That sweetly pungent smell wafting up from the south can imply the simplest one thing — the Gilroy Garlic Festival, the granddaddy of California food gala’s, is coming.
This 41st annual event will be held, as continually, on the final Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the month (July 26-28) at the city’s Christmas Hill Park, with garlicky food, cooking competitions, recipe demos, stay song and vendors.
Here’s what’s new this 12 months, plus a refresher on tickets, transportation and extra:
THE CULINARY CELEBRITIES: Making his first look in Gilroy might be Tom Colicchio, the James Beard award-winning chef, and restaurateur who serves as host and head judge of the long-strolling “Top Chef” series. At the competition, he’s going to host the Great Garlic Cook-Off at 10 a.M. Saturday, then demonstrate one among his preferred garlicky recipes and do a Q&A with the audience.
Teresa Giudice, one of the stars on “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” will head to the cooking degree at 2:30 p.M. Saturday to demonstrate wholesome Italian recipes exceeded down in her family. She’s the author of three bestselling cookbooks, “Skinny Italian,” “Fabulicious” and “Fabulicious! Fast & Fit.”
THE COOKING CONTESTS: Here’s the chronological lineup:
Kicking off the festival’s culinary competitions will be Friday’s 11 a.M. Champions for Charity, with first responders displaying off their culinary capabilities. Gerron Hurt, the season nine “MasterChef” winner, will emcee this one. The triumphing group will donate the $three,000 prize to the charity of their desire.
At 2 p.M. Friday, wannabe culinary stars a long time nine to 18 will compete within the 2d annual Garlic Chef Jr. Each contestant will cook dinner or bake a unique recipe containing as a minimum six cloves of garlic. Hurt will emcee. After the triumphing chef is introduced at 4 p.M., Hurt will be back on level for a cooking demo.
At 10 a.M. Saturday, Colicchio will emcee the Great Garlic Cook-Off, an annual culture that pits a number of the nation’s top newbie cooks towards every different. Four of the 8 finalists are from California: Ellen Rivera of Gilroy will put together her Ribeye Triple Garlic Coconut Rice Bowl with Zippy Sauce; Robyn Price from Brea will re-create her Cocoa-Coffee-Crusted Garlic & 1st Baron Beaverbrook Cheesecake with Caramel Drizzle; Emily Falke from Santa Barbara is making Chiles en Nogada with Roasted Garlic Walnut Sauce; and Merry Graham from Newhall scored a finalist spot along with her Garlicky BBQ Pork Fluffy Japanese Pancake with Strawberry Sriracha Syrup.
Sunday’s big occasion is the noontime Garlic Showdown, an Iron Chef-style competition for professional cooks. Defending his two titles (2017 and 2018) might be Carlos Pineda, the chef from the Culinary Academy / Rebekah Children’s Home in Gilroy. Going up in opposition to him could be Mark Segovia of Segovia Catering in Gilroy, freelance chef Jon Toste and Steven Catalano, executive chef at the Foster City tech corporation Zoox. The emcee for this contest will be Alexander La Motte, government chef at the Rosewood CordeValle Resort in San Martin.
THE FESTIVAL FOOD: The scorching pyro cooks at Gourmet Alley will serve their traditional recipes for garlic scampi, pasta con pesto, pepper steak sandwiches, calamari and more. Vendors will promote sliders, hot dogs, nachos, burritos, and other festival fare. And festival-goers should purchase tickets to pattern ribs on the Gilroy Garlic-que BBQ Challenge and forged their vote for People’s Choice.
THE MUST-TRY: As usually, the maximum unusual item on the fest is the garlic ice cream. You’ll like it or hate it — but you have to strive it. And it’s loose, courtesy of Olam Foods of Gilroy.
THIS YEAR’S NEW COCKTAIL: The Garlic Festival Mule, in a signature copper mug, become so popular that it sold out final 12 months. It’s again this yr ($17 with the brand mug, refills $12), and there’s a brand new cocktail too. The Whiskey Daisy ($12) is a whiskey bitter made with Jameson.
BEST FREE SOUVENIR: You can learn how to make a garlic braid to take domestic. Just show up on the Garlic Grove vicinity (close to the Garlic Cook-Off Stage) at 1 p.M. Or three p.M. On any competition day.
THE OTHER FREE SOUVENIR: You don’t want an uncongenial sunburn courtesy of the new Gilroy solar. Make certain to put on sunscreen and reapply often.
THE MUSIC: You’ll discover live song — rock, blues, jazz, swing, reggae — on three ranges, but u — S. A. Rules at this pageant. For the first time, a Saturday night concert might be provided, with Grammy-prevailing Nashville singer/songwriter Colbie Caillat and her new band, Gone West, taking the Amphitheater Stage at 6 p.M.
On what’s dubbed “Country Sunday,” KRTY ninety five. Three will once more present up-and-coming musicians. This 12 months’ noon to a few p.M. Lineup is Waterloo Revival, Caylee Hammack and King Calaway.
THE TRAFFIC: If you’re using, do now not observe GPS commands and be wary of Waze because streets close to the park might be blocked off. Instead, observe the electronic signs (and the lengthy line of cars) on Highway a hundred and one south and different freeways to this 12 months’ parking masses. They open at 9 a.M. Parking expenses $15; the shuttles are loose. Note: You’ll be parking in most cases on “graded agricultural fields,” so relaxed closed-toe footwear is encouraged.
THE GARLIC TRAIN: If you need to avoid the backed-up visitors on Highway a hundred and one and save on parking, bear in mind taking the Garlic Train on Saturday or Sunday. It’s a charter to be able to go away Diridon Station in San Jose at 10 a.M. Both days. When you arrive in downtown Gilroy one hour later, a unfastened go back and forth bus will ferry you to the pageant. For the go back experience, hop on the bus at 3 p.M. To catch the train back north. It will go away Gilroy at four p.M.
Train tickets include pageant admission: $43 adults, $38 seniors (age 60-plus) and $33 youths (a long time 10-16). Buy online at www.Gilroygarlicfestival.Com.
THE DEALS: You can keep $2 off each price ticket by buying online in advance (print out your tickets or download the bar code in your phone for scanning) at www.Gilroygarlicfestival.Com or any Raley’s, Nob Hill or Bel-Air keep. Admission is $18 on line/store for adults (or $20 on the gate), $13 for seniors (or $15 on the gate) and $8 for kids (or $10 at the gate). Kids ages 9 and underneath get in free. Parking additionally fees $2 much less while bought online.
Plus you could keep $2 on a mixture meals plate while offered in advance. So that’s $thirteen online for pasta con pesto, calamari, 1/2 a pepper steak sandwich and garlic bread.
THE HOURS: Note the brand new hours this year: It’s 10 a.M. To 7 p.M. Friday, 10 a.M. To 8 p.M. Saturday (you get one extra hour to chow down, concentrate to tune) and 10 a.M. To 6 p.M. Sunday. Entrance gates near one hour before the occasion final time.
THE LAST WORD: More than 4,000 volunteers put on this pageant yearly. So your admission, meals, wine, beer, and souvenir monies visit accurate causes, making your garlic breath well really worth it. Since 1979, the festival has raised more than $eleven.7 million for local nonprofits and schools.