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
It’s not all boudin, shrimp and grits in Louisiana. There are some serious craft brewers at work in the Pelican State these days. Travel along Louisiana Brewery Trail and you’ll run across more than a half dozen places you’ll want to stop.
The Abita Brewing Company opened for business in 1986, and its now the 14th-largest craft brewer in the country. In the heart of Acadiana, Parish Brewing Company in Broussard and Bayou Teche Brewing in Arnaudville represent the soul of Cajun heritage.
In Baton Rouge, Tin Roof Brewing Company plays a melody of hops that awaken the spirit of Louisiana’s capital city. To the east, a hotbed of brewing activity can be found on Lake Pontchartrain’s north shore. Louisiana communities thrive as the towns of Covington, Mandeville and Abita Springs house Covington Brewhouse, upstart Chafunkta Brewing Company and Abita Brewing Company.
And in the Big Easy, NOLA Brewing captures the essence of jazz, the heart of Mardi Gras and the flavor of Louisiana life.
The trail is a cooperative venture of Louisiana Travel and the Louisiana Craft Brewers Guild.
Big Sky Resort, Montana, is celebrating its 40th year this season (the first chairlift hoisted skiiers on December 15, 1973).
How better to entice you to the event than to launch a new brew? Lone Peak Brewery has created a special beer to mark the occasion: Retro Red Ale. It’s available in cans throughout the Resort’s establishments and on tap at select locations for the occasion and all winter long.
Birthday cake, ice cream, and the best ’70s-style ski costumes since, well, the ’70s, round out the celebration, set for December 13 through 15, 2013. Daily lift tickets will be $40 all weekend.
Boyne USA, a Michigan-based corporation, bought Big Sky Resort in 1976.
And, now, for something completely different: a film festival where food is the subject.
The Food for Real Film Festival takes place November 21 through 24, 2013, in Liverpool, England.
The program includes more than 30 food-focused features, documentaries, short films and animations over four days. Among the movies: “The Real Dirt on Farmer John”, “Local to Global Food Shorts (Part One)”, “James and the Giant Peach” and “More than Honey”. Among the workshops: “Outsider Cooking”, “Plant a Pocket Orchard” and “Beiruty Breakfast”.
This is the second edition of Food for Real, sponsored by “socially-engaged, creative food enterprise” Squash Nutrition. The festival seeks to “explore the environmental, cultural and political impacts of the foods we grow, eat, waste and share”.
(Image courtesy of Food for Real Film Festival)
Flavor! Napa Valley, a celebration of wine, food and fun, is set for November 20 through 24, 2013, in the northern California winery region.
The five-day series of epicurean and oenophile events will take place at the Silverado Resort & Spa, the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone (CIA) and at local vineyards, wineries, restaurants, farms, and artisanal food purveyors.
Net proceeds from the event will support programs and scholarships at the CIA’s Greystone Campus.
Can you be on the Florida Keys at the end of January?
Consider adding the 20th annual Master Chefs Classic to your itinerary. It’s set for 4 to 7 p.m. January 26, 2014, at the Westin Key West Resort & Marina Pier, 245 Front Street, Key West, Florida.
A culinary competition and tasting, it benefits the Monroe Association for ReMARCable Citizens (MARC provides life services for developmentally disabled adults in the Florida Keys).
Restaurants compete in appetizer, entrée and dessert categories providing tempting tastings for the 450 people attending. Awards are given in each category by judges and people’s choice ballots.
(Photo courtesy of Master Chef’s Classic)
Well, why not? Beer and ale were the beverages of choice in an era when water was downright dangerous to drink.
Even though the setting should be Old World rather than New World, “Ale Quest” is set for Friday through Sunday (November 22 through 24, 2013) in Medieval Times, 2001 North Roselle Road, Schaumburg, Illinois.
It’s said to be the first and only fusion of a craft beer festival and Medieval Times tournament entertainment featuring jousting, swordsmanship, knight competitions and a dinner that is “fit for a king”.
A three-hour craft beer sampling session, divided into five sessions during the three-day festival, includes local, national and international craft beers. Prices range from $59 to $99.
As an added feature, all “ye lords and ladies” may participate in a costume contest — although the wearing of costumes is not mandatory. Whew!
It’s being staged by Global Scene Productions and Chicago Scene, in partnership with Medieval Times.
(Photo courtesy of Ale Quest)
Plenty of time to plan for this one. The next Wine & Food Festival on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is set for March 13 through 16, 2014.
The most popular event at the festival is the Gourmet Tasting Village, held March 15 and 16, 2014. Restaurants from both Cancún and the Rivera Maya offer samplings of their best dishes.
Your Road Trips Foodie has her eye on the Sunset Catamaran Cruise because it includes a dinner at a private beach club on Isla Mujeres. There are so many events on the calendar, that something’s likely to appeal — although some are already sold out.
You have had the great fortune to travel in Macau, and has “tasted” its Portuguese-Chinese fusion cuisine first-hand.
Therefore, she heartily recommends transiting through the Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China between November 8 and November 24, 2013. Those are the dates for the 13th Macau Food Festival.
It takes place at Sai Van Lake Square, opposite the 338-meter high Macau Tower. On offer will be Asian, European and Macanese cuisine from street stalls, booths and tents. New this year is a Thai Village, with more than 30 participants from Northern, North Eastern, Central and Southern of Thailand.
If you’re planning to hit Macau for the Grand Prix: you’re in luck. The race takes place during the Macau Food Festival.
Macau, on China’s south coast, is 40 miles from Hong Kong, the other Chinese SAR (which used to be a British colony). The food fest is organized by the United Association of Food and Beverage Merchants of Macau.
(Photo courtesy of Macau Government Tourist Office)