NOV 16 – 18, 2023
Travel the world, one bite at a time, at the 16th Annual Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival with its focus this year on the best of global cuisine.
MEIJER FOOD STAGE
Middle Eastern fare is known to be fresh, flavorful and distinctively delectable. Fifth generation Lebanese American Hannah Awada, owner of Hummus Goodness, is teaming up with Karen Akouri, founder of drench Dressing in offering three 30-minute presentations of “Deconstructed Fattoush + Hummus Appetizer” on the Meijer Food Stage. Both women are focused on using clean ingredients in their products, free of chemicals, artificial colors and preservatives. Hannah learned the art of hummus making from her mother, and her recipe draws inspiration from that family recipe with olive oil, fresh lemon juice and garlic cloves. Karen was looking for healthy salad dressing and marinade options for her family and began to play around with premium olive and avocado oils, herbs and spices to come up with her award-winning recipes. Both Hummus Goodness and drench are available at Meijer stores (and beyond) and will be available for sampling in the Meijer Marketplace at the Festival.
Common in Spanish, Latin American and Iberian-influenced cultures, empanadas are a baked or fried turnover consisting of filling in a breaded pastry. This tasty handheld appetizer is the focus of a Meijer Food Stage Demonstration by Paola Carlson of Pochis Colombian Restaurant & Café—the first authentic Colombian restaurant in Grand Rapids and Jorge Gonzalez, director of Start Garden—an organization that provides resources and opportunities to small business owners in Grand Rapids. Born and raised in Colombia, Paola moved to the United States with her husband in 2018 not knowing a word of English. She was soon making customized gift packages and specialty sweets like macarons and decadent chocolate-covered strawberries for her friends as a hobby, and before long she launched Pochis which also imports and sells coffee goods and coffee candy from her homeland offered up from her small café location in downtown Grand Rapids. Pochis will also have a Small Plate booth in The Vineyard featuring a variety of empanadas and arepas (handheld pockets made with ground maize dough stuffed with a filling)—all of which are gluten free.
A Vietnam War refugee from Thailand, Genevieve Vang is an accomplished expert in Thai and Hmong cuisine and even prepared a traditional meal for Hollywood actor and director Clint Eastwood when he was in Detroit filming Gran Torino in 2008. Her award-winning metro Detroit restaurants (Bangkok 96 and Bangkok 96 Street Food) garnered her recognition as a James Beard Award semi-finalist nominee in 2019. In her spare time, Chef Genevieve has developed a gluten free frozen food line called Thai Feast, as well as a new vegan, allergen-free Asian broth and easy to use sauce powders available at southeast Michigan Meijer locations.
On Saturday afternoon, she’ll welcome the passionate anentertaining Jessican Ann Tyson, owner of The Candied Yam-Delightful Southern Cuisine, for a presentation of “Vegan Pad Thai & Pho with Thai Feast” on the Meijer Food Stage.
Jessica Ann is well known in the Grand Rapids community for her ancestorial from scratch soul food cuisine and her perpetual smile, positive attitude and collaborative spirit. The Candied Yam is recognized as one of the Top 50 Restaurants to eat at in Grand Rapids and was recently awarded The Retail Business of the Year.
MEIJER FOOD STAGE SCHEDULE: https://showspan.com/GRW/home/presentations-and-stages/
PRESENTER BIOS: Speakers, Experts & Headliners.
MEIJER MARKETPLACE (Secchia Lobby / River Overlook)
- Aurora International+
- Bailey’s Farms+
- Burl & Sprig
- Burzurk Brewing+
- DelGrosso Foods
- drench Dressing+
- Duke & Dame+
- El Caribe+
- Emme’s Plaintain Chips
- Feel Bar+
- Field & Fire Bakery+
- Fusion Epicure+
- Grady’s Garden+
- Hummus Goodness+
- Jambalaya Girl+
- Lola’s Fine Sauce
- Lorraine’s Premium BBQ Sauce+
- Milford Spice Company+
- Momma D’s Kitchen
- Mud Penny+
- Mushroom Angel Company+
- Papa’s Kitchen+
- Rad Bagels+
- Rani Foods+
- Relos Dry Rubs+
- Reyna’s Michelada Mix+
- Senor Sangria
- Stock Da’ Bar Premium Vodka
- Stone House Bread
- Thai Feast
- Tito’s Handmade Vodka
- Tor’s Tonics+
- Zing Zang+
- Zini Vodka
+Denotes new to the Festival in 2023
Shopping bags will be available (with first purchase) in the Marketplace that can be filled with purchase and then left at Coat Check so patrons can continue to enjoy the Festival without having to carry their goodies for the entire visit.
Another featured vendor not to miss is Wine Chips, sponsors of The Vineyard area where they’ll be set up offering samples of their distinct and flavorful chips like Manchego, Blue Cheese, Smoked Gouda and more. The team at Wine Chips will even share pairing suggestions with you and have packages available for purchase! Be sure to ask them about their recent relocation to Pure Michigan (Paw Paw – in the heart of one of the state’s federally-recognized wine regions), where they have better access to locally-grown potatoes for their deliciously crafted chips.
SMALL PLATE RESTAURANTS
A record 20+ area restaurants and specialty food producers will grace DeVos Place serving up a variety of small plates collectively offering a strolling progressive dinner experience – including nightcaps and desserts.
Among the new restaurants to check out:
The Marasigans (Jackie, Ace and Redd) are proud members of the local Filipino community and their Adobo Boy is a celebration of their rich, flavorful and colorful food culture. While we anxiously await their restaurant opening in early 2024, we invite you to stop by The Vineyard to try their Filipino Pork Adobo Bowl – a traditional dish featuring pork stewed in vinegar, garlic, soy sauce, bay leaves and peppercorns.
Beer City Bread Company may be relatively new (2020), but its roots are legendary. Brothers Stefan, Arne and Jimmy Fahlen are descendants of Arne Fahlen—founder of Arnie’s bakery and restaurants. The company craft its various artisan baked goods from local craft beer and natural European sourdough starters that are cultivated daily in their bakery, aged over 24 hours and processed using a “stress-free” handling line before baking. During the Festival, they’ll be serving up hearty handhelds including Italian Herbs and Cheese French Dip, Beer Braised Mojo Pork Sandwich and Beer Infused Pretzel Bites with Beer Cheese, from their Beer City Station booth.
In Jamaican, the phrase Irie means “everything is alright and fine” and that is just the positive vibe that Vince McIntosh, founder of Irie Kitchen, hopes to evoke to his customers. His Jamaican parents immigrated to the United States in the 1980s with a load of family recipes and passion for food that has spread to Vince and his twin sister. Savor their organic Caribbean street food in The Vineyard, where they’re serving up Jerk Wings, Jamaican Patties, Rice & Peas & Curry Garbanzo and Irie Juice.
Father and son due, Jose and Justin del Castillo, have been slinging their Dominican Latin style open pit BBQ for nearly 10 years. Their Shepherd-based hobby turned into something bigger and now Jose & Justin’s Pig Gig takes its food truck to the best Festivals and events around the state. Located in The Vineyard, they’re serving up Chicken and Rice Bowl, Pork and Rice Bowl, Rice Bowl and Plaintains.
A “pocha” is a Korean term that refers to a type of outdoor food and drink stall—an abbreviation of the phrase “pojangmacha” which translates to “covered wagon”—known for their vibrant atmosphere, friendly ambiance and delicious food. K-Pocha, the brainchild of Lam To, ThienHa Phan and Phong Nguyen (owner and executive chef of Monsoon, a Vietnamese restaurant in downtown Grand Rapids and a Festival participant) specializes in distinctive Koren street-style dishes. Stop by their booth in Beer City Station and try the Potato Corn Dog, Hot Cheeto Corn Dog, Lobster/Shrimp Skewer Combo and Mini Tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes).
Participating restaurants include:
The Vineyard (Steelcase Ballroom)
- Adobe Boy+
- Beacon Hill at Eastgate+
- Big O’ Smoke House
- Farm Country Cheese House
- Irie Kitchen+
- Jose & Justin’s Pig Gig
- Pochis Colombian Restaurant & Café
- Melting Pot
- Two Scotts Barbecue
- Yo Chef’s
Beer City Station / Cider Row (Hall C)
- Beer City Bread Co.+
- Jedi Chili+
- K Pocha+
- Olly’s Donuts+
- Trinity Health+
- Tacos El Cunado
- Tamales Mary
Barrel Room (Welsh Lobby)
- Michigan Moonshine
RendezBREW (Grand Gallery)
- 24K Gold Coffee+
- Cakes by the Jar+
- Dolce Mini Cakes+
- Frick’n Good Cookie+
- Fusion Epicure+
- Honey Tea+
- Rethink Nutrition+
- Las Rocas
- Mosby’s Popcorn
- Nothing Bundt Cake
- Roast Umber
- Rossy’s Postres+
- Rowsters Coffee
- Sunshine Punch+
+Denotes new to the Festival in 2023
An elevated and intimate multi-course dining experience at one of six featured restaurants, for an added cost (advanced reservations required).
Opened in Plainwell on June 1, 2011, Four Roses is making its Festival debut in a big way with a four-course Pairing dinner prepared by owner/chef Tom Rose. Tom spent his entire career working in the culinary field, starting at a small farm-to-table restaurant in the 1980s called Arie’s Café (no longer in operation) as a dishwasher at the age of 15. He moved his way up to executive chef, learning the value of sourcing local and building relationships with farmers. His mentor, Arie’s owner Bob VanRavensway, inspired and encouraged Tom to create stocks, sauces and dishes from scratch. After leaving Arie’s in 1998, Tom spent many years running corporate kitchens for Kellogg and Eaton Corp, and in 2011, he and his wife, Jan, were given the opportunity open their own restaurant: Four Roses. With a menu that changes each day—along with time-honored favorites—Four Roses focuses on what is fresh and available from local and established suppliers to create interesting and delicious foods paired with excellent customer service with a hometown feel.
Featured Pairing restaurants include:
- Archival Brewing+ (Beer Pairing)
- Four Roses*+ (Wine & Spirits Pairing)
- The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck (Wine Pairing)
- Monsoon* (Wine & Spirits Pairing)
- Twenty.Three* (Wine & Spirits Pairing)
- Redwater Restaurants (Wine Pairing)
*Denotes a Thursday VIP Preview Night offering, in addition to Friday and Saturday seatings.
+Denotes new restaurant to the Festival.
The complete menu with beverage pairings, seating times and costs can be found online: Pairing Dinners.
Beginning on Friday, November 17, General Admission tickets are $20 per person, per day with festival hours running from 4-9pm and Saturday, November 18, 2-9pm. Tasting tickets will be available for purchase online and at the event for 50 cents each to be used primarily for beverages tastings. Food samples can be purchased with cash, credit or tasting tickets.
A VIP Preview experience will be offered on Thursday, November 16 from 6-9pm, with just 500 tickets available for purchase for $150 per person. Admission includes specialties from a dozen small plate restaurants, wine, beer and distilled beverage tasting sessions; Meijer Food Stage and Meet the Maker presentations; tasting tickets to sample select new releases, special vintage wines and exclusive beverages served only on Thursday; a VIP Festival sampling glass and live music. For another $75 per person, an intimate multi-course Pairing dinner is added to the ticket.
As always, the Festival offers an unparalleled diversity of beverages available for sampling – from beer and cider to wine and spirts, as well as signature coffees and teas – with over 1,200 offerings from around the world, under one roof in featured areas:
- Wines (including The Elite Collection) in The Vineyard (Steelcase Ballroom)
- Beer (local, domestic and international) in Beer City Station (Hall C)
- Cider (local and national) in Cider Row (Hall C)
- Michigan Craft spirits in The Barrel Room (Welsh Lobby)
- Coffees & Cordials (along with decadent desserts) in RendezBREW (Grand Gallery)
- Non-alcoholic options in The Vineyard, Beer City Station an RendezBREW.
Since its inception in 2008, this Festival – named by Forbes.com in 2019 as one of a dozen “Fall Wine Festivals In North America You Don’t Want to Miss” and 8 Best Fall Festivals in Michigan by BestThingsMI.com – has grown into the largest and most popular of its kind in the Midwest. Admission tickets, pairing reservations, tasting sessions and other details will be posted in early fall at GRWineFestival.com