Finger Lakes Culinary Bounty (FLCB) is a collaborative regional food network that helps educate consumers about locally-produced foods and beverages while fostering relationships within the marketplace.
A thriving regional food system of farmers, producers, chefs, markets, consumers and others committed to promoting and supporting local products from the Finger Lakes.
History of FLCB
Finger Lakes Culinary Bounty was the product of a culinary tourism conference in 1999 that Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Cayuga County Office of Tourism hosted in Auburn, NY. The keynote speaker, French Chef Henri Benveniste, spoke of his locally-inspired menu at the Aurora Inn, and specifically the French concept of “terroir,” where soil and climate combine to create unique flavors of regional foods. Chef Henri challenged the audience to celebrate the cuisine of the Finger Lakes by promoting local farm and wine connections. At a future event, the director of the Vermont Fresh Network provided information about Vermont’s growing network of producers and consumers and its successful culinary branding program.
In response to these inspirational presenters, a small group of local food leaders and visionaries started meeting monthly to develop a regional food network and branding effort for the Finger Lakes. Thus, Finger Lakes Culinary Bounty (“FLCB”) was born; the region’s only culinary tourism promotion network celebrating the wine, farms, and foods of the Finger Lakes. Today, FLCB consists of over 150 members spread throughout the region’s 14 counties, with a Board of Directors representing a wide range of stakeholders in the food, beverage, and tourism communities.
For the last ten years, FLCB has been able to grow and operate thanks to the staff, support, and resources of Cornell Cooperative Extension. During this time, FLCB has not only built a regional food network, but has also successfully hosted annual harvest dinners, fundraisers, networking meetings, and other outreach events that promote the local flavors and bounty. In 2012, FLCB received its official 501(c)3 status, bringing it one step closer to becoming an independent network of producers and consumers committed to the Finger Lakes brand.
The vision and success of FLCB is due in large part to one of its founding members, Chef Debra (“Deb”) Whiting of Red Newt Bistro. Deb was a pioneer of the local food movement in the Finger Lakes, one of the first chefs to start integrating and promoting Finger Lakes ingredients on her menu. It was her passion and dedication that helped get the Finger Lakes on the nation’s food map and prompted other local chefs to follow her lead. Sadly, in June 2011 Deb was involved in a tragic car accident that took her life. Her dream still lives though through FLCB and her spirit lingers wherever local foods and wines are celebrated. We raise a glass to you, Deb!
Who we are:
Covering roughly 9,000 square miles, the Finger Lakes is a distinct region located in the heart of New York. The Finger Lakes consists of 14 counties that have been officially declared by NYS Tourism to comprise the Finger Lakes tourism region.
Finger Lakes Culinary Bounty (a.k.a. FLCB) is a 501(c)3 membership organization with a Board or Directors elected by paying members. Membership in FLCB demonstrates support for all that is locally grown or made, with a commitment to promoting these products that define the region’s cuisine and communities.