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Experience! the Finger Lakes Culinary Festival

Sunday, June 18 celebrates 10 years of Experience! the Finger Lakes

Held on the Ithaca Commons



Over 20 FLX Artisan beverage and food producers will be on the Ithaca Commons where guests will experience "tasting trios" of their favorite Finger Lakes wines, ciders, beers, spirits, cheeses, and other amazing food items! The VIP Culinary Experience sponsored by Coltivare features your selection of cooking or wine pairing demonstrations at the Coltivare Presentation Ampitheater to augment your Ithaca Commons Festival experience!

For 10 years, Experience! The Finger Lakes has been offering the highest level premium culinary tours and events in the Finger Lakes by vetting out the best food and beverage producers in the region. What better way to say “thank you” to our FLX partners and our customers than by bringing everyone together for a celebration in our hometown of Ithaca to taste and experience three lakes of Finger Lakes bounty all in one location!

Festival on the Commons

WHEN: Sunday, June 18, 2017 – 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm(VIP Culinary Experience presentations run from 10:30 am – 5:30 pm)

WHERE: The downtown Ithaca Commons(VIP Culinary Experience presentations held at Coltivare).

HOW DOES IT WORK: Festival attendees purchase ticket packs of 10, 15, 20, 30 and 40 tickets (Prices start at $25). Each ticket is redeemable for “tasting trios” from some of the Finger Lakes most reputable artisan food and beverage businesses. Artisan food producers will be strategically “paired” next to carefully selected beverage producers for the ad hoc pairing opportunities. Each producer will be selling their featured products so you can bring the fun home with you, as well as stock up on your favorite items without a separate trip up the lakes!

Enjoy tasting trios and purchasing opportunities from:

  • Wines from Barry Family Cellars, Bet The Farm Winery, Damiani Wine Cellars, Ports of New York, Sheldrake Point Vineyard, Silver Thread Vineyards, Six Mile Creek Vineyards, and Standing Stone Vineyards, Toro Run Winery, and Wagner Vineyards
  • Beers from Hopshire Farm Brewing and Wagner Valley Brewing
  • Ciders from Finger Lakes Cider House
  • Spirits from Finger Lakes Distilling
  • Coffees and Teas from Gimme! Coffee and Ithaca Coffee Company
  • Cheeses from Lively Run Dairy and Tumino Cheese Company
  • Charcuterie from The Piggery
  • Artisan Sweets from Emmy’s Organics and Life’s So Sweet Chocolates


The general festival on the Ithaca Commons will include three presentations held at the Bernie Milton Pavillion on the Ithaca Commons as part of the general admission ticket purchase.

  • 12:30 PM – Music by Experience! The Finger Lakes favorite duo, The Newlyweds (performing duo from The Destination)
  • 2:00 PM – Cooking Demonstration by Ithaca’s very own Food Network Star finalist, Emma Frisch
  • 4:00 PM – Cocktail Making Demonstration by Stonecat Cafe’s Sommelier and Garden-to-Glass cocktail magician Josh Carlson


FESTIVAL WITH VIP CULINARY EXPERIENCE sponsored by Coltivare (Pricing starts at $50)

The festival will also have a VIP CULINARY EXPERIENCE hosted at Coltivare. In addition to selecting their preferred ticket pack from the main festival on the Commons, Culinary Festival VIPs also choose one from a schedule of six culinary presentations taking place in the Coltivare Ampitheater. All guests will enjoy an engaging 45 minute culinary presentation that include tasting local culinary creations paired with carefully selected beverages from the festival vendors. Special purchasing opportunities will be available to VIP guests after each presentation. Each presentation can seat a maximum of 30 guests, so total of only 180 VIP Culinary Experiences will be offered and are expected to sell out quickly! VIP Culinary Experience guests check in to the Festival at Coltivare to get both their presentation entry ticket, festival ticket pack and included amenities.


  • 10:30 – 11:15 am – Cooking Demonstration: “Traditional soufflé” paired with Hermann J. Wiemer Sparkling Brut- Suzanne Stack, Co-Owner and Chef, Suzanne Fine Regional Cuisine (Eggs/Dairy)
  • 11:45 – 12:30 pm – Cooking Demonstration: “Picnic Spreads and Charred Bread”paired with Damiani Cabernet- Emma Frisch, Co-Founder and Culinary Director, Firelight Camps (Vegetarian/Vegan)
  • 1:00 – 1:45 pm – Cooking Demonstration: “The Prime and the Lesser Cut” : Honey Cured Pork Loin and Riesling Braised Pork Shoulder paired with Silver Thread Gewurtztraminer- Brud Holland, Owner and Chef, Finger Lakes Made (Carnivores rejoice!)
  • 2:15 – 3:00 pm – Wine Pairing Presentation: “Don’t Fear the Sweetness” Featuring FLX Rieslings and Various Table Fixings- Josh Carlson, Sommelier and Bar Manager, Stone Cat Cafe (Vegetarian)
  • 3:30 – 4:15 pm – Cooking Demonstration:  “Assorted Pickles, Jams and Chutneys” paired with Six Mile Creek Vignoles – John Corbin, Head Chef, Coltivare (Vegetarian/Vegan/GF)
  • 4:45 – 5:30 pm – Dessert Pairing Presentation: “Local Treats with Local Wines” featuring wines from Barry Family Wine Cellars, Standing Stone Vineyards, and Ports of New York – Laura Winter Falk, Sommelier and Co-Owner, Experience! The Finger Lakes(Vegetarian/GF)

The first 1,000 festival attendees who purchase their tickets online will receive a complimentary wine tote bag and an Experience! The Finger Lakes Explorers loyalty card that entitles the holder to discounts and special deals throughout the Finger Lakes!

Note:  In the event of severe thunderstorms, the Festival will be moved to the Hotel Ithaca ballroom and only “will call” online ticket holders will be admitted.  So buy your tickets today to ensure your admission, rain or shine!