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Sale runs October 15-21, 2012

(Sarasota, FL) The Sarasota-Manatee Originals is offering a weeklong, half-off sale beginning October 15, 2012, with thousands of dollars in discounted dining certificates to a limited selection of member restaurants. All $50 certificates will sell for $25; $25 certificates will sell for $12.50, and $15 certificates will sell for $7.50, exclusively online at: www.dineoriginal.com.
 
Upon purchase, the certificates may be printed and used immediately. “There’s no better deal than our 50-percent off certificate sale,” says Kate Atkin, the organization’s executive
director. “It’s always best to visit the website the day the offer begins, though; these sales are very popular!" For more information about The Sarasota-Manatee Originals, visit
www.dineoriginal.com or call: 941-955-3663.
 
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Kate Atkin, executive director of The Sarasota-Manatee Originals, announced that the organization will be offering over $33,000 in discounted dining certificates beginning Thursday, September 6. Atkin says that $50 certificates will sell for $35; $25 certificates will sell for $17.50; and $15 certificates will sell for $12.50.

Discounted dining certificates are available online only at: www.dineoriginal.com. After purchase, the certificates can be printed and used immediately. “This represents savings of up to 30 percent,” says Atkin, explaining that this initiative is offered four times per year. “This is one of the ways we thank loyal customers and inspire those who may not have tried one of our member restaurants to experience our variety of dining options at a reduced price.” Atkin urges interested foodies to visit the site sooner rather than later. “Whenever we offer these discounts, people flock to the site and buy them up within a matter of days—sometimes hours!”For more information about The Sarasota-Manatee Originals, visit www.dineoriginal.com or call 941-955-3663.

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January 25-28, 2013. Tickets go on sale November 12, 2012. Presented by The Sarasota-Manatee Originals, this four-day culinary celebration brings together celebrated regional chefs, world-renowned vintners and industry insiders Forks & Corks Food & Wine Festival, a four-day culinary festival presented by The Sarasota-Manatee Originals (SMO), unites food, wine and beer enthusiasts with preeminent regional chefs and celebrated vintners from around the world. The festival, January 25-28, 2013, features various winemaker events at area restaurants and shops (January 25, 26); interactive food and wine and seminars (January 26); The Grand Tasting in The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Courtyard (January 27); and a trade event for area restaurants, retailers and hoteliers (January 28). New this year, each participating winery will submit vintages of their choice to be judged by a panel of wine experts. Winning wines will be awarded gold, silver or bronze in a number of categories. Event-goers will have an opportunity to purchases all of the wines—including the award-winning ones—at The Grand Tasting. The Grand Tasting, which features signature dishes from the area’s top chefs, along with a vast array of wines and beers presented by guest vintners and breweries, is Sunday, January 27, noon to 4 p.m., at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. “We expect to have more than 60 renowned wineries and winemakers from around the world represented at the event,” says Kate Atkin, executive director of SMO, adding that guests will be able to purchase favorite wines after sampling them at the event. Tickets include free admission to the museum’s art galleries on the day of the event. Tickets, which can only be purchased online at, go on sale November 12, 2012. Ticket prices will be announced in the fall of 2012.This year’s Grand Tasting will again feature a silent auction of fine wines to benefit the American Red Cross. “Raising money for the American Red Cross is a vital element of this event,” says Atkin. “We’ve raised more than $130,000 in the past four years for our charitable partners and hope to continue to raise much needed money for the worthy organizations." Michael Klauber, SMO president and chair of the event, says that a main objective of Forks & Corks is to reinforce the Sarasota-Manatee region as a significant culinary destination. “The restaurant industry is a vital part of our community’s economic landscape and character,” he says. “In addition to our pristine beaches, wonderful climate and rich cultural amenities, The Sarasota-Manatee Originals' 53 independently owned restaurants are a major part of how we promote our region to the world." Klauber adds that The Grand Tasting is also an important way for Originals restaurants to connect with new patrons and remind previous guests of the unique specialties at local eateries. “Participating restaurants almost always report increased revenues immediately following the event,” says Klauber. “The Grand Tasting is an invaluable tool to introduce menus and services to hundreds of people who may never have stepped through their doors.” 
 
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The four-day culinary and wine celebration brought together celebrated area chefs, world-renowned vintners and industry insiders. The event also raised thousands of dollars for The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art and The American Red Cross.(Sarasota, Florida) Forks & Corks, the four-day food and wine festival presented by The Sarasota-Manatee Originals, was “a complete success,” says Kate Atkin, executive director of The Sarasota-Manatee Originals. The festival, which ran January 27-30, 2012, featured interactive food and wine seminars, vintner events at area Originals restaurants, a trade tasting for restaurants, retail and hotels, and The Grand Tasting at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Atkin says that the all-day event at the museum, The Grand Tasting, attracted more than 1,500 attendees. “We experienced the fastest sell-out ever," she says. "The Grand Tasting was sold out eight days after tickets went on sale!” The Grand Tasting featured signature dishes from over 40 Originals member restaurants, wines from more than 80 vintners, live entertainment, and a charity wine auction to benefit The American Red Cross. According to Atkin, the silent auction raised more than $6,000. The event also raised more than $25,000 for The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art. New this year was a retail wine area where guests were able to buy bottles of wines sampled at the event"We sold more than 4,000 bottles of wine in the retail area," says Michael Klauber, co-chair of The Grand Tasting and co-proprietor of Michael’s on East. "It was so popular that we've decided to include it again next year."The festival also featured winemaker events at Originals member restaurants and two wine seminars. One seminar, presented by leading Italian vintners, showcased some of Italy's most prestigious wines. A second seminar, presented by winemakers from Oregon, California and France, explored the intricacies of Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon wines. “It was a truly inspired festival—from start to finish!” says Klauber. “Every event was sold out. It's very heartening to participate in something that works so smoothly and delights so many people.” Klauber says that a main objective of Forks & Corks is to reinforce the Sarasota-Manatee region as a significant culinary destination. “The restaurant industry is a vital part of our community’s economic make-up,” he says. “In terms of how we sell Sarasota to the world, we see our part as integral to the big picture as are our pristine beaches, wonderful climate and rich cultural amenities.” Atkin says that the event is also an important way for Originals restaurants to market themselves— especially in a tough market. “Participating restaurants almost always report increased revenues immediately following the event,” she says. “The Grand Tasting is an invaluable tool to introduce menus and services to hundreds of people who may never have stepped through their doors.” Next year’s festival is January 25-28, 2013. "We’re already getting requests from vintners to be a part of it, and from the public to purchase tickets," Atkin says. 
 
2012 FORKS & CORKS FUN FACTS
 
Winemaker events/dinners
  • 17 different winemaker events took place over the weekend at various Sarasota-Manatee Original member restaurants, private residences and at event partner’s resort.
  • 589 guests attended these events, which included casual tastings, luncheons, and multi-coursed, formal dinners.
  • 26 different winemakers from around the globe were guests of honor at these winemaker
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Tickets still available for “The World of Pinot Noir & Cabernet is King”. Saturday, January 28 ~ 9:30 am – 2:30 pm. Educational, inspiring and delicious—these interactive seminars are led by recognized wine experts from around the world. Tickets for the "The World of Pinot Noir & Cabernet is King," wine seminar, tasting and four-course gourmet lunch, are still available—but going fast, says Kate Atkin, executive director of The Sarasota Manatee Originals. "We've sold out the 'Vino Italia!' session but still have a few tickets left for the full-day seminar.” Both events are part of Forks & Corks University, interactive seminars and tastings led by recognized wine experts from around the world. Forks & Corks University is a popular part of the Forks & Corks Food & Wine Festival, a four-day event, which runs January 27-30, 2012. "The World of Pinot Noir & Cabernet is King" is Saturday, January 28, 2012, 9:30 a.m. -2:30 p.m., at Michael's Wine Cellar, 1212 East Ave. S., Sarasota. The program features a diverse selection of Pinot Noir wines in the morning and a four-course gourmet lunch catered by the Sarasota-Manatee Originals member restaurants, featuring wine pairings with each course. Following lunch, guests will sample and learn about Cabernet Sauvignon. Tickets are $110 per person and can be only purchased online. "These educational seminars are what set Forks & Corks apart from most other wine and cuisine festivals," says Michael Klauber, Forks & Corks events co-chair. "It takes it to another level. Guests are not just passively consuming—they’re also absorbing the expertise of world-renowned wine experts."
 
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