Last Best Taste of Whitefish

One of the most popular and longest-running food festivals in the northern Rockies – the 28th Annual Taste of Whitefish – will return to downtown Whitefish on Thursday, Sept. 10 … perhaps for the last time.

The event that’s referred to simply as “the Taste” has marked the beginning of the transition to the fall tourist season in northwest Montana since 1987 … a time when we stop to enjoy the unique beauty – and slightly slower pace – that we relish in this area as summer gradually gives way to autumn.

Twenty-eight years ago, Whitefish was a sleepy little town once the kids went back to school in late August.  So the Taste of Whitefish was created in an effort to fuel “shoulder season” tourism, which in those days was virtually nonexistent.

These days, it’s a different story.  Business is good in September … so good that many of our more popular restaurants and caterers can’t spare the staff needed to take part in the Taste.

Obviously, it’s time for the event to change … and change is most definitely in the wind.  But you’ll have to attend this year’s event on Sept. 10 – we’re calling it the Last Best Taste – to hear exactly what’s in-store for 2016.

‘Last’ definitely won’t mean ‘least!’

Sponsored by Kalispell Toyota and the Whitefish Chamber, the Taste has always been an event that the community looks forward to all year long … and why not? With 20+ different restaurants and caterers serving-up their “specialties of the house” – and more than 30 different wines, microbrews and local whiskies to sample – you’re guaranteed to have a “tasteful” gastronomic experience beyond compare.

Though the menu for this year’s event is still being finalized, the roster of participating restaurants and caterers already reads like a “Who’s Who” of the Whitefish fine dining scene:  Latitude 48.  Wasabi Sushi Bar.  The Boat Club.  Ciao Mambo.  John’s Angels Catering. The Cuisine Machine.  And that’s just for starters.

Last year’s Taste of Whitefish menu featured a little bit of everything, from Shrimp Scampi, Lobster Bisque and Chicken Marsala to BBQ pork, Buffalo chicken wings and outrageous sushi.  Local chefs tend to go all-out for the Taste of Whitefish, putting their best foot forward for the sell-out crowd of that attends the event.

But there’s more to taste at the Taste than just great food!   How about 30 different vintages from around the Wine World, as well as local microbrews produced by our very own hometown brewmasters … the Great Northern Brewery!  Also on hand will be the Flathead’s own Glacier Sun Winery, as well as the folks from Glacier Distilling Company, pouring samples of their Montana-made spirits.

Tickets available now at the Chamber

Last year’s event was a complete sell-out, and tickets for the 2015 Taste of Whitefish – priced at $40 in advance; $45 on the day of the event – are already flying out the door.

Call the Whitefish Chamber of Commerce offices at 862-3501, stop by the Chamber offices at 307 Spokane Avenue anytime Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or visit our website: WhitefishChamber.org.  Your stomach will thank you!

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