Summer has officially begun, and we are now just days away from the second Annual Crave Northwest event. Crave is a food and drink celebration held in the Spokane Valley at CenterPlace Regional Event Center. This year it will be taking place from the evening of Thursday, July 12th through the afternoon of Sunday, July 15th. Crave is the region’s premier culinary event and one you won't want to miss. Whether you are a culinary aficionado, a dedicated foodie or are just looking for something fun and memorable to do this summer, Crave offers enjoyment for all.

While attending Crave, you will enjoy and experience food from many of your favorite local chefs. Crave also has the honor of having chefs from all around the US participate, there will be over 40 chefs making and presenting incredible food this year, that's a tremendous amount of culinary talent and passion in one location! Below is a small example of the kinds of mouth-watering foods Crave attendees can expect to eat during the various events: Shrimp and spiced cabbage gyoza with soy-ginger dipping sauce, braised lamb with dill yogurt couscous on microgreens, Summer chicken with lemon harissa and a cucumber, fennel salad and rice pilaf, octopus ceviche, beef tartare and Gai satay. Are you feeling hungry yet?

This year's festivities will kick off with a Seafood bash on Thursday night. This event was a huge hit last year and is sure to be even bigger and better this year, it will be a "luxurious celebration of fresh fish, shellfish and all things seafood."  Friday evening attendees will enjoy "global flavors with a vibrant theme" during the Foods from around the World event. The food and drink celebrating will continue into the weekend with a Grand Tasting event on Saturday afternoon. Attendees are invited to wander around at their leisure and sample from dozens of food purveyors, wineries, breweries, distilleries and participate in watching 45-minute demos with various chefs. These chef demos are interactive, educational and delicious. Once the demo has concluded you get to sample the food the chef just made. This was one of my favorites aspects of Crave last year!

Saturday's Grand Tasting will be followed by the Fire and Smoke event in the evening which will be a" BBQ extravaganza with live cultural entertainment by the Coeur d'Alene tribe". The Crave After Party on Saturday night will conclude the evening and is sure to be one of the hottest parties of the summer. It will feature DJ Unifest with a great dance mix and a fun photo booth to get pictures with all your friends and favorite chefs. Craft cocktail drinks and small bites will be provided by Le Catering and served throughout the night. This is a 21+ event. The final day of Crave will begin with a Sunday brunch which will feature "family friendly originals and comfortable classics". The grand finale of this fabulous four-day food and drink event will be another Grand tasting on Sunday afternoon.

One of the additions to Crave this year that I am just thrilled about is the Grand bar which will be featured during the Grand Tasting events on both Saturday and Sunday. Renee Cebula will be the "Spirits manager" of Crave. She is a born-and-raised Spokane local and is the owner of Raising the Bar. Renee is a cocktail historian, she tells the stories of America's drinking past and the origins of our drinks. Attendees are invited to hang out at the Grand bar where every 45 minutes a specialty cocktail will be made to spotlight the amazing spirits made in the Northwest. Samples of these cocktails will also be passed out to attendees. Additionally, 2 "Crave cocktails" will be paired with each main event during the four-day celebration.

Crave Main Events:

Thursday, July 12, 6-9pm: Seafood Bash

Friday, July 13, 6-9pm:  Foods from Around the World

Saturday, July 14, 1-4pm: Grand Tasting

Saturday, July 14, 6-9pm: Fire & Smoke

Saturday, July 14, 9-11:30pm: Crave After party with DJ Unifest

Sunday, July 15, 9am-12pm: Brunch

Sunday, July 15, 1-4pm: Grand Tasting


"CRAVE Northwest benefits Second Harvest Inland Northwest and Spokane Valley Partners.  Fighting hunger, feeding hope: Second Harvest brings community resources together to feed people in need through empowerment, education, and partnerships. Spokane Valley Partners provides food, clothing and other basic needs to low-income families and offers a helping hand to those making every effort to carve a stronger path to a brighter tomorrow by empowering them to achieve and sustain self-sufficiency."

Well there you have it, I know you are hungry by now and really wanting to attend this memorable food and drink celebration and support some wonderful local organizations. Get your appetite ready, purchase your tickets here and we'll see you at Crave!