSU Rocky Mountain BBQ Showdown, which is a barbecue competition with grills and cash prizes valued at over $10,000. The 24-hour barbecue competition/party is open to the public and hosted on the front lawn of the hotel.

The Hyatt Regency Trinidad, a strong supporter of the festival route, is partnering with The Embassy of Mexico, United Airlines, Copa Airlines and Corona Beer to host its first Mexican food festival. The Hyatt has also hosted an Argentinian food festival, a Cuban food festival, a Colombian food festival and a New Orleans food festival.