There’s only about a week left before the Festival of Foods, an event led by Northwest Michigan College in Traverse City. It’s a day of “demonstrations & food discovery” where NMC’s Culinary School, local area chefs, artisans & business owners host workshops to engage, educate and instruct interested foodies. The day is organized in such a way that you can design your own Festival of Foods experience. With 16 seminars available, you get to choose four that are the most interesting to you. This year’s workshops range from knife skills & kitchen gadgets to cooking without a recipe or making your own fresh pasta. All sessions are demonstration-based immersing participants in the subject at hand and involving all of your senses. The sessions can be as small as 10 people and as large as 40 depending on the size of the space & interest in the specific session. I spoke with Julie Doyal, who organizes the event to find out more about how the Festival began and what goes into planning each individual workshop.
Next Saturday February 9th, will be the Festival of Food’s 5th Annual event. NMC’s Culinary Program used to be housed in the Oleson Center, where the the festival takes place and after they moved to the Hagerty Center six years ago that space was renovated for the Extended Education Classes. Festival of Foods is an event that provides culinary instruction and resources itself, but is also a way to introduce participants to the type of learning offered in the year-round Extended Education Culinary Class. The difference is that Festival of Foods is demonstration based where as the year-round culinary classes are hands on 3 hour sessions limited to a group of 16 people. The Festival of Foods event allows participants to get a taste of the sessions, sampling four of the 16 workshops for just $69. The full day (10 AM – 3 PM) involves 4 hours of demonstration workshops and endless opportunities for mingling with other foodies. Julie says its the personal touch, the relationships built during that day that make the event so great. While you’re engaging in sessions with skilled teachers your also getting to hear the story of the person behind the food. Julie looks for session leaders that certainly have a passion for food, but that also have an engaging personality and a excitement for what they cook and eat.
The hardest part, Julie says, is that people love the event so much, she has to top it year after year! She keeps things interesting by offering different sessions, and the public response continues to be both positive and supportive. Pre-registrations for the event were well received this year and there is only one week left to register! I for one will be attending the Festival of Foods and I’m simply giddy to learn more about the sessions I chose. Of course I’ll spill the details of my experience and share it with you all after the event, but if you want to enjoy it first hand sign up here to attend!
Never stop learning!