Festival of Flavors, the Flathead Valley Community College Foundation’s signature event, will return for its seventh season Sept. 26-Oct. 4, spanning five communities across the Flathead Valley. The gala serves as the foundation’s main scholarship fundraising event, with last year’s event raising record net proceeds of more than $150,000 to support student scholarships and programs at FVCC.
This past year, the FVCC Foundation awarded $128,000 in scholarships to FVCC students, double the amount from the previous year. The foundation also was able to increase faculty grant funding to $30,000, backing multiple projects including student travel, enabling students to present their research at regional and national conferences.
“Because of the generosity of our communities, businesses and individuals who support Festival of Flavors and other Foundation fundraising events, our Foundation continues to grow and provide more students the motivation and resources they need to achieve their educational goals,” said FVCC President Jane Karas. “The impact these scholarships and increased funding has on our students will last a lifetime.”
On Sept. 26, the foundation, in partnership with event sponsor Fun Beverage, Inc., will open the nine-day festival by hosting “Campus Uncorked,” featuring regional wines and brews paired with tastings from a first-ever competitive cook-off between students of The Culinary Institute of Montana at FVCC. Tickets to this event are $50 per person.
On Sept. 29, guests can attend one of two new events. Hellroaring Saloon & Eatery Chef, FVCC alumnus and Chef’s Table favorite Tony Palmer will bring his culinary talents to the newly-opened Kalispell Brewery for an evening of Brews, Blues & BBQ, the first-ever food event in the new brewery. For $75 a person, guests can enjoy a sit down meal, beer tasting and live music by blues musician Kevin Van Dort. That same night, wine lovers can experience “Standing Ovation” with Chef Blu Funk at Showthyme in Bigfork. Tickets are $100 each and include a wine pairing with each sit-down course.
Also, new to the festival schedule are three new venues in three different communities. On Sept. 30, guests can join Chef Jason Sanders for “Haskill Nation,” an evening of fine dining and wine pairing at Haskill Station in Whitefish with live guitar entertainment by FVCC Music Instructor Steve Eckels. On Oct. 1, Chef Keith Matthews invites guests to wine and dine in the “Great Escape” at Truby’s at Meadow Lake Resort in Columbia Falls. Then, on Oct. 2, guests can enjoy “Summer’s End at Seven” with Chef Eric Larson at the new wine restaurant, Seven, in Lakeside. All dinners will feature four to five courses with wine pairings and cost $100 per person.
The event will culminate Oct. 4 at Kalispell’s Hilton Garden Inn with the Grand Wine Tasting, featuring silent and live auctions and up to 200 regional wines, dozens of food vendors and stations showcasing special cuisine prepared and served by FVCC’s culinary faculty and students.
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