Dozens of food and beverage producers and purveyors from around the Finger Lakes are coming together to offer tastes of their local fare to benefit food equity at this month’s Taste of the Finger Lakes event. It’s scheduled for Tuesday, June 14th at the Ithaca Farmers Market pavilion at Steamboat Landing.
Taste of the Finger Lakes inherits the mission of Taste of the Nation, a locally organized event held for 30 years in conjunction with national partners, last hosted in 2019. This year’s inaugural Taste of the Finger Lakes will be in-person and outdoors, and proceeds will remain exclusively local.
“The event is an opportunity for many local food and beverage businesses who have reworked their business models over the course of the pandemic, are under new ownership, bravely opened in the past two years, or sprung up as a result of changing food & beverage dynamics to showcase their goods in solidarity as a Finger Lakes community,” says event director Hilary Davis. “These local businesses donate their time and product so that the event can maximize its giving to their non-profit partners.”
Proceeds for Taste of the Finger Lakes will go to to The Food Bank of the Southern Tier, Healthy Food For All, and The Youth Farm Project. Davis credits sponsorship partners including the Strebel Planning Group, CFCU Community Credit Union, Maguire Family of Dealerships, CSP Management, Cayuga Health, Visions Federal Credit Union, The Ithaca Farmers Market, and Serendipity Catering for helping to spread the word, cover the costs of putting on the event, and maximizing the proceeds that can go to the local non-profits.
As with Taste of the Nation, which for its last several years took place at Ithaca College’s Athletics & Events Center, this gala night begins with a welcome reception with champagne and hors d’oeuvres for higher-tier ticket purchasers, from 5:30-6:30. The main event, beginning at 6:30, still includes plenty of fancy food and drink, as well as music, featuring “food trucks, restaurants, caterers, wineries, distilleries, cideries and breweries serving tastes of their delicious local fare throughout the Ithaca Farmers Market.”
Davis says, “Event patrons are invited to peruse the market, tasting bite-sized samples of everything from gelato to empanadas and sips of matcha, soju, craft beer, and the FLX’s finest wines.” A photo booth, silent auction, the Serendipity Lounge and decor provided by Serendipity Catering, all round out the “dress to impress” cocktail attire theme of this celebration for good.
Taste of the Finger Lakes is Tuesday, June 14th at Steamboat Landing. Tickets are on sale online for $100-150 through June 13th.