Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Garlic Festival and Chefs Unbridled

What a crazy last three days! "R" and I have barely set foot at home, and it's been a whirlwind of fun events around town. It all kicked off on Saturday afternoon with a trip out to Shaker Square for the 2013 Cleveland Garlic Festival. "R" ditched me to prepare for Sunday's tailgate, so I snagged Michelle to be my date. You guys, I rode the RTA for the first time! We quickly ran into Crystal and Mark, and the four of us had a great time exploring the festival.
The weather looked a little ominous, but the rain held off and I really enjoyed my first time at this festival. There was more garlic than I knew what to do with, so many fabulous garlic products to try, kids activities, a parade, chalk art, food trucks (like the new Swenson's truck!), and all kinds of other vendors.
I picked up a delicious garlic tapenade, a small print of the Lake Erie Islands that I plan to frame and display at home, and some other fun goodies. We also walked away with a free garlic bulb to plant. Great, something else for me to kill. I'll cross my fingers that it lives. It'd be cool to have fresh garlic at home. This was my first time attending the annual festival, but it won't be my last. For just $8, it's an affordable and interesting way to spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Too bad that it's only once a year.

After a couple of hours at the Garlic Festival, I scooted home to change and grab "R" so that we could head out to Gates Mills for the Chefs Unbridled event to benefit the Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center. The evening was magical under a gorgeous tent with some of the prettiest lighting that I've ever seen at an event.
It got a little too hot early on under the tent, but the evening air started to cool down and it really was a great event. I saw familiar faces behind the chef tables, and enjoyed food from some of my Cleveland favorites like AMP 150, Hodge's, Driftwood Catering, Flour, and Anna in the Raw.
The event offered live music, auction items, horse-drawn carriage rides, and new event features like a microbrew and cupcake truck. The event was executed very well, and it was great to learn about a new-to-me charity while enjoying an elegant night out.

Well, this was just Saturday! Sunday brought us the Browns home opener, and last night "R" and I attended the annual Taste of the Browns to benefit the Cleveland Foodbank. It's been a busy last few days, but a whole lot of fun.

Disclosure: I was provided with media passes to the Cleveland Garlic Festival and Chefs Unbridled in exchange for blog posts prior to the events. All opinions stated are 100% my own.


Kristian said...

Are there free samples at the fest? Especially of garlic stuff?

Bite Buff said...

Kristian- Yes! All of the garlic vendors were offering free tastings from what I saw. I did not partake in sampling, so I didn't include it in the blog post. Samples were also available of many sauces, spreads, dips, etc.