Local Food & Drink Are the Stars at Cleveland Eats Culinary Festival

Thu 9/14 @ 6PM

Fri 9/15 @ 4-9PM

Sat 9/16 @ noon-10PM

Cleveland’s culinary scene has grown exponentially in the past 25 years. What was once a steak/hamburger/kielbasa/pasta town with a smattering of chop suey joints now offers virtually any kind of cuisine you can think of with a heavy emphasis on high-quality, locally grown/produced organic ingredients.

The chef-driven Cleveland Eats Culinary Festival not only celebrates that variety and quality but helps drive the spiral upward by benefitting the Tri-C Hospitality Management program and the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.

It opens Thursday night with the Cleveland Eats benefit, Small Bites, Big Dreams, at Tri-C’s Hospitality Management Center of Public Square, featuring small plates prepared by more than a dozen of northeast Ohio’s biggest-name chefs including Karen Small, Ben Bebenroth, Doug Katz, Zack Bruell and Dante Boccuzzi. Vitamix will prepare specialty cocktails and Great Laks Brewing Co. will offer a special beer. Tickets range from $150-$250. Go here to buy tickets.

If that’s a little out of your price range, never fear — there’s something for every size bank account. Friday evening is the Trucks, Taps and Tunes street party on Mall B with local bands, craft beer and food trucks. The Chefs’ Council and Tri-C students will be trying to break the record for the world’s largest pierogi, a title officially held by Pittsburgh so you know that can’t be allowed to stand (although the Mantua Potato Festival in Portage County Ohio claims to have made a much larger one last weekend). That’s free.

Then the main event on Saturday on Mall B will be a festive day with more than 30 chefs preparing small plates, local craft beer, live entertainment all day, cooking demos, family-friendly events and that surefire Cleveland crowd pleaser: fireworks. General admission is $5; general admission plus two drink tickers is $15.

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