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SARASOTA-MANATEE ORIGINALS UNCORK PLANS FOR 2021 FORKS & CORKS FESTIVAL

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Week-long Event Raises Awareness and Monies to Support Local Independent Restaurants

Representatives of the Sarasota-Manatee Originals have announced details for the 2021 Forks & Corks Food & Wine Festival taking place April 26 through May 2, 2021. This year’s 14th annual event has been reimagined to offer guests a menu of specially-curated and controlled experiences designed to showcase the talents of the area’s brilliant and resilient, independent food & beverage operators. In addition to wine seminars and a food stroll, a world-class Online Auction is planned as well as a schedule of “food & wine experiences” taking place at restaurants throughout Sarasota and Manatee’s Gulf-coastal communities.

With guidelines for safely gathering changing every day and COVID-19 vaccine administration underway, we made the decision to organize a very different kind of Forks & Corks experience for 2021, one that is based on the safest precautions and procedures. While we will miss gathering with convivial crowds of our Members, friends and Winemakers from around the world, and bustling from table to table in the courtyard of the Ringling Museum for the massive Grand Tasting event, we’re very excited to leverage our platform to drive people back into our local eateries at a time when they are very much in need.

The 2021 festival schedule has increased to a week to allow for expanded events and offerings:

University Master Classes
Saturday, May 1 and Sunday, May 2
Led by world-renowned wine industry professionals, the University Master Classes are a highlight of the Forks & Corks Food and Wine Festival each year. For 2021, six wine seminars will be offered at three locations: GROVE Restaurant Patio Ballroom in Lakewood Ranch and Michael’s Wine Cellar and Michael’s On East Ballroom in Sarasota. (Saturday, May 1 and Sunday, May 2. Advanced ticketing is required.)
 
The Blend Sarasota: A Forks & Corks Strolling Dinner Party - SOLD OUT
Thursday, April 29
THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT
Take part in a strolling dinner party with some of Downtown Sarasota’s culinary gems. At each stop on the tasting tour, guests will enjoy a specialty dish paired with a selected wine tasting. 
 
Food and Wine Experiences
Monday, April 26 - Sunday, May 2
A week-long offering of limited-time Food & Wine Experiences are offered by members of the Sarasota-Manatee Originals including unique food & wine pairings, special menus, bottle discounts, wine dinners, tasting experiences and more – available for dine in or take out. 
 
Online Auction
Opens for Preview - Thursady, April 22
Bidding Starts Monday, April 26 - Sunday, May 2
Virtual paddles can be raised at a robust Online Auction featuring rare and exquisite wines, international and domestic travel, special dining and party experiences, lodging, entertainment, and one-of-a-kind experiences. All funds raised by the Forks & Corks Online Food and Wine Auction are dedicated to promoting and sustaining the over 60 local independent area restaurants that are members of the Sarasota-Manatee Originals. 

Presented by the Sarasota-Manatee Originals, Forks & Corks is the organization’s primary annual fundraiser, bringing critical marketing dollars to the Sarasota-Manatee Originals to promote dining in local, independently-owned restaurants and encouraging locals and visitors to our area to always “Eat Like A Local.

A bright spot we have found during the pandemic is the creativity it has inspired, in terms of reimagining and pivoting events and celebrations - like what we just did with our Set The Bar and Original Eats events. We’re really looking forward to introducing our guests to the 2021 food and wine experience and we’re hopeful for a big return of our infamous Grand Tasting in 2022.

An area-wide event, this year’s sponsors include Art Ovation Hotel, Atlas Insurance, Sweet Sparkman Architects, and Icard Merrill. For more information on Forks & Corks and to purchase tickets, visit EatLikeALocal.com. Follow Forks & Corks on Facebook and Instagram.

About Sarasota-Manatee Originals

The Sarasota-Manatee Originals (SMO) is a community of 60+ independently owned and operated restaurants in the Sarasota and Manatee Counties on the central Gulf Coast of Florida. Our mission is to promote our community's local, unique, independent dining establishments. We support our Member restaurants who help define our Suncoast, give it character and make it a memorable town to visit and live. We urge the community to support our local independent restaurants here and across the country and encourage the general public to always “Eat Like A Local.”

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Sarasota-Manatee Originals
1215D S Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34239
941-365-2800