It was almost exactly a year ago when Rochester lost an amazing soul. Tonic owner, Nicci Sylvester, was hospitalized last November fighting liver failure at just 43-years-old. While her fight didn't end in the way we all hoped, the support from the community, especially other local restaurants, was inspiring. A few dozen restaurants joined forces for a benefit supporting Nicci's family. Now, more recently, one of those restaurants was recognized with the first-ever Nicci Sylvester Award.


The Nicci Sylvester Award was presented to Jennifer Becker and Erik Kleven of Bleu Duck Kitchen in recognition of their dedication to sourcing ingredients from local farms. Nicci's business partner, Tim Wiste, presented the award to Bleu Duck saying, "in honor of Nicci and what she stood for, I would like to present this award to Jennifer and Erik.” FEAST! then turned the tables and surprised Tim with his own Nicci Sylvester Award for the hard work and dedication he’s put into keeping Tonic going in Nicci’s absence.

What is FEAST? The FEAST! Local Foods Network is a partnership of many organizations, businesses, and individuals committed to growing a sustainable, local and regional food system which encourages innovation. As a result of our work, we hope to see current businesses flourish and new businesses get established.

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