Monday, December 31, 2012

January is California restaurant month

California is hosting a statewide celebration of food during the month of January. They have a website and Facebook page dedicated to the event. They have a whole host of events going on across the state, online and through various social media outlets. The are running a photo contest with entries uploaded to Instagram and Facebook. They will also be hosting weekly Q&A sessions with various California-based chefs on Facebook.

To enter the Foodie Photo Contest, you'll need to snap a picture of your favorite "California inspired" meal and post on Instagram or their Facebook page with the tag #DineInCA. You'll need to have your friends and family vote for your picture to help you get to the Top 10. Those photos making the Top 10 will be judged by a panel of experts on quality, style, and creativity. The grand prize in the contest is a 7-day deluxe foodie trip to California for two. There will also be three runner-up prizes awarded. The contest is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada ages 21 and over. For more details on the contest, check out the complete rules.

The "Knife Point Interviews" will be hosted live every Wednesday in January on Facebook. If you miss the life session on Facebook, the transcripts will be posted to the Visit California website. I'm excited for the last interview in the series with Roy Choi, of Kogi Korean BBQ food truck fame. Chef Choi and the Kogi food truck started a trend that has exploded across the country, inspiring other chefs to open their cafes on wheels.

Many restaurants across the state will be participating in California Restaurant Month or with a resturant week celebration in their own city. There will be restaurant week/month specials, so check with participating restaurants for their offerings. Another source for information, as well as reservations, for the upcoming foodie celebrations is Open Table: California Restaurants. Open Table, if you're not familiar with it, is an online reservation system where you can earn points for dining at participating restaurants. If you want to dine at any of the restaurant week/month participants, you might want to make your reservations early as seatings can fill up quickly.

California Restaurant Month Schedules*:

Napa Valley Restaurant Month, January 1-31
San Luis Obispo County Restaurant Month, January 1-31
Berkeley Restaurant Week, January 13-20
San Francisco Dine About Town, January 15-31
Oakland Restaurant Week, January 18-27
Newport Beach Restaurant Week, January 21-27
Dine LA Restaurant Week, January 21-February 1

*Check out the California Restaurant Month website for more celebrations around the state.