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IowaCooking Vacations, Foodie Tours, Culinary Getaways

Iowans consider their state the "breadbasket of the world," and the cuisine reflects this. Get ready for pork chops and pork BBQ, corn-on-the-cob, casseroles, and more just-plain-good Midwestern cooking than you can possibly eat in a lifetime. Most rural towns have a fast-food restaurant or two if you're in a hurry, but the best places are the ones which take a little more time, possibly giving you a chance to chat with friendly locals over a pie or coffee. Early morning in a rural diner might find you in the company of a bunch of farmers! Towns with strong ethnic identities often have restaurants devoted to a particular country's cuisine. There are vineyards scattered throughout the state, each producing their own wines, and the products of local craft breweries can be found throughout the state.

— Iowa Cooking Schools —

Ador Kitchens & Baths
Urbandale 515-331-3377
Ador offers monthly Culinary Arts Classes in their state-of-the art Culinary Center.  Each class features a unique theme along with useful culinary tips and techniques.  Cost of the class is $55 per person and includes appetizers, three entrees, beverage (including wine and beer), and take-home recipe booklet.  Call today for more information.
Becky's Mindful Kitchen & Cooking School
Solon 319-325-3464 website »
Escape to a countryside oasis at Becky’s Mindful Kitchen & Cooking School, where processed foods are trumped by real foods and traditional preparations. Becky sources all of her produce, meats and dairy from local farmers who share her philosophy of traditional grass farming practices, respect of animals and the environment.
Country Club Market
Clive 515-987-5957
Country Club Market offers both demonstration and hands-on classes designed to enhance your culinary skills by providing you with new techniques, as well as innovative recipes. All classes start promptly at 6 p.m. and cost $35, unless otherwise noted.
Gateway Market
Des Moines 515-243-1754
Gateway Market is a gathering place for the community. Our cooking classes, tastings, book signings and other events are part of the Gateway Market experience. Chatting with famous cookbook authors can make for a great memory and learning new cooking techniques is a fun family or friend activity.
The Cottage Bakery & Café
Iowa City 319-358-5533
We made it through a year of being displaced and cramped, and now we're in a big, beautiful new space. Be sure to stay tuned because our new location will mean many new things, including a variety of cooking classes offered by one of the Cottage’s fine chefs.

Taste What's Happening!

Central Iowa Expo BBQ

Boone
4/24/2015 - 4/26/2015
KCBS competition with bands and beer garden.

BBQ in the Bluffs

Council Bluffs
5/8/2015 - 5/9/2015
BBQ Contestants will compete in four Categories: Chicken, Pork, Ribs and Brisket at the Kansas City Barbecue Society’s sanctioned event

Smokin' in the Junction

West Des Moines
5/23/2015 - 5/24/2015
Join us for hot BBQ, great food, live music, food vendors, kids activities, inflatables, the beer garden and two days full of fun!

Manchester Annual Rhubarb Fest

Manchester
6/6/2015
Enjoy the food, festival, and music. Local artists & craftsmen, rhubarb contests, wine tasting, rhubarb store, & rhubarb themed foods.

Fredericksburg's Dairy Days

Fredericksburg
6/9/2015 - 6/10/2015
Dairy breakfast, midway, ice cream making contest, milking contest, parade, music and fireworks.

Farmington Strawberry Festival

Farmington
6/12/2015 - 6/14/2015
The festival offers free strawberries and ice cream, a car show, strawberry cooking contest, talent show and more!

Iowa Wine & Fine Arts Festival

Centerville
6/13/2015
Taste Iowa wines while roaming the courtyard of the historic downtown Centerville. Enjoy outstanding art, fabulous food, and great music.

Ice Cream Days

Le Mars
6/17/2015 - 6/20/2015
It's all about the Ice Cream! Celebrate with ice cream treats, picnics, parades and more in La Mars, Ice Cream Capital of the World.

Rose Festival BBQ

State Center
6/19/2015 - 6/20/2015
Celebrating the best small town America has to offer with our official KCBS BBQ competition.

Amana Colonies Wurst Festival

Amana
6/20/2015
We’ve gathered sausage makers from around the state so you’ll be able to sample all types of handmade small batch sausages.

Gladbrook Corn Carnival

Gladbrook
6/25/2015 - 6/28/2015
This annual festival will include fireworks, a corn eating contest, music, classic car cruise, carnival, and crowning of the Corn Cob Queen.

Lazy River Beer & Wine Festival

Marquette
6/27/2015
Bring your lawn chair and prepare for a day of relaxation and fun with local Iowa beer and wine, live music and food vendors.

Watermelon Days

Humeston
7/17/2015 - 7/19/2015
A July event where free watermelon is offered along with entertainment, tractor pull, dance and much more!

BBQ'Loo and Blues Too!

Waterloo
7/17/2015 - 7/19/2015
Come join us for great food, great music, and great fun in Lincoln Park in downtown Waterloo.

Watermelon Day

Stanhope
7/18/2015
Since 1958, parade, carnival rides and games, ball games, free entertainment, and all the free watermelon you can eat!

Elkader Sweet Corn Days

Elkader
7/23/2015 - 7/26/2015
Ice Cream Social, Golf & Softball Tournaments, Donut Hole Eating Contest, Parade, Car Cruise, Live Music, and Free Sweet Corn!

Up In Smoke BBQ Bash

Mason City
7/24/2015 - 7/25/2015
Great BBQ, big crowds, live music, cooking demonstrations, grilling and barbecuing tips, samples, really great energy, and fun!

Sweet Corn Serenade

Oskaloosa
7/30/2015
Fresh cooked sweet corn meal, pie and ice cream, food vendors, crafters and live music.

Estherville Sweet Corn Days

Estherville
7/30/2015 - 8/2/2015
Free sweet corn, Run for the Cob, car show, parade, inflatables, duck derby on the Des Moines River, fireworks, street dances and much more.

Iowa Irish Fest

Waterloo
7/31/2015 - 8/2/2015
Iowa's only large-scale Celtic festival with three stages of music and entertainment. Celtic gifts, food and highland games.
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