Have you ever wished you could try out a new chicken marinade or chef’s knife before you purchase it? Shop and sample your way through 200 exhibitors of specialty foods and culinary gadgets available at the Fantastic Food Fest January 16-17 inside the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Attendees will have access to the largest presentation of fine food, breweries, wineries, restaurants and purveyors all located in one 75,000 square foot facility. A general admission ticket of $15 for one day or $25 for both days includes admission into the show, access to all celebrity and local chef demonstrations, a celebrity autograph pavilion, and more.

Many of the exhibitors will offer samples so you can taste test their product for free. Inside the Grand Tasting Pavilion, attendees with bigger appetites can enjoy larger samples of food by purchasing sampling tickets at $1 each. Prices will range from $1 to $5. A full list of Fantastic Food Fest exhibitors can be found here. A beer, wine, and spirits pavilion will also be open to cleanse your palate (but only for those 21+).

Imported ImageDid I mention Food Network’s Chopped host Ted Allen will be there, along with James Beard Award Winner and Top Chef Judge Hugh Acheson? Both guests will be hosting presentations on the Chef’s Stage alongside Indy’s finest talent, including:

  • Heather Tallman of Basilmomma.com
  • Loreal Gavin aka The Butcher Babe, who won Season 8 of Cutthroat Kitchen on the Food Network
  • Sabrina Richard, 11-year-old Indy native who appeared on Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off
  • Brad Gates of Brad Gates Catering & Events, former executive chef for Wolfgang Puck at the Indianapolis Museum of Art
  • Tyler Herald, executive chef for Patachou, Petite Chou, Napolese, Gelo and Public Greens
  • Regina Mehallick, executive chef and owner of R Bistro
  • Craig Baker of Plow and Anchor, Bent Rail Brewery and The Local
  • Amy von Eiff, award-winning chef and founder of Dining Divas and A Cut Above Catering

Check the Fantastic Food Fest demonstration schedule for dates and times of the 20 live events.

Do you love to eat but haven’t quite figured out how to maneuver around the kitchen? Grab a seat at a basic knife skills class with the American Culinary Federation, a sushi making class by Katsumis Teaching Kitchen, or the cooking Italian class with Amy von Eiff. Kids with a growing culinary interest are encouraged to attend the Sprouts Cooking School. Each class costs $25 in addition to a general admission or VIP ticket.

The VIP tickets offer a sweet and savory deal for the food connoisseur. At $55, VIP ticket holders receive all general admission benefits, plus:

  • Admission to both days of Fantastic Food Fest
  • Access to a VIP lounge with seating, a live jazz band, a private food display, and a signature cocktail bar complete with a complimentary beverage
  • Complimentary access to the coffee, cappuccino and espresso bar
  • Reserved seating at the presentations by Ted Allen, Hugh Acheson and Loreal Gavin
  • Complimentary coat check and package check
  • Preferred seating at all seminars

Are you drooling on your screen yet? Here’s a quick recap:

What: Fantastic Food Fest
Where: Champions Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds
When: Saturday, January 16, 2016 11 am – 6 pm and Sunday, January 17, 2016 11 am – 6 pm
Cost: $15 general admission, $55 VIP, $5 parking. Kids 12 and under are free with a paid adult admission.