New Culinary Event Celebrates Local Restaurants While Giving Back

A new event is set to debut this fall, providing a unique food sampling environment while giving back to the hungry in the local community. The inaugural Southwest Michigan Culinary Festival is aimed to be a true celebration of all things food, where both visitors and the community can get excited about the chance to try new things and explore the uniqueness of the food culture in the Kalamazoo area.

On Thursday evening, October 12 at the Kalamazoo County Expo Center, restaurants and caterers from the community will showcase unique food samples and experiment with new ideas and pairings. The event is specifically set on a weeknight to allow for involvement of the chefs.

Each restaurant will focus on a specific dish and create sample sized portions so that guests can try from a variety of flavors from savory to sweet. There will also be beer and wine vendors present, to pair with the food samples, along with live music and culinary demonstrations and education.

“It’s also an evening of giving back,” said Dana Schmitt, Live Events Manager for Townsquare Media.

“With the event proceeds, dollars will go to supply meals for someone in need, all through the work of the Food Bank of South Central Michigan. Part of each ticket will go towards raising funds for food assistance programs that the Food Bank of South Central Michigan supports, so guests can enjoy a fun evening while knowing that they’re helping to support the community as well,” she said.

Representatives from the Food Bank and other local partnering organizations will be on site at the event with more information on their work impacts the community.

Organizing partners on the event include Townsquare Media, The Food Bank of South Central Michigan, Feed the World Café, and the Food Service Administration Program at Western Michigan University.

“The statistics on hunger and food insecurity in our community are real, it needs to be unacceptable that our neighbors, friends and children in the our schools have to worry about where their next meal will come from or whether to buy medicine or put food on the table.  We can end this, working together to make a hunger free community is our mission, please join us!” said Chef Patrick Mixis with Feed the World Café.

Tickets are on sale now with special early bird pricing through September 17. VIP and General Admission tickets are available and each ticket will include sampling tokens for food, beer, and wine samples from the vendors at the event. There is also a children’s ticket price with fewer samples.

For more information and tickets can be found at

About Townsquare Media Southwest Michigan:

Townsquare Media is a diversified media, entertainment, and digital marketing company that owns and operates market-leading radio, digital and live event properties in 66 markets across the U.S.  It owns and operates four radio stations in Kalamazoo, including 103.3 WKFR, 107.7 WRKR, 1360 WKMI, and Kalamazoo’s Greatest Hits K102.5 along with two radio stations in Battle Creek, 104.9 The Edge and 95.3 WBCK. Townsquare Media Southwest Michigan is proud to manage more than 7 annual community events, including Kalamazoo Ribfest.