Weekly food and gastronomy agenda

From nationwide events paying homage to spuds to a star-filled food festival that's attended by a veritable who's who of the celebrity culinary world, here's a look at notable food events this week.

Salon International de l'Agriculture
February 19- 27
Paris, France

One of the themes for this year's International Agriculture Show - the biggest expo of its kind in France - builds on the country's recent listing in UNESCO's "Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity" for its gastronomic culture. This year's fair aims to celebrate the contribution of the agricultural sector to French gastronomy and position France as a culinary model for the world. The 48th annual edition will showcase 1,000 exhibitors from 35 different countries and attract 650,000 visitors over nine days.


National Chip Week
February 21-27

If you see Britons tucking into plates of chips - or fries for North Americans - with extra gusto this week they may say it's simply a gesture of patriotic duty for one of their national dishes. For the 20th anniversary of National Chip Week, sponsored by the Potato Council, organizers have launched a series of contests challenging Britons to sing for their supper and submit an original spud recipe. On the Chip Factor, hosted by Britain's X-Factor star Andy Abraham, potato lovers can upload a video of themselves singing one of three chosen songs at participating chip restaurants to win a free plate of chips. Finalists of MasterSpud 2011, a potato cooking contest, will also get a chance to cook alongside Chef Jean-Christophe Novelli in a national TV advert.





The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival
February 24-27
South Beach, Miami, FL, USA

This year marks the 10th anniversary of The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival, a four-day event that gathers the glitterati of the TV food world to mingle and mix with the public. Last year the event attracted 50,000 people and continues to grow, thanks to the star power of celebrity chefs like Anthony Bourdain, Todd English, and Jamie Oliver. This year's Tribute Dinner will honor the legendary French gastronomic stalwart Alain Ducasse, who owns three Michelin-star restaurants in Paris, London and Monaco, each decorated with three stars. Proceeds of the festival go towards the Florida International University's School of Hospitality and Tourism.


www.twitter.com/Lee_Schrager (festival director)



New York Wine Expo
February 25-26
New York, NY, USA

It's only in its fourth year but the New York Wine Expo has become a popular event for wine lovers in the area. This year will showcase 190 winemakers from around the world and visitors will be able to sample 760 wines.




February 27 - March 2
Dubai, UAE

The largest and most attended food and drink expo of the Middle East, Gulfood is attended by more than 55,000 buyers from 152 countries around the world. It's also expected to host 3,800 exhibitors with representation from France, Uruguay and Switzerland and will feature the Emirates International Salon Culinaire, a culinary competition that draws chefs from around the world.


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