Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer, and Food Festival
November 15-17, 2018

Taste of the Town


20 Questions…for Chef Angus Campbell – Culinary Consultant

20 Questions…for Chef Angus Campbell – Culinary Consultant (Retired, Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at Grand Rapids Community College)  I find the basic dishes of my past much more compelling and flavorful than ever as I age. Q1)         What is your favorite dessert? A1)         Warm Bakewell tart with bramble jam.    Q2)         What is your... Read more »

20 Questions…for Charlie Secchia – Owner / Partner at SIBSCO; Vice Chair – Grand Rapids Downtown Market Board

20 Questions…for Charlie Secchia – Owner / Partner at SIBSCO; Vice Chair – Grand Rapids Downtown Market Board “Never eat more than you can lift.” – Miss Piggy Q1)         What is your favorite dessert? A1)         Not a dessert guy.   Q2)         What is your favorite ethnic cuisine (either to cook or dining out)? A2)         Ummmm,... Read more »

20 Questions…for Dawn Baker…Show Manager at ShowSpan Inc. (Including GR International Wine, Beer & Food Festival)

20 Questions…for Dawn Baker…Show Manager at ShowSpan Inc. (Including GR International Wine, Beer & Food Festival). I am in the beginning stages of my passion for food. GR is a great place to be when you want to be inspired in the world of food and beverage! Q1)         What is your favorite dessert? A1)         Cheesecake.... Read more »

20 Questions…for Ryan Slusarzyk, Director of Sales & Marketing for the Grand Rapids Drive, NBA G League affiliate of the Detroit Pistons

Title 20 Questions…for Ryan Slusarzyk, Director of Sales & Marketing for the Grand Rapids Drive, NBA G League affiliate of the Detroit Pistons Q1)         What is your favorite dessert? A1)         Ice cream or cheesecake. Q2)         What is your favorite ethnic cuisine (either to cook or dining out)? A2)         Dining in: summer comfort foods (pasta salad,... Read more »

20 Questions…for Shelley Irwin, Award-Winning Broadcaster – WGVU Public Radio & TV

20 Questions…for Shelley Irwin, Award-Winning Broadcaster – WGVU Public Radio & TV I live a lot on leftovers and pasta. Q1)         What is your favorite dessert? A1)         Pecan pie. Q2)         What is your favorite ethnic cuisine (either to cook or dining out)? A2)         Chinese Lo Mein. Q3)         What is your signature dish for dinner parties?... Read more »

20 Questions…for Randy Finch, Ice Guru – Ice Sculptures Ltd.

20 Questions…for Randy Finch, Ice Guru – Ice Sculptures Ltd.   We need to get back to basics. So many young chefs are more concerned with how many components they can fit in a dish than they are making simple perfect. Q1)         What is your favorite dessert? A1)         Gateau Concorde with Bergamot. Q2)         What is... Read more »

20 Questions…for Eddie Tadlock, Assistant General Manager – DeVos Place

20 Questions…for Eddie Tadlock, Assistant General Manager – SMG Life is too short to eat bad food. Q1)         What is your favorite dessert? A1)         Cheesecake. Q2)         What is your favorite ethnic cuisine (either to cook or dining out)? A2)         Asian / Pan Pacific cuisine. Q3)         What is your signature dish for dinner parties? A3)         Grilled... Read more »

20 Questions…for Doug Small, President – Experience Grand Rapids

Photo Courtesy Of Brian Kelly 20 Questions…for Doug Small, President – Experience Grand Rapids I try everything; other than animal intestines. Nothing scares me. I love everything about food and the beverages that pair with it. Italians are my favorite people in the world because of their attitude toward food and drink. Everything about the... Read more »

Celebrating National Picnic Month in the Mitten State by Dianna Stampfler, Promote Michigan

Title Celebrating National Picnic Month in the Mitten State by Dianna Stampfler, Promote Michigan The summer in Michigan is all about beach parties, camping and picnics with family and friends – even if that is a simple bar-b-cue in your own back yard on a hot summer day. Did you know, some of your favorite... Read more »

Food Trucks Serve Up Mouthwatering Meals on the Move By Alan Stone

Food Trucks Serve Up Mouthwatering Meals on the Move By Alan Stone, creator of GR Loves Food Trucks and owner of Underground Cookie Club Note: Friday, June 29 is “National Eat at a Food Truck Day”…be sure to celebrate! Food Trucks have been around long since the days of the chuck wagon and pioneers heading... Read more »

Barbeque is so much more than a type of food By Melissa Greko, Aww Hell BBQ, VP Great Lakes Barbecue Association

Barbeque is so much more than a type of food By Melissa Greko, Aww Hell BBQ, VP Great Lakes Barbecue Association BBQ. Barbecue. Barbeque. However you choose to spell it, I didn’t realize just how much I enjoyed it until recently when I was asked to be a guest on Local Foods Radio. It is... Read more »

What’s Brewing On Bridge By Candice Smith Fleszar, Discovery Michigan

What's Brewing On Bridge By Candice Smith Fleszar, Discovery Michigan The strength of Beer City USA is growing so much that you can easily walk past three breweries in five minutes on Bridge St. I love to help people enjoy Grand Rapids, particularly walking through it, so let's check them out, while learning a bit... Read more »

Six.One.Six—Where Classic French Concept Meets Contemporary Taste – By Chef Alessandro Guerrazzi, Chef de Cuisine, JW Marriott Grand Rapids

Six.One.Six—Where Classic French Concept Meets Contemporary Taste By Chef Alessandro Guerrazzi, Chef de Cuisine, JW Marriott Grand Rapids While most know six.one.six for its signature flatbreads, tempura tuna roll and six.one.six. burger (which, by the way, are still available at Mixology Lounge and the jdek), the downtown waterfront locale has transformed from a global culinary... Read more »

Raise a Glass to Michigan Wine Month – By Dianna Stampfler

Raise a Glass to Michigan Wine Month By Dianna Stampfler It’s no secret that I LOVE Michigan wine. I drink other wine from around the country and the world of course, but I have a special place in my heart for the wines that are made here in the Great Lakes State. Maybe it’s because... Read more »

Why Fennville? By Gregory Hall, Virtue Cider founder

I get asked all the time, why Fennville? I have a whole bunch of answers. First, of course, is the apples. I knew from the start we wanted to plant Virtue where the apples are, on the West Coast of Michigan. I call it the Cider Coast. All the best cider regions in Europe are... Read more »

5 Things you should love about Quality Craft Beer Service – By Garry Boyd, BarFly Ventures

As a consumer of Michigan craft beer, who do you blame when a bartender gives you a draft beer that tastes bad? 99% of the time you probably blame the brewery. Did you know that 99% of the time, the fault lies with the bar’s draft beer program? That’s right. 99% of the time a... Read more »

Tapping Into Cider’s History – By Tony Hansen, Head Brewer at Shorts Brewing Company & Starcut Cider

Cider played a crucial role in the beginnings of American life. The English settlers brought cider to America by cultivating orchards with seeds from England to jumpstart cider production as soon as possible after arriving in the new land. Apple trees flourished in New England, whereas grains and barley did not, which led to cider... Read more »

Pamper Yourself with a Healthy Beer Spa Treatment – by Caitlin McClelland, Spa Manager – JW Marriott Grand Rapids

The benefits of beer have been a topic of discussion upon researchers for some time now. They are finding more and more aids beer can have on the body. Brewer’s yeast is made up of unicellular micro-organisms which research has shown to thrive on the skin’s surface and can help acne related issues amongst other... Read more »

Women in Bartending: What’s Next? | A Personal & Professional Commentary – by: Laura Rowland

Presented by: Kellie M. Rowland, Lead Bartender Mazzo Cucina D'Italia, Grand Rapids, Michigan. You have just walked in to your favorite bar. It's been a long day. Time to celebrate a job well done with the usual: a pint of craft beer, a custom-made cocktail. You pull up to the rail, and check out the... Read more »

Stepping Up Your Bartending Game – by Zac Williams, six-one-six at JW Marriott Grand Rapids

The cocktail boom in Grand Rapids has inspired me to get extremely competitive with my bartending career. I take it seriously, if I didn’t we would be just another hotel bar.The cocktail boom in Grand Rapids has inspired me to get extremely competitive with my bartending career. I take it seriously, if I didn’t we... Read more »

There’s a BUG in my beer…and WHY the brewery put it there!! – By Stephen Smith, Henry A. Fox

People are placing all sorts of crazy things in beers these days: peanut butter, tropical fruits, waffle cones, marshmallows…you name it. But BUGS!?! Well, kinda, yes. Have there ever been actual 6-8 footed exoskeleton creatures in a beer? Better believe it! But what kind of bugs are in our beers these days and why in... Read more »

College Students Give and Receive at GR Wine Festival – By Brooke Bewak

The Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer and Food Festival is approaching (November 16-18) and the College of Business (COB) students at Ferris State University are gearing up for three days of pouring wine. Guests will join us from across the country as we are stationed in over 150 booths on the show floor to pour... Read more »

Rediscovering This Craft Nation – by Fred Bueltmann, The Beervangelist

In the nineties, during the first half of my craft beer and spirits career, we had to withstand questions and statements that trivialized our craft, or treated it like a novelty. “Do you think you’ll make it?” or “When somebody asks for it, we’ll put it on.” Worse yet, “When is this fad going to... Read more »

Serving Up Cocktails & Conversations in Hemingway Hall – by Philip Greene

Like many, I was introduced to Hemingway in high school. I read his story “Big Two-Hearted River,” where Nick Adams is backpacking in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I’d taken a similar trip the summer before, so it really spoke to me.Like many, I was introduced to Hemingway in high school. I read his story “Big Two-Hearted... Read more »

Pairing Beer with Your Fall Menu – By Ben Darcie

There is just something about the fall that makes you want to cook! It could be the change of season or the impending presence of Thanksgiving, but there is nothing quite like a seasonal, hot meal on a chilly fall day or evening. The best way to really kick up your fall experience a notch... Read more »

Out of the Studio and Into the Kitchen – by Neal Dionne

I never could have imagined any of this but I sure am having fun. Last summer, I decided to put my 45-year broadcasting career in the rearview mirror. I am incredibly grateful to the millions of listeners who supported me all these years and the courageous radio management folks who trusted me with their towers and... Read more »

Traverse City Offers a Full Fall Menu of Beverage & Culinary Tourism Options

Thousands of visitors have already discovered that Traverse City is a stunning summer destination. But those magnificent views of soft sky, water and shore don’t disappear after Labor Day – and neither does the feeling you get when you’re here. In the quiet, intimate seasons of fall and winter, you can experience Traverse City the... Read more »

A Newbie’s Look at Beer City Station – by Emily Bennett, Mitten Beer Girl

It is easy to become overwhelmed with a plethora of beer, breweries and festivals in a state entrenched in the craft beverage scene. As someone new to beer last year, the evening at the Beer City Station at the Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival was my first experience purposefully combining flavors of... Read more »

Ferris Coffee Offers Tips on How to Pick Your Perfect Roast on National Coffee Day — Friday, September 29

A lot of factors go into one single cup of coffee: the country of origin, processing method, roast level, storage, brew method, we could go on and on. One important factor we’ll focus on is choosing the perfect roast level for you, the coffee drinker! Nick, our Head Roaster here at Ferris Coffee, gave us... Read more »

Serving up the New Taste of the Town Blog

by Dianna Stampfler, Festival Publicist WELCOME to the new Taste of the Town blog for the Grand Rapids International, Wine, Beer & Food Festival. We wanted to create an outlet to share with you more information about the world of food and beverages not only during the months leading up to the Festival but also... Read more »