Food is love. It is fuel for our bodies. It is our culture, our history, and an important part of our everyday lives. It is also an industry and a powerful economic driver that impacts us all. This summer, explore the many faces of food, from fun events and DIY projects to unusual classes and opportunities to participate in the local food system.
Sex Education: A New take on Spokane Cooking
OK, so this cooking class is actually centered on Erika Kubick’s book, Cheese, Sex, Death: A Bible for the Cheese Obsessed, but events that connect sex and food are definitely intriguing. For $85, Wanderlust Delicato will guide participants through two hours of cheese-forward recipes like gool ol’ mac n’ cheese and a fancier dish called clafoutis with apples and rich Camembert cheese. Reserve your spot for the June 29 class at Spokane’s quintessential cheese purveyor via the Wanderlust Delicato website.
Pig out in the park
Is it a music festival with food? Or a food festival with live music? It’s both at Pig Out in the Park, the Riverfront Park extravaganza from Aug. 31-Sept. 5 that also marks the end of summer. The event is free, but you’ll want to bring moolah to sample some of the 245 menu items spread out over 50 food booths. This year’s event includes three beer gardens and a big public market to waddle through as you give the ol’ tummy a rest from eating and drinking. Visit pigoutinthepark.com.
Food Truck Fridays
One of the coolest things about living or working near downtown Spokane during summer is taking a walk to grab a lunch for eating outdoors. Find several food options in one place every Friday at Wall Street and Main Avenue through Aug. 26. The area is closed to vehicular traffic on Food Truck Fridays from 11 am-2 pm. Participating trucks include Tacos Camargo, Toby’s BBQ, Mixed Plate and Jerusalem, which serves Middle Eastern cuisine like crispy falafel and tender chicken shawarma. Visit greaterspokanefoodtrucks.com.
Support Spokane's Edible Tree Project
What’s family-friendly, food-oriented and bound to make you feel good, too? Volunteering with the Spokane Edible Tree Project, which needs your help gleaning food that would otherwise go to waste from such places as Green Bluff Growers and select farmers markets. Gleaned food gets redistributed to area food banks and others in need throughout the Inland Northwest.
“As the fruit season gets going, there will be more opportunities for commercial and residential fruit gleaning that will be updated throughout the season on our social media as well as newsletters,” says the group’s gleaning coordinator, Drew Clarkson.
Find out more June 25 at Big Barn Brewing (16004 N. Applewood Ln., Mead) during a free informational event from 2-4 pm. There will be food trucks on-site and beverages available from Big Barn’s Bodacious Berries, Fruits & Brews. Visit spokaneedibletreeproject.org or call 509-609-6833.
CRAVE! NW Summer Food Festival
A local outdoor event with amazing food and beverages for adults only? Sign us up. Of all the summer foodie festivals, Crave! NW at CenterPlace in Spokane Valley is geared toward the culinarily committed and curious alike, providing they’re 21 or older. Even better, the open-air event is back to its original format of three days, from July 14-16. Instead of driving all over town to try food from your favorite places like Arbor Crest, Baba Spokane, Kismet, Madeleine’s, Tavolàta and Zona Blanca, Crave! NW lets you eat as much as you’d like in one place, plus you get to try food from regional and national chefs, like Felipe Hernandez, whose tamales have people traveling to Central Washington from all over the country.
Each day has a different theme. Thursday is the burger “smackdown,” with chefs vying for your votes and live wrestling providing the entertainment. On Friday, sample dishes from around the world as you enjoy live music and a carnival-like atmosphere. And on Saturday, chefs are bringin’ the heat following a “fire & smoke” theme as tribal dancers and drummers entertain guests. Advance tickets start at $49, depending on the event, and slightly higher to get in an hour before the 6-9 pm general admission, because there’s so much to see — and taste — at this popular event. Also ask about package deals and group rates. Visit cravenw.com.