What Is Pesto Festo?

Pesto Festo artwork

Short answer
Pesto Festo is the name of several festivals in the US based around everyone's favourite sauce. One of the biggest is hosted by California-based Jacuzzi Family Vineyards in Sonoma County.

Long answer
Jacuzzi Family Vineyards' Pesto Festo is a celebration of everything basil and pesto related. Alongside taste testing of numerous types of pesto, visitors can enjoy artisanal bread, pasta, cheese, olive oil and plenty of live music and entertainment.

There are numerous other Pesto Festo events dotted around the US. Tampa's Sweetwater Organic Farm hosted their inaugural Pesto Festo in 1993 and has been pulling in crowds ever since. The event celebrates the end of Florida’s planting season and all the basil used for their pesto-pasta banquet is harvested by volunteers the morning before. Alongside pesto, guests can enjoy live music, seminars, and plenty of family-friendly fun.

Missouri-based Ferguson Farmers Market used to run their own Pesto Festo which featured gardening demos, live music, and a pesto cook-off. Among some of the winning recipes were pesto popsicles made from basil, spinach, pine nuts and vanilla yogurt.

Slow Food Tennessee Valley run their own Pesto Festo at the Ironwood Studios. The main event is the pesto competition that is divided into three categories: traditional pesto, creative pesto, and the people’s choice pesto. The event brings locals together to celebrate the valley's regional foods.

Slow Food Knoxville used to run a Pesto Festo at Organicism Farms in Seymour. The event saw fifteen volunteers prepare a six-course meal for over 100 guests, featuring pesto from the nearby Tomato Head restaurant.

Saratoga Community Garden held a Pesto Festo in 2021 where they served a simple and elegant harvest dinner in aid of the 17-plot gardens which can be leased by residents.

Manna Gum Community House’s first Pesto Festo was held in Foster’s Main Street in January 2021 was so popular that it sold out of pesto by 11am and had to close early.