Fall may be known for its vibrant colors and abundance of pumpkin spice recipes, but it also signals the arrival of one of the largest educational fundraisers in the area.
The ninth annual Fall Food Fest, sponsored by the Lake Tahoe Educational Foundation, will feature 18 local restaurants and be held at Harvey’s Convention Center on Saturday, Oct. 26.
At least 400 people are expected to attend the event, which will highlight a number of signature plates from popular South Shore eateries, foundation president Nancy Rollston said.
“It’s just a nice chance to catch up with people you know and enjoy the ambiance,” she said.
Pumpkin chili, tacos and white chocolate ice cream will be just a few dishes available, with each restaurant showcasing its own special cuisine.
Peter Brinckerhoff, executive chef at Riva Grill, said the restaurant will be providing a smaller version of its tenderloin beef salad wrap — a longtime favorite among patrons.
“We want to fit those flavor profiles into something that’s been on the menu for a long time,” he said, “and let someone try it who hasn’t yet.”
Riva Grill will make about 500 salad wraps for guests to sample at the event, Brinckerhoff said.
“We try to get involved in charity events because it’s good for the community,” he said.
The 21-and-over event also will feature an array of alcoholic beverages, Rollston said.
Activities will include live music by Niall McGuiness, an auction and a silent auction.
“One of the live auction prizes is a wheel barrow full of assorted wines,” she said.
Proceeds will go to South Lake Tahoe schools to help form about $50,000 worth of grants. Grants are then approved for a variety of school programs. In the past, funds have gone toward new ski equipment, books and a school garden.
Last year, the Foundation raised about $38,000. Officials anticipate a similar — if not better — turnout this year, Rollston said.
“I think it’s fun,” she said, “and I think people appreciate the fact that they are raising funds for something they can see.”