Approximately 500 tickets were sold for the event hosted on the rural horse farm owned by Kim VanKampen. All of the proceeds will benefit more than 8,000 children helped by Kids Food Basket in Kent, Muskegon and Ottawa counties, DeVos said.
Attendees were serenaded with the soothing folk music from Max and Ruth Bloomquist as they wandered from food tent to food tent, sampling everything from fine food and pub food to desserts, Bloody Marys, wine and beer.
The event was also a competition for the more than 20 chefs attending.
The People’s Choice award went to Hearthstone.
The celebrity judges selected Luna for the Fine Dining award; 3rd Street Grill for Pub Fare and the Culinary Institute of Michigan for dessert.
An ice carving demonstration was put on by Chef Jack Page of Burning Steer, a restaurant at the corner of Apple Avenue and Maple Island in Muskegon County, that Page plans to open on April Fools Day.
Cooking demonstrations and horse riding demonstrations were also held. A silent auction brought in more funds as well.
“This is fabulous,” said Bill Braamse of San Diego, who was attending the event with his wife, Peggy, and Peggy’s twin sister and brother-in-law Michelle and John Pridnia of Norton Shores. “It’s great food, a great vibe.”
Brent Warren, who is on the advisory board for the Muskegon branch of Kids Food Basket, said he likes seeing the direct impact of something like this on the community.
“By taking care of our future generations which will become our community in the future,” he said.
Warren’s company, ADAC Automotive, supports Kids Food Basket financially and with volunteer help.
Retired Kentwood teacher and owner of Notos restaurants, Tony Noto, said he has supported Kids Food Basket for many years.
“I’m trying to abide by what my kids taught me,” he said, noting that people have to eat.
“This is a great cause and a perfect day for it,” he said.
Kids Food Basket serves 46 elementary schools in Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Holland.
Afton said the organization concentrates on schools where more than 70 percent of the students qualify for free lunch.
Kids Food Basket supplies those same children with sack suppers.
For more information, check out the Kids Food Basket website at KidsFoodBasket.org