Garlic Fest & Unique Corkage Fee Program

Gilroy Garlic Fest:

It will be a most pungent time at the 32nd Gilroy Garlic Festival, July 23-25, in Christmas Park.

Yes, that’s Mr. Garlic front and center above, with the two goofy Foster Imposter Chickens, who also will be putting in appearances as Foster Farms is the official chicken provider for the fest. The portly birds also will be on hand  to get the word out against salt water-plumped chickens, which contain more sodium and end up being more expensive with the added water weight.

At this year’s festival, enjoy live music, children’s entertainment, and a plethora of food booths selling everything from garlic chicken sandwiches to garlic steak tacos to garlic ice cream with cantaloupe.

July 24 at 10 a.m., eight amateur chefs from around the country will vie for the $1,000 cook-off prize. Locals will no doubt be cheering for the two California contestants: Jamie Miller of Napa, who will be making “Deconstructed Beef Wellington with Garlic-Tarragon Aioli” and Michael G. Labrador of Newhall, who will be whipping up “Garlic Paella with Garlic Aiolli.”

July 25 at noon, four chefs will take to the stage for a $5,000 cook-off. “Top Chef” contestant Fabio Viviani will host the cook-off featuring another “Top Chef” alum and the defending champion from last year, Ryan Scott, who will go up against Jerry Regester of C Restaurant in Monterey; Jesse Llapitan of the Palace Hotel in San Francisco; and another “Top Chef” alum, Mattin Noblia of Iluna Basque in San Francisco.

New this year is a commitment from festival organizers to make the event as green as possible in the next three years by featuring local ingredients and products, as well as sourcing re-usable materials.

General admission tickets are $17; children ages 6 to 12, and seniors, are $8; and children under 6 get in free.

Tickets are available at Raley’s, Bel Air and Nob Hill Foods. They also are available at the Gilroy Garlic Festival Web site, where you can take advantage of a $2 discount through July 22.

Annual proceeds — topping $500,000 — go to more than 150 local non-profits.

Farmstead Restaurant’s Unusual Corkage Program

Instead of a usual corkage fee, Farmstead Restaurant in St. Helena charges a diner $2 for every wine bottle brought in — then turns around and donates that money to community organizations.

How nifty is that?

The “Corkage for Community” program has raised $5,500 in just the past few months. The first grant of $2,000 was presented to the Future Farmers of America agricultural education program at St. Helena High School in April.

A second grant of $1,300 was given to the Rutherford Grange in April to help support its various programs that include a healthful eating series, a children’s chorus, and various arts programs for kids in Napa County.

A third grant for $1,200 will be presented July 19 to the St. Helena Community Pool, the only public swimming facility in the city. Located at St. Helena High School, it provides recreational and competitive swimmers a place to practice, as well as the Silverado Chapter of the Red Cross a spot to teach swimming lessons.

Long Meadow Ranch Winery & Farmstead, which opened in January, is a sustainable food, wine and agriculture center that features a wine tasting room, a seasonal farm stand, organic nursery, and vegetable gardens. Its Farmstead Restaurant features farm-to-table cuisine made with Long Meadow Ranch’s all-natural grass-fed beef, and organically and sustainably produced eggs, produce, honey and extra virgin olive oil.

So, go ahead and tote your favorite wine to the restaurant — and do a good deed for a local not-for-profit at the same time.

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Date: Friday, 16. July 2010 5:25
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: Chefs, Enticing Events, General, Restaurants, Wine

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  1. 1

    I’d love to go to that garlic fest! I am addicted to garlic and cannot live without it. What a splendid restaurant!



  2. 2

    Yum. You always make me jealous that I am not closer. A garlic festival sounds amazing. I love the garlic and chicken costumes. Too cute.

    Also, I love the idea of turning a corkage fee into a donation. Great idea!

  3. 3

    I haven’t been to the garlic festival in years, that picture of Mr. Garlic alone is making me want to go… that and the garlic shrimp… didn’t know about Farmstead’s corkage to the community, very nice.

  4. 4

    I have yet to go to the Gilroy Garlic festival myself…I can’t stand the heat…I so wish they would move it to January!!

  5. 5

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Susan*MacTavish*Best, CarolynJung. CarolynJung said: Check out Farmstead Restaurant's inexpensive $2 corkage fee — which is donated to local charities. […]

  6. 6

    I can’t wait to check out the Garlic Festival! It’s been years since I’d been to one and shopping afterwards is always a plus!

  7. 7

    Andi: It IS hot! I was a judge for the cook-off one year, and let me tell ya, it was plenty toasty that day.

  8. 8

    Hehe with the Garlic fest!! I need going to this event, I’m a garlic fan and to taste the garlic ice cream – bizarre flavor :-)



  9. 9

    Oh! I never been to the garlic fest at Gilroy…it sure sounds a lot of fun…I love garlic…nice pictures :-)

  10. 10

    Gosh I don’t think I’ve been to the garlic fest since I was a wee kid….the garlic ice cream was a bit weird for me. and those giant chickens are cracking me up!

  11. 11

    How fun…wish I live close by!

  12. 12

    Woo, that is some photo, up there at the top. Pretty darn funny. Thanks for sharing.

  13. 13

    Sorry I’m going to miss it. I *love* their world-famous garlic ice cream! OK, that, and the garlic calamari.

  14. 14

    i got to say the first picture looked awesom funny! Laugh till my head out! :)

  15. 15

    Garlic ice cream! Now that is something I need in my life. Time to break out the ice cream maker and get inventive!

  16. 16

    I have always wanted to go to that garlic fest since seeing it on Food Network years ago. I love the idea of donating the corkage fee, and Future Farmers of America is SO important.

  17. 17

    We haven’t been to the Garlic Festival in years, and probably won’t go this year as I don’t think the toddler would really appreciate it… But it always brings back fun memories…

  18. 18

    I have yet to make it to the garlic festival, but will definitely have to check it out.

    Love the corkage fee idea. Its wonderful when you see community involvement like this in action.

  19. 19

    Oh what fun! Heavenly for us foodie nit wits and what a great way to help. I love the wonderful and innovative ways people in the foodie community help others.

    $2 corkage fee…sigh….I wish we were close by!

    Ciao,Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  20. 20

    Garlic! Ooh what will we do without garlic? I’m glad to see that there is actually a festival celebrating it, but sad that I won’t be there. And that first picture! HILARIOUS!

  21. 21

    I still haven’t made it to the Gilroy Garlic Festival! And I’ll have to miss it again this year. :( Next year, I’ll try to remind myself to keep the weekends open in late July.

  22. 22

    The corkage fee sounds like a really great idea.
    I’ve never been to the garlic festival…though I’ve driven through Gilroy at that time of year and smelled the garlic festival :)

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