About Susan McKee
Susan McKee is an independent scholar and freelance journalist specializing in history, culture and travel. She honed her craft as a general assignment reporter for more than a decade at a major metropolitan daily newspaper before fleeing corporate journalism for the peripatetic life of a freelancer.
Susan writes for a wide variety of publications, both print and online. Bylines have appeared in Global Traveler USA, JaxFax, HGTV's Front Door, Global Foodie and Road Trips for Foodies.
Latest Posts by Susan McKee
Meet Wisconsin’s largest bacon showcase with bacon lectures, bacon-inspired dishes, bacon competitions, a bacon queen contest, live entertainment and bacon fellowship — all taking place between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. November 1, 2014.
The first Madison Bacon Festival, a Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival event, takes place in the Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wisconsin.
If you’re really “into” bacon, consider entering one of these: the Wisconsin Bacon Royalty Contest and a Bacon Eating Competition. And, mark your calendars for the big one: January 31, 2015, in the Iowa Events Center, Des Moines, Iowa.
The Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival, founded in Iowa in 2001, is a multi-city fest designed to improve enjoyment of all things bacon.
More than 100 single malt, Scotch and other whiskies will be enjoyed across the country, as the 21st annual Whisky Extravaganza returns to five U.S. cities. Hosted by The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, the gala evening events also feature food — and an imported cigar as a parting gift for guests.
The 21st Annual Whisky Extravaganza makes stops in the following cities:
Boston, Massachusetts — October 23, 2014, at The Taj Boston
Washington, DC — November 5, 2014, at The JW Marriott Hotel
Seattle, Washington — November 14, 2014, at The Rainer Club
Los Angeles, California — November 20, 2014, at The LA Athletic Club
Fort Lauderdale, Florida — December 4, 2014, at The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel
Of course you must be 21 or older to attend. The gala event is open to anyone who loves or is interested about whisky.
(Photo courtesy of Whisky Extravaganza)
The 11th annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival is set for November 16 through 23, 2014.
The schedule includes cooking classes, tasting panels, celebrity chef dinners, and multiple tasting events.
Marquee event, of course is the Chef of the Fest Competition, set for November 22, 2014. Both seasoned and up-and-coming chefs in the San Diego culinary scene show their skills at the Festival’s Grand Tasting.
Check out all the events and decide when you’re driving into SoCal,.
(Photo courtesy of San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival)
If craving for burek, chevaps, penchenji, palachinke and baklava should add this event to their travel schedules.
A Serbian Festival is set for October 25, 2014, at St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, 3025 Denver Street, San Diego, California. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Foodies, of course, are drawn by the ethnic food — as authentic as you can get outside Serbia. Promised are burek (phyllo dough pastry filled with meat/cheese), chevaps (barbecued ground beef and pork meat rolls), pechenje (rotisserie pork), and a variety of pastries (apple and pita), palachinke (Serbian crepes), baklava, walnut strudel, and Serbian coffee. There’ll also be a wine tasting.
Music, storytelling and dance also are on the agenda. The Morava Folklore Ensemble performs at at 3 and 6 p.m. Admission is $3; children 12 and younger are admitted free.
(Photo courtesy of St. George Serbian Orthodox Church)
If you are conversant in Italian, you might what to schedule a visit to the White Truffle Fair in Alba, Italy.
Myriad events are scheduled during the fair, which runs from October 11 through November 16, 2014. The difficulty for the rest of us is that the website is only in Italian.
There’s a market place with lots of vendors, cooking demos and many local restaurants featuring truffled pasta, risotto or grilled vegetables.
The festival’s origins date to 1928.
See a video about the event here:
(Photo and video courtesy of Alba International)
Chicago’s chocolate guru (and three-time Guinness World Record holder for chocolate and sugar creations), Chef Alain Roby of the All Chocolate Kitchen, will celebrate National Chocolate Day with an A.C.K. challenge.
Those of you who are chocoholics already have October 28, 2014, on their calendars — but are they up for this competition? Contestants will (attempt to) finish a basketball-sized, seven-pound, Grand-Cru Chocolate Truffle (filled with Chocolate Truffle Mousse) in two hours.
It’s not quite like the steak challenge in that legendary Amarillo, Texas, restaurant: it’ll cost you $150 for the truffle (if you don’t finish it) and $75 if you do. Those who complete the challenge successfully will receive their pictures on the A.C.K. 23-foot tall all-chocolate enchanted tree and a t-shirt. (Contestants: call ahead — 630:232-2395.)
The All Chocolate Kitchen is located at 33 South Third Street, Geneva, Illinois.
(Photo courtesy of All Chocolate Kitchen)
Without the blues, there would be no jazz or R&B — but you knew that, didn’t you?
The Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival, established in 2006, continues New Orleans’ historic role in making the blues and R&B among the most influential sounds in the world.
It takes place next weekend: October 17, 18 and 19, 2014. Hours are 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, and 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.
You’ll be drawn by the promise of Louisiana-style barbecue as well as the music by performers from southern Louisiana and Mississippi.
It’s all in Lafayette Square Park, 540 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana. Admission is free. The fest is sponsored by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation.
The 14th annual OysterFest takes place in Wellfleet, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both October 18 and 19, 2014.
A family festival, it celebrates the town’s famous oysters, clams and shellfishing traditions with something for everyone: local cuisine, arts and crafts, educational programs, cooking demonstrations, children’s activities, walking tours, live music, a road race, and the annual Oyster Shuck-Off competition.
You will be especially interested in the culinary programs, which range from cooking demos and cook book signings, to the ‘Fest’s own signature programs Shucky’s Day and Taste the Terroir.
This year, Taste the Terroir will be combined with elements from Shucky’s Day to form a unique new program called Taste the Terroir and Merroir, set for 1 p.m. October 19. (Due to the times of the tides during festival weekend, Shucky’s Day will not be offered this fall.) These programs take place in the lower level of Wellfleet Preservation Hall.
Terroir is the French word translated as “a sense of place” which is embodied in certain characteristic qualities found in an agricultural product such as cheese or wine. Merroir is the French word for the same expression of place when referring to things from the sea. Just as soil type, climate and location of vineyards impacts the flavor of wine, so the region, water quality and temperature, surrounding sea life and harvesting methods affects the taste of oysters.
The ‘Fest is produced by Wellfleet Shellfish Promotion and Tasting who is devoted to fostering a greater understanding of the town’s shellfishing industry, to preserve its history and traditions and protect its harbor, aquaculture and wild fisheries.
(Image courtesy of Wellfleet Oysterfest)