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Iowa Culinary Travel

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!

Elkader Sweet Corn Days

7/21/2016 - 7/24/2016
Ice Cream Social, Golf & Softball Tournaments, Donut Hole Eating Contest, Parade, Car Cruise, Live Music, and Free Sweet Corn!
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Sweet Corn Serenade

Fresh cooked sweet corn meal, pie and ice cream, food vendors, crafters and live music.
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Estherville Sweet Corn Days

8/4/2016 - 8/7/2016
Free sweet corn, Run for the Cob, car show, parade, inflatables, duck derby on the Des Moines River, fireworks, street dances and much more.
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Iowa Irish Fest

8/5/2016 - 8/7/2016
Iowa's only large-scale Celtic festival with three stages of music and entertainment. Celtic gifts, food and highland games.
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Operation T-Bone

8/5/2016 - 8/7/2016
Celebrating the area's livestock industry, this event includes a parade, fun run, steak sandwich feed, tractor show & shine, and chili cook-off.
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Lisbon Sauerkraut Days

8/11/2016 - 8/13/2016
Sauerkraut King and Queen, parade, street dances, golf and softball tournaments, cabbage weigh-off and more!
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Iowa State Fair

Des Moines
8/11/2016 - 8/21/2016
One of the oldest agricultural & industrial expositions in the US - inspiration for the novel “State Fair”, 3 motion pictures, & Broadway musical.
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West Point Sweet Corn Festival

West Point
8/11/2016 - 8/14/2016
Iowa's largest Sweet Corn Festival. All you can eat sweet corn, free entertainment, midway and more.
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Meat & Music Spectacular

Buffalo Center
Join us for a day of family fun!
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Independence Brew-B-Q

Overwhelm your senses with outstanding BBQ, slow cooked for hours over hardwood smoke.
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Festival of Iowa Beers

Sample some of Iowa's best brews at Millstream Brewing. Craft breweries and Iowa home brew clubs assemble for this unique tasting event.
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World Food & Music Festival

Des Moines
9/16/2016 - 9/18/2016
More than 40 Cultural Cafes Featuring.  Cuisine from Around the World. Live Entertainment  –  Cooking Demonstrations.
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Brew Ha Ha

Sample hundreds of brews from Europe. Also features live comedy, music, food, and learn about ales, lagers, porters, and pilsners.
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Try your hand at stirring the copper kettle of apple butter and take your turn cranking the cider press
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Northside Oktoberfest and Brew Fest

Iowa City
Located in Iowa City's historic Northside, celebrate old-world style with music, activities, and the famous Iowa City Brew Fest.
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Harvest Festival

Clear Lake
A bountiful farmer's market, wine tastings throughout town, art exhibits and exhibitions, and jazz music.
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World Series of Barbecue

10/26/2016 - 10/30/2016
Enjoy the best-of-the-best BBQ and support The American Royal Association’s tradition and dedication to supporting youth and education.
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