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Agence France-Presse
January 12, 2013
The big gastronomy event this month is a trade show billed as the largest in the world, and a competition known as the culinary equivalent of the Olympics. Here's a look at the top international food and drink events around the world.

30th annual Sirha (January 26-30), Lyon, France
Billed as one of the world’s largest food and gastronomy trade shows of the year, Sirha is expected to attract 165,000 professionals and 2,200 exhibitors over five days. Highlights of the event include the biennial Bocuse d’Or international cooking competition, known as the Olympics of the food world for its prestige; the World Cuisine Summit, a forum for international leaders to exchange ideas on how to improve food service; and the Coupe du Monde Patisserie Cup, which crowns the world’s best pastry chef.

Bocuse d'Or  (January 29-30), Lyon
This year, chefs from 24 countries will be competing in the culinary equivalent of the Olympics at one of the most prestigious cooking competitions in the world. The chef to beat is Denmark's Rasmus Kofoed who took home the bragging rights at the last competition in 2011.

Gourmand World Cookbook Fair (February 22 – 24), Paris, France
This year one of the most prestigious international cookbook fairs for trade professionals moves from the edges of the city to the Carrousel du Louvre. As the most international cookbook fair of its kind, this year cookery books from 171 countries will be competing to take home bragging rights and an award. New at the 2013 edition is the World Festival of Wine and Food Television, which will draw TV food producers, broadcasters and food TV celebrities to the show.

Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards (February 25), Singapore
The inaugural edition of the Asian version of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants from Restaurant magazine takes place in Singapore and will attempt to identify the best eateries across the continent. Given the growing influence the World’s 50 Best Restaurant awards has exerted over its short 10-year existence, it’s expected the food world will look at the results with great interest.

James Beard Foundation Awards finalists announced (March 18), Charleston, South Carolina
Known as the Oscars of the food world in the US, the James Beard Foundation will announce the finalists for the 2013 awards in categories such as outstanding chef, outstanding restaurant, and the best in food journalism.