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The East Coast has no shortage of terrific food festivals, and one of my all-time favourites is the PEI International Shellfish Festival. A signature event of the PEI Fall Falvours Festival, the four-day event is packed with local seafood galore . If you love watching shows like Master Chef then the live action-packed cooking competitions are sure to have you on the edge of your seat.

The fun begins in the gigantic tent on Friday, when some of the island’s top chefs and a few come-from-aways take part in a chowder cook-off. The competition is always intense as bragging rights for the next 12 months are at stake! Samples are always given out to audience members, and while lineups can be long, perseverance definitely pays off.

On Saturday things really heat up when chefs from all over the world participate in a black box competition; the competition is fierce and the action is non-stop! The top two chefs from this event go head to head on Sunday, and with overhead cameras to show you what’s going on, and play-by-play announcing worthy of a sports match, the excitement is palpable. These chefs come to win: both the respect of their peers and the $10,000 prize.

Other exciting events include creating the world’s longest lobster roll, best oyster grower, oyster shucking competition, the Tie One On mussel competition, best Caesar cocktail contest, and of course, demonstrations using great local shellfish. There’s terrific musical entertainment happening later in the afternoons and into the evenings, too. This year’s festival takes place September 14 to 17, in Charlottetown, PEI.

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