Food Truck Fest, Ohio Wine Fest and a smoke-off!

Shelley Mann, Columbus Alive

What a busy weekend for those of us who love food in Columbus! The fun kicks off this afternoon with the second edition of the Columbus Food Truck and Cart Fest, running noon to 10 p.m. at the Columbus Commons. Last year's dinnertime event drew massive crowds (nearly four times more than originally expected), which meant long lines and trucks selling out of food. This year, with extended hours, more trucks and a better layout, organizers promise things will run more smoothly.

Stop by for lunch, dinner or sometime in between to pick up food from one of more than 35 food trucks and carts. Admission is free. Check out these recommendations on what to order from Columbus Alive.

North Market's Ohio Food and Wine Festival kicks off today, too, with a preview party this evening. The three-day festival offers a chance to sample wines from 18 wineries from around the state. At tonight's preview party, I'll be pouring wine from one of my favorites, Firelands Winery, and guests will get a chance to meet the winemakers and other celebrity pourers. Tickets to tonight's party are $20, which includes a souvenir glass, 10 tasting tickets and a $5 North Market gift certificate (and I hear tickets will be available at the door!)

The festival continues 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, July 14-15. Admission is $5, which includes a souvenir glass. Expect live music, culinary demonstrations and more. Visit for more info.

Lastly, on Sunday I'll be judging a smoke-off at Skully's as part of The Food Experiments, a national touring cookoff event. Amateur cooks will be making innovative dishes created around the theme "Smoke," and guests will get a chance to sample and vote on their favorites! The smokeoff runs 1-4 p.m., $10 tickets include one free beer from Brooklyn Brewery and 20 tastes. For more info, visit

Hope to see you out and about this weekend!