The Sarasota-Manatee Originals—a coalition of 60-plus local, independent restaurants—have announced details of this year's Forks & Corks Food and Wine Festival, which will run from Monday, April 26, through Sunday, May 2.
The organization is changing up its programming to follow Covid-19 safety precautions. That means this year's festival won't include the popular Grand Tasting event that has taken place in the courtyard of The Ringling in years past.
The lineup does include a number of University Master Classes led by wine industry leaders from around the world, a "strolling dinner party" through downtown Sarasota that will include various dishes and wine pairings, special food and wine menu options at Originals restaurants and an online auction featuring rare wines, travel experiences, unique dining experiences and more.
“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,” says Sarah Firstenberger, the Originals' executive director. “While we will miss gathering with convivial crowds of our member restaurants, 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.”