Last year, when Carol Fingar of the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce set out to invent a signature event that would showcase the Finger Lakes region’s restaurants and wineries, Finger Lakes Cork & Fork was born.
This year’s foodie extravaganza will bring together more than 60 of the region’s agricultural, viticultural and culinary stars in an interactive “field to feast” event that offers demos by wineries and chefs, tastings and an opportunity to purchase everything needed for your favorite dishes, including accompanying wine.
Finger Lakes Cork & Fork begins on Friday, September 16 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. with the “Partners and Pairings” VIP event, a fundraiser in memory of the beloved Red Newt Cellars Winery & Bistro Chef and Co-owner, Debra Whiting, who recently passed away in a tragic auto accident.
The Partners and Pairings evening will feature regional chefs and winemakers offering 15 pairings of Finger Lakes wines or beers and Tapas prepared with a bounty of local produce. There will also be a lively assortment of regional cheeses, dips, veggies and salsas at tasting stations. Guests can mingle to the sounds of live jazz by the Cool Club of Hector, they will be able to purchase wine by the bottle and they can also participate in a silent auction sponsored by and benefiting the Finger Lakes Culinary Bounty.
Tickets to this event are $50 (advance purchase only) and are limited to 250 people so guests will enjoy dedicated time with the winemakers and chefs. Each attendee will receive a commemorative re-usable shopping bag, glass and plate. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Food Bank of the Southern Tier in honor of Debra Whiting. Attendees are also invited to bring a donation of non-perishable goods to be donated to the same Food Bank, which was one of Ms. Whiting’s interests. Donor’s names will be entered into a drawing for an “Epicurean Experience Giveaway” that includes overnight accommodations, Calphalon Cookware, an assortment of Finger Lakes delicacies and a surprise from Mackenzie Childs.
At Saturday’s Main Event, in addition to the opportunity to taste and purchase wine, beer and participating chef’s signature dishes, guests will be treated to “Preparing and Pairing” seminars where a food producer or farmer will team up with a local winery and chef to demo the creation of a dish using local ingredients. Participating chefs include 2011 James Beard semi-finalist Suzanne Stack from Suzanne Fine Regional Cuisine, Chef John McNabb from Knapp Winery & Vineyard Restaurant and Mary Reed, personal chef and editor of Tastes of Wine Country. There will also be short seminars on subjects like “Pairing Principles,” “Proper Wine Tasting”, “CSAs”, “Chocolate Making”, “Eating for Allergies” and “Canning Techniques.”
Tickets for the Main Event on Saturday, September 17 are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. The first 1250 attendees will receive a commemorative re-usable shopping bag, glass and plate. Guests who bring non-perishable food items that will be donated to the non-profit organization, House of Concern and will have a chance to win the “Epicurean Experience Giveaway” described above.
Both the Friday Partners and Pairing VIP Event and the Saturday Main Event will be held at the Rodman Lott & Son Farms located at 2973 State Route 414, Seneca Falls, NY.
All photos courtesy of the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce and Finger Lakes Cork and Fork.