Traverse City Record-Eagle

Life

September 2, 2011

More than food at Epicurean Classic

Event even features bike ride

TRAVERSE CITY — The Epicurean Classic is back in Traverse City with new features and a home in the city's burgeoning Warehouse District.

Local chefs and nationally known cookbook authors will conduct cooking demonstrations and host dinners at area restaurants during the event, which runs Thursday-Sunday, Sept. 8-11. Tasting seminars on wine, tea and coffee and a tasting pavilion, with tables of wine, craft brews, spirits and food are scheduled. A bicycle ride ends with a barbecue back at the Warehouse District, located along Garland Street north of the Boardman River.

The district is home base to this year's Classic, which returns to town after two years downstate in St. Joseph. It was previously held at Northwestern Michigan College's Great Lakes Campus.

"Everybody is absolutely thrilled that the event is back here. No one is more thrilled than I am," said Organizer Mark Dressler.

The city's Warehouse strip is a growing area with an underground vibe. The Classic will use the InsideOut Gallery for a cooking demonstration stage, set up tents in parking lots and hold wine-tasting seminars at Handz On Art, a paint-your-own pottery studio off Hall Street.

Julie O'Hearn Cox, owner of Handz On Art, gladly agreed to let the Classic use her space and said the event will showcase the up-and-coming Warehouse District.

"It is the happening place," she said. "I think it's great."

The Tour du Terroir, a bicycle ride through Leelanau County, will begin and end at InsideOut Gallery on Sunday, Sept. 11. Routes include 32K, 65K or 100K cycling distances. Riders return to enjoy a barbecue feast overseen by chef and grill master Ted Reader from 2 to 6 p.m. The menu includes plank grilled bison burgers, chicken, various vegetables and local beer.

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