Hoffman Estates will host a new international food tasting festival this October in an effort to get residents to "think global" and "eat local."
The festival -- the International Taste of Hoffman Estates -- will be held 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, at the Stonegate Conference & Banquet Centre, 2401 W. Higgins Road.
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Director of Tourism Linda Scheck said about 20 local ethnic restaurants will offer samplings. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Entry will be limited to about 300 guests.
"We just want folks to come out and just really get an awareness of what's around the corner from you," Scheck said.
The event is co-sponsored by the Hoffman Estates Chamber of Commerce, the village's Shop Local Committee and Sister Cities Commission, the Stonegate Banquet Centre and Tate & Lyle, a new business in the village that produces Splenda sweetener.
Tate & Lyle will host a cupcake competition for Elgin Community College and Harper College culinary arts students, who will be challenged to bake 300 mini cupcakes using Splenda instead of sugar.
Guests and special judges will taste the cupcakes and cast a vote for who they think did best. Winners will receive scholarships from the company. Scheck said hopefully the competition will also bring about a greater awareness of "cooking with a healthier choice."
Chef Patrick Guat from the village's sister city, Angouleme, France, and students from the L'Amandier Culinary Arts School will be on hand, too, showcasing French food and wine samplings.
Scheck said she hopes the event makes people aware of the huge variety of food the village has to offer, from Hispanic and Indian to Chinese and Italian.
"We really are trying to pinpoint some of these jewels that are in the village," she said.
For information or to order tickets call (847) 781-2664 or visit hechamber.com.