DETROIT — It was a slice of heaven for Detroit Lions fans. The third annual Taste of the Lions 2015 was held inside Ford Field on Tuesday, May 12. This strolling food and wine event featured renowned chefs from over 20 of metro Detroit’s top restaurants. Signature dishes prepared by the chefs were featured for guests to sample.
This was the first time Lions fans had an opportunity to meet the newly selected players from this year’s draft. Laken Tomlinson, Ameer Abdullah and Michael Burton were among those on hand. Merchandise was available for purchase during the event if you wanted it autographed. Meet and greet opportunities were also available and many Lions players and alumni autographed footballs, Lions aprons, football helmets and even t-shirts fans were wearing. Head Coach Jim Caldwell and Matthew Stafford were in the “Coach’s Corner” for a special meet and greet opportunity. Also “In the Huddle” were Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate for another special meet and greet.
During the strolling dinner, I tried the Corktown turkey reuben slider on a mini onion roll from the Breadstick Bar & Bistro, white wine poached Michigan shrimp from Ocean Prime, mac and cheese and pit smoked beans from Slows to go, shrimp and grits from Ottava Via, beef brisket, cole slaw and baked beans from Billy Sims BBQ and home made ice cream from Treat Dreams.
There were several other restaurants such as Achatz Handmade Pie Co., Atwater in the Park, Bigalora, Coach Insignia, Da Edoardo Foxtown Grille, Detroit Beer Co., Rattlesnake Club, and Zingerman’s Bakehouse & Creamery, just to name a few. There were so many wonderful restaurants, it was hard to choose which ones to sample. The food was fabulous. Drinks were provided by E & J Gallo Winery and a craft beer garden was provided by Goose Island beer.
Live entertainment by Freddy Jones Band and Greg Nagy entertained fans and guests. There was a silent auction which featured E & J Gallo Wine Collector Magnums, and autographed Ford racing helmet, autographed Toby Keith guitar with leather case and a Lions VIP Package among others.
A portion of the proceeds benefit the Living for the City partner Eastern Market and its community outreach program. The Living for the City initiative is a comprehensive philanthropic program of the Detroit Lions that supports transformation efforts that promote and improve the well-being of Metro Detroit’s underserved and disadvantaged communities–with a specific focus on sustainable health and wellness initiatives and innovative community development programs. Their work promotes and advances a new vision of smart citizen philanthropy that integrates key elements of social branding to held build Detroit from the ground up, create jobs and promote the Motor City’s new generation of place makers and city-builders. In 2012, Eastern Market Corporation operated 19 pop-up farm stand sites and assisted nine community markets that operate in neighborhoods across the city as part of its strategy to develop alternative distribution methods.