“The reasons to attend are as diverse as the borough,” said QEDC director of Public Relations Rob Mackay. “Foodies can expect everything from sweet to savory; Mexican to mainstream; and crunchy to creamy. For example, La Fusta in Elmhurst is planning to bring Argentine cuisine, while Jamaica’s Oh Lavrador will delight with Portuguese paella.”
This year, the QEDC anticipates between 800 and 1,000 attendees seeking to connect with the roughly 50 participating restaurants and food vendors that will converge at the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel, 135-20 39th Ave. in Flushing, on Tuesday, April 29.
Dimitra Apostolodoulos, owner-operator of LIC-based Crêperie La Bohème, said she feels fortunate to be chosen as one of the LIC Food & Flea Market’s featured vendors at Taste.
While Apostolodoulos has been operating a crêperie upstate for several years, she only opened her Long Island City shop on April 5, so she’s happy her gluten-free crepes with locally sourced ingredients will be included.
“I was in business for many years upstate a few years ago, and now I started working out of the LIC Food and Flea market on April 5,” Apostolodoulos said. “I have many years working as a chef, but I am new here. I became involved because of the organizers, the LIC Food and Flea Market, they wanted to promote the market, so they got a few tables and one of them is going to be mine.”
Ken Holiday, director of marketing and advertising for Dutch Kills Centraal, said they became involved in Taste when local Anne O’Connor, who is a friend of Mackay, set up a meeting between him and the owners to discuss the upcoming event.
“We were approached by Rob Mackay, and they were excited to have us,” Holiday said. “We’re going to do just some snacks because most of the items we do won’t be able to grill. We serve a lot of fresh local cuisine. We’re going to have organic deviled eggs, a mousse pate garnished with homemade pickles, and as soon as those run out we’re going to have a maple and porter bread pudding.”
F. Ottomanelli’s burgers and Pine Restaurant’s Chicken Milanese tied for first place in the Best Entrée competition along with Brooklyn-based McClure’s Pickles at last year’s Taste. Rosedale-based Take a Break and I’ll Bake walked away as winners in the dessert competition. All of last year’s winners will be participating again in the 2014 Taste.
“I look forward to Queens Taste all year,” said QEDC Executive Director Seth Bornstein. “It is so fun on so many levels; the food, the drinks, the people, the venue, the celebration.”