|Barbecue ribs. Photo: biskuit, Flickr.
Dixon Lambtown USA, Dixon, Calif., Oct. 3: Break out the mint jelly! Attendees can participate in such culinary slugfests as the National Lamb Ribs Eating Contest and Barbecue Cook-Off, not to mention a shearing competition and sheepdog trials. For the kiddies, there's Mutton Bustin' -- a buckin' bronco bruising of the woolly kind.
The Food Network New York City Wine and Food Festival, New York, Oct. 8-11: Hosted by and benefiting the Food Bank for New York City and Share Our Strength, this festival brings the toque and the home cook together. Everyone from sous chefs to casserole queens can attend wine seminars, recipe-creation panels and cooking demonstrations. For the kiddie cook, check out the Kids Get Cooking! series. Your favorite celebrity TV chefs will be there, en masse, including Ming Tsai, Paula Deen, Rachael Ray and Anthony Bourdain, as well as culinary heavyweights such as Sue Torres, Marcus Samuelsson, Odette Fada, Daniel Boulud and David Chang.