Local First’s Fork Fest draws hundreds of people ready to taste samples from West Michigan’s food and drink producers. Courtesy Local First
Get out your most generous pair of pants.
More than 40 West Michigan food businesses will be doling out hefty spoonfuls of some of their best menu offerings at Local First's third annual Fork Fest on Oct. 24, from 5-9 p.m., at Romence Gardens & Greenhouses.
All food samples are included in the $25 ticket.
"Fork Fest is about building relationships — relationships between consumers and businesses and relationships between businesses,” said Elissa Hillary, executive director of Local First. “We love the conversations that happen and the questions that get asked at this event. We get excited when restaurants build new relationships with local farmers and when businesses decide to partner together after trying each others' products at Fork Fest.
“We hope that consumers will find new sources for fresh local food,” Hillary added. “This is how we continue to build a sustainable local food system.”
During the evening, people can connect with local chefs, farmers, bakers, brewers and other businesses that support West Michigan’s local food system.
In addition to the food, local beer, wine and cider will be available for purchase.
There will also be plenty of entertainment, provided by local string band Hawks and Owls.
The 10×10 Pledge
Fork Fest is the final event of Local First's Eat Local Challenge, which challenges participants to pledge to shift $10 a week for 10 weeks between August and October to local food purchases.
In previous years, the challenge has helped shift more than $100,000 into the local economy.
Fork Fest 2013 vendors
Brann's Steakhouse and Sports Grille
Chapbook Café at Schuler Books
Charley's Chips & Salsa
Essence Restaurant Group
The Gilmore Collection
Gordon Water Systems
Grand Rapids Cheesecake Company
The Kitchen Collective
MadCap Coffee Company
The Mitten Brewing Company
Monica’s Best Cookies
Old World Olive Press
Schuil Coffee Company
Slow Food West Michigan
Trillium Haven Farm
Uncommon Grounds Coffee