Slice Dice and Spice IV had an exciting angle to it. It took the Finger Lakes foods that we are so passionate about and wrapped them in to a revolution – a Finger Lakes Food Revolution. As I reflected on this successful event that engaged more than 14,000 voters, I wondered, “How can we ever match this year’s success?”
“Revolution begins in putting on bright colors,” according to Tennessee Williams. Well, the Revolution was in full swing and we “put on the bright colors” last Monday at Finger Lakes Community College. Food aficionados and food experts gathered under the spotlights and brought out the smiles at our Finger Lakes Foodie Awards. The “Grammies of Food” (pun intended) was held to honor the great products and people of the Finger Lakes locavore movement. It was a fantastically tasteful evening with all the elements of a special night. On-site music, characters – carrots, peas and milk - and of course, fantastically prepared foods! Everyone marveled at the veggie and fruit corsages – a Wegman’s creation – and a testament to why playing with food is fun.
It was a great honor to kick off the revolution in September and then wrap it up with a call to arms for the next Revolution. I charged all those foodies in the audience to tell us what the next stage of the Revolution should be! But, between those stage appearances, I had the honor of being “backstage” watching the winners receive their plaques of recognition. You know, some of the best stuff takes place backstage!
The Revolution was based in the families – like Simply Crepes, who were all there, sharing with us that their product was just picked up by Wegmans – and their exciting dream for the next phase of the family crepe business. We had a laugh or two with ROC Brewing, whose beer, What the Fuggle, caused the MC to become a little bit tongue-tied. Nancy Tisch and Kit Kalfs of Bet the Farm Winery fought their way through the snow – and we’re so happy they made it to pick up their recognition as the Foodies’ favorite of the Best White Wine! I can’t name every winner here – but trust me, throughout the year, we’ll share the stories of our revolutionaries and their foods of the Finger Lakes. It’s their creativity and professionalism that will sustain this Revolution. Oh, and we have to share with you the story of Leaf Kitchen in Geneva, our winner of Best Locavore menu. They are so passionate, they brought their whole staff with them! That’s teamwork, that’s passion, and that’s just plain fun! So many smiles!
One of our guests at the event works with my son. He asked him an interesting question the next day at work. He said, “Is your mom as passionate about this as she seems to be or is she just saying this stuff because it’s her job?” I loved my son’s answer. “Oh,” he said, “yes, she’s been doing this for my whole life – and trust me – if we go to a restaurant and they don’t have Finger Lakes wines, she makes sure the server knows the difference!”
Well, I don’t own a restaurant or a winery, and I can only buy so much local food by myself, so if my contribution to the Revolution can be setting a standard and being stubborn about it then I’m all in… and will continue to be! The Revolution continues...!
“Then how can there be a final revolution? There is no final one; revolutions are infinite.” - Yevgeny Zamyatin, We