Dromm’s plan is to spur economic growth in the area while promoting Elmhurst’s many diverse tastes.
“Elmhurst’s vibrant immigrant community has long been one of New York’s best kept secrets and now people who work or live here are ready to share their favorite recipes and traditions with the rest of the city,” he said in a statement.
A special kickoff event for the week occurred on April 2 in partnership with Elmhurst Hospital Center. The launch, held at the H Building at Elmhurst Hospital featured a few local restaurants who provided samples like pad thai noodles and fresh ravioli in presto to over 100 attendees.
The event also contained a healthy component: a series of presentations from Elmhurst Hospital dieticians, the American Diabetes Association and GrowNYC highlighted the resources the city offers for a healthier diet.
Dr. Jey Hwang, Elmhurst’s Hospital director of food and nutritional services spoke of ways in which foodies could still pay attention to eating healthy during an indulgent time like restaurant week.
Cornell University and Eat Smart New York were also on hand to give a demonstration on a kid-friendly recipe of a mix of colorful black beans, red beans, corn and salsa.
“We wanted to make the fusion between what the community has to offer in terms of food and restaurants but also to make the connection between eating healthy,” Dromm said. “It was a dual purpose.”
While organizing the event, one of the difficulties faced was that already the food in Elmhurst was very cheap. “You could get a wonderful lunch for $4.95,” said Dromm. “It’s hard to believe you get a discount on that as well, but you get a 10 percent discount.”
The restaurants span Elmhurst’s cultural diversity offering a taste of Spanish, Italian, Thai, Japanese, Argentinian, Malaysian, Chinese and Indonesian cuisine among others.
“Elmhurst is the most multicultural neighborhood in all of New York City. They say that over 167 languages are spoken here,” Dromm said. “A lot of people don’t know what Elmhurst has to offer.”