Not sure if I ever talked about how much I love Tainan. It's no secret that Tainan is one of the best cities for food in Taiwan. With its rich colonial past, Tainan is a veritable melting pot of cultures. Different foods and traditions are openly celebrated here, and there is always something to satisfy everyone's cravings, whether it's sweet or savory.
The Tainan Food Festival, an annual event since 2010, centers around the concept 旬 (pronounced as shun) - an ancient Chinese timekeeping word, symbolizing it is time for some delicious local food and encouraging people to explore the foods and activities in season.
The Tainan tourism board has put together a guide for you to explore the best of Tainan city during the best time. The festival starts in mid-September and goes on all the way till 11/25/2018. There are 5 main categories this year: Travel for Food (旬遊), Art of Food(旬藝), Energy of Food (旬氣), Game of Food (旬戲), and last but not least, Love of Food (旬情).
I was very fortunate to be invited to go on a media tour and got a preview of the Tainan Food Festival. Let me put it this way, it's one solid package. Without further ado, here's a list of the things that are in store for you this festival!
1. travel for food: A drooling feast prepared by a Five-star hotel chef
Eating food in season is good for you, it's even better when the ingredients are sourced locally. Travel for Food (旬遊) is led by the head chef BB from Silks Place Hotel. He has created a menu of 12 dishes using local seasonal ingredients such as longan and mountain bamboo. The next tasting will be this Winter, 2018.
More info can be found here.
2. art of food: A cook off with 6 renowned local chefs AT FOOD FESTIVAL PICNIC
Listen to the owners and chefs from local's favorite cafes and restaurants talk culinary, food trend, and everything you need to know about Tainan and watch an epic cook off among the 6 of them!
Panel Line Up:
Chef Kedy from Jai Mi Ba (吃麵吧)
Chef from Cheng Cian sushi (城前料理亭)
BBQ master Hong Ge from Xiao Nan Man BBQ (小南門燒烤)
Heui Heui from HoHsin Fish Soup (和興號鮮魚湯)
Pâtisserie seaknoll (海丘甜點工作室)
3/4 Pâtisserie (四分之三法式甜點)
When is this happening?
Date: 11/2 6pm NT$1,000
More info can be found here
Ubuntu Book Store
3. energy of food: A YONG RESTAURANT GROUP X A XIA RESTAURANT BANDO 阿勇家和阿霞飯店總鋪師辦桌
Bando (辦桌) literally means to "set up tables." It is a unique Taiwanese custom to host roadside banquet, where people feast and celebrate special occasions such as wedding, weiya (end of the year party), and temple fairs.
A Xia Restaurant (阿霞飯店) is currently under the 4th generation management and has been the top choice for the locals to host their banquets at. Chef A Yong (阿勇師), on the other hand, is the most famous bando chef in Southern Taiwan and has a 40-year bando experience. Together, 10 dishes from banquet must-have cold platter to the iconic hot Buddha Jumps Over the Wall soup will be served during the 88-table bando on 11/10! It is a celebration of Taiwanese food you can't miss!
Join the biggest bando, purchase your ticket here
4. GAME OF FOOD: BIGGEST SCAVENGER HUNT IN TAINAN
I know we've all grown up hearing about how we shouldn't play with our food, but in this case, the city of Tainan wants us to play with our food. Through a series of scavenger hunt activities planned by Mango Game Studio , players get to taste delicious food and visit famous historical places while trying to solve all the riddles provided with the game kit. Most importantly, you get to enter a Facebook giveaway when you finish the game. How fun is that!
Date: 10/20 ~ 11/25
Game Kit Price: NT$400 (good for 2-4 players)
Sign up here
5. LOVE OF FOOD: TAINAN FOOD GUIDE
To make your food festival experience 10x easier, download the 2018 Tainan Guidebook here. The book introduces 30 local ingredients in Tainan as well as restaurant and traditional market recommendations.This year the city has also rolled out its first-ever double deck city bus service, which is a great option for those who want to get an overview of Tainan's most famous landmarks.
Find out more about 2018 Tainan Food Festival:
2018 Tainan Food Festival Official Site
Tainan Fun Card
Tainan Tourism Official Site
Tainan Food Festival Facebook Page