The Vermont Fresh Network (VFN) invites the public to a delicious tour through Vermont’s finest food and beverages at their 24th Annual Forum Dinner on Sunday, July 31. After two years away, the Annual Forum Dinner is an opportunity to enjoy a dinner celebrating local food together on the shores of Lake Champlain with Vermont Fresh Network’s chefs, farmers, and specialty food and beverage makers.
Hosted in the Coach Barn at Shelburne Farms, guests begin the evening with a 5 p.m. cocktail hour in the courtyard filled with local food producers offering food and beverage samples and tastings with music provided by jazz band In the Pocket. The cocktail hour participants reflect Vermont’s continued leadership in food and drink, from award winning Vermont cheese and cider, to maple syrup infused with local ingredients, to a very special Vermont Fresh Ale by 14th Star Brewing Co. using locally grown hops.
At 6 p.m. the doors to the Coach Barn open for diners to enjoy a menu of small dishes prepared by Vermont Fresh Network chefs from across the state, including James Beard award nominee Christian Kruse of Black Flannel Brewing Co. and first time participants Chef Dustin Jones of The Essex Culinary Resort & Spa, and Chef John Roetinger of the Burlington Beer Company.
The sweet ending of the evening is provided by the folks at Strafford Organic Ice Cream with an old-fashioned Ice Cream Social on the lawn overlooking the sunset on Lake Champlain.
Ticket sales are limited to provide an evening with space for diners to talk with chefs, food producers, and each other as they taste their way through the night.
Attendees will be able to participate in crowd favorite contests including “The Best Bite” and “The Best Sip.” And what has become a popular feature of the evening, the silent auction, offers an opportunity to bid on a variety of food and farm themed experiences, from VIP dinner packages in local restaurants to romantic getaways.
Tickets are $150. Vermont Fresh Network partner and supporting members receive 20% off. In recognition of industry-wide restaurant staffing challenges, $25 of each ticket sold goes directly to the restaurant teams at this event. For tickets and more information, visit www.vermontfresh.net. Diners are asked to pre-purchase their tickets; there are no ticket sales at the door. This dinner is a fundraiser for Vermont Fresh Network. All proceeds go to yearly programming that helps bring more Vermont grown and raised food to the table.
Vermont Fresh Network thanks the generous sponsors who make this event possible, including our gold level sponsors, Community National Bank; The Essex, Culinary Resort & Spa; Farrell Distributing; Foley Services; Shelburne Farms, Sodexo Vermont First; the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets; and the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing.
A full sponsor list is found at http://vermontfresh.net/programs/annual-forum/.