|Chef/Owner Brandon Johns of the Grange Kitchen + Bar in Ann Arbor at Baconfest Michigan|
Here in metro Detroit we certainly have our fair share of fairs, festivals and food-centric fundraisers. But where food-centered events used to be primarily about gathering a bunch of restaurants together and serving the masses (with little regard to what exactly the masses were being served), over the last few years the nature of our local festivals has shifted to be more … well, local.
It probably goes without saying that any food event or festival held around town is going to feature local restaurants (and local art and local musicians and so on). But never before has there been such a strong emphasis on local products. Restaurants are one thing, but restaurants that source produce from local growers and meat from local farms are what people now really want to see. Beer, wine and liquor are standard-issue at any event, but Michigan-made beer, wine and liquor create a much stronger draw - while instilling a little hometown pride.