Fantastic Food Fest

Dec 1, 2015 | News

Food Fest to be Indy’s Largest

Celebrity chefs, demos highlight Jan. 16-17 event

INDIANAPOLIS—Food celebrities Ted Allen and Hugh Acheson will headline Indy’s biggest-ever food-and-beverage event, Fantastic Food Fest—an all-out, interactive experience taking place Jan. 16-17, 2016 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds (map). Fine food, breweries, wineries, restaurants and select vendors will come together to share mouth-watering food and drink, shopping, and cooking demonstrations and classes.

“Hoosiers enjoy food festivals, beer and wine events and all kinds of demonstrations, classes and finding interesting products to purchase,” said Jason Swathwood of Circle City Expos, who co-produces Fantastic Food Fest with his wife, Leslie. “What’s never been done is to bring all of them together under one roof. It’ll take two days to get it all in.”

The Food Fest will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day and boasts a schedule brimming with celebrity appearances, hands-on cooking classes, demonstrations and seminars.

“This is no stroll-and-sniff event,” said Leslie Swathwood. “It’s interactive all the way: hands-on cooking classes, interactive demonstrations and tastings are included. People in this community love to cook and eat well, share regional beers and wines, and support local growers and vendors. We’re planning for more than 10,000 in attendance over the two days of what we intend be an annual event.”

Celebrities lend star value

In addition to local experts including Loreal Gavin (“The Butcher Babe”) and Sabrina Richard, 11-year-old local celebrity kid-chef, Fantastic Food Fest will feature appearances by two award-winning food celebrities:
•    Indiana’s own Ted Allen, noted food judge and author and host of Food Network’s Chopped, which has won two James Beard awards, and
•    Hugh Acheson, contestant and judge on Top Chef and author of the James Beard award-winning cookbook “A New Turn in the South.”

Presented by Indiana Grown

Indiana Grown, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture’s (ISDA) buy local initiative, will be the presenting sponsor of Fantastic Food Fest. As the first statewide, all-inclusive and collaborative program to promote Indiana-produced agricultural products, Indiana Grown members will be selling and displaying products as well as giving samples and taste tests to consumers attending the show.

“We are thrilled to kick off 2016 as a presenting sponsor for one of Indianapolis’ largest food and beverage event,” said David King, program manager of local food for ISDA. “The partnership aligns with our goal of bringing local foods to the top of consumer’s minds as a way to boost our local economy and support Indiana producers.”

For more information on events and demos, exhibitors and online ticketing, visit

Facebook users who Like the Fantastic Food Fest page will receive notice of updates such as added events, presentations and giveaways. Fantastic Food Fest can also be found on Twitter at @FANFOODFEST.


About Circle City Expos

Circle City Expos is a consumer-event production company based in Carmel, Indiana. CCE produces consumer events including Indianapolis Bride Expo, Bloomington Bride Expo, Indiana LGBT Wedding Expo and Indy Women’s Expo. The company is led by husband and wife team, Jason and Leslie Swathwood, 20-year veterans of the event industry. Circle City Expos is a proud member of the International Special Events Society, American Culinary Federation, Indiana Grown, the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association and the National Association of Consumer Shows.

About Indiana Grown

Developed and supported by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA), the Indiana Grown initiative educates consumers on the importance of buying Indiana Grown products, helps Indiana farmers and producers sell more products and supports Indiana processers in their effort to process more Indiana Grown products. Indiana Grown members and partners include farmers, producers, processors and artisans, as well as retailers, grocers and restaurants. For more information, visit

Media Contacts:
Dan Henkel
[email protected]   317.446.2666

DyNishia Miller
[email protected]   317.605.6960