Treat yourself to second annual 'Taste of Traverse City' on Labor Day weekend

Foodies seeking something to do on Labor Day weekend will find plenty to tickle their taste-buds at the second annual “Taste of Traverse City,” a three-day culinary festival that gets underway Friday in northern Michigan.

This year, the event is centered at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Acme, with forays to downtown Traverse City for the Friday night “Grub Crawl” and to the bayside Hagerty Center on Sunday for a stellar “Best of the Brunch” throw-down that still stands out in my memory as one of my top epicurean experiences last year. Check out my blog post about that event here:

New to the festival this year is “Dining in the Dark,” a Saturday afternoon sensory event that’s part of a food trend spreading around the globe — I noticed it for the first time last spring at a restaurant in Berlin but didn’t have time to try it. A well-traveled colleague who visits Berlin often couldn’t stop raving about it, explaining that when you eat and drink without the sense of sight, your other senses — taste, touch, smell and sound — are intensified. “It was an amazing experience,” she said. “Everything was heightened and you lose your inhibitions. I found myself sharing secrets I never would have expected, and my dining companions felt the same way.”

The festival’s signature Saturday night event is “The White House Dinner” with Walter Scheib, a former White House executive chef and Iron Chef winner who will share anecdotes about feeding the  First Family (1994-2005) as well as preparing formal state dinners for the likes of Nelson Mandela and Princess Diana.

And Saturday’s main “Taste of Traverse City” event offers a smorgasbord of tastes,  sips and shopping, plus cooking demonstrations, seminars and live entertainment. New this year is a “Pizza Throw-down.”

You can choose to participate in one, several or all of the events. Check for ticket information. Or contact

Bon Appetit!





Susan R. Pollack
Globetrotting journalist and former Detroit News staff writer Susan R. Pollack has covered travel since 1985, visiting scores of countries on five continents, 49 states, six Canadian provinces and hundreds of cities, islands and outposts along the way. From Alaska, the Galapagos and New Zealand to South Africa, Thailand and Wales, she has suffered the occasional lost luggage, jetlag and Montezuma’s revenge but still delights in sharing travel adventures with readers. In addition to The Detroit News, her award-winning stories and photos have appeared in major newspapers including the Dallas News, Toronto Star, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Chicago Sun Times; and magazines including Delta Sky, Midwest Living, Long Weekends, Experience Michigan, Jetsetter, Home & Away, Lakeland Boating, Hour Detroit, Prevue Meetings and Group Tour. She has contributed to several books including "Rand McNally 2008 Ultimate NASCAR Road Trip Guide." She also writes for websites including, and