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Five food fests to visit this weekend in New York

By Dan Q Dao
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It's starting to get chilly outside, and what better way to warm up than with a belly full of food and a cozy booze blanket? This weekend, the city is getting a dose of feast-worthy events where the grub is aplenty and the drink free-flowing. From a meat-eating marathon to a Caribbean cultural extravaganza, here are five food fests to hit up this weekend. 

NYC Wine and Food Festival: This four-day, star-studded affair is already in full swing, but gear up for the main attractions coming this weekend. On either Saturday or Sunday, head to one of the Grand Tasting sessions ($185) for culinary demonstrations and dishes from Masaharu Morimoto, Carla Hall and even actress Katherine Heigl. Veggie lovers can hang with Haylie Duff at Saturday's Veg Out ($105), while carnivores can zero in on endless beef, pork and more at Sunday's Meatopia ($165). Trying to save buck? There's a great selection of under $100 events that'll fill you up just the same. 

Food on a Stick Takedown: Brooklyn's cult cooking competition returns to the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club with its strangest theme yet: food on a stick. The showdown will feature some of the city's finest amateur cooks going head-to-head with their best skewered creations, inspired by the iconic foods of the Minnesota State Fair. Vote for a winner after snacking through more than 15 creations—rumor has it that impaled chicken and waffles and cupcakes are on the menu. 

Taste of Seaport 2015: The Seaport neighborhood will showcase offerings from its finest restaurants and bars at this sixth annual afternoon block party, raising funds for local schools PS 343 and PS 397. The basic $35 ticket comes with five tastes, but spring for the $125 family pack for 20 to make sure you don't miss out on favorites like Ambrose Beer & Lobster and Toloache Taqueria.  

NYC Caribbean Food Festival: On Saturday, the Haitian Times hosts NYC's first-ever Caribbean food festival with vendors like Vivid Bistro, BK9 and Jamaica Grill. For $20, browse and snack on island staples like Jamaican jerk chicken and Haitian chiktay (codfish) while enjoying musical performances and installations by local Caribbean artists Tracy Guiteau and Jean Luc Bigord. 

Eating Through Time Festival: Love learning as much as you love eating? Geek out at the New York Academy of Medicine’s day-long festival on Sunday, exploring health, culture, art and more, all through the lens of food. Workshops include an examination of food and social justice with Afro-Vegan author Bryant Terry or a discussion of insects and their role in food with Copenhagen's Nordic Food Lab lead researcher Josh Evans. In between classes, recharge at one the food trucks posted up outside, including thin-crust pizzas from Neapolitan Express.

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