Tag Archives: Queens Taste

Queens Taste 2015 satisfies appetite of hundreds

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Alina Suriel

Here’s to another year of fun and fancy foods.

The Queens Economic Development Corporation’s 13th annual Queens Taste festival drew attendees from the whole city Tuesday to sample some of the borough’s most diverse and delectable dishes and drinks.

The New York Hall of Science hosted a total of 67 vendors providing every imaginable flavor to attendees, who jumped from crunchy, creamy, spicy and salty, and from bite to bite. Live Afro-Latin jazz music drifted over the crowd as food from 20 different countries was eaten, a considerable growth since the event’s first year of only 12 vendors.

“We’ve got a little bit of everything, which, to me, is the beauty of Queens: its diversity,” said Rob MacKay, director of public relations, marketing and tourism for the QEDC, which works to create jobs by promoting tourism and business development. “And it’s not just diverse people; we also have diverse cuisine.”

Local eateries had to keep up a quick pace to satisfy the appetite of the 650 guests. Many of the booths featured chefs creating fresh dishes from raw ingredients as if by magic, flipping burgers, frying chicken and slicing beef tenderloin for passersby to admire. With so many options available, anyone lucky enough to attend left the night with a very full stomach.

“It was full. There were a lot of people,” said Christina Nastasi, pastry chef at Rudy’s Bakery and Cafe in Ridgewood. “I totally finished everything. I had 500 [desserts], and it’s gone an hour before the event is even finished.”

For many restaurateurs, the event was an opportunity to reach out to new audiences who had not yet tried their styles of cuisine. Luccas Leite of Beija Flor, a family-owned Brazilian eatery in Long Island City, said that the event was a chance to introduce people to the culture of the South American nation, which can also be experienced as a total package in live music performances at the restaurant.

“Brazilian food isn’t very popular but we’re very happy to be able to expose people to not only the food but a couple of drinks too,” Leite said.

While guests may have had their head spinning because of all the excitement surrounding the event, most knew which flavors stood out as their favorites.

“I really like spicy food,” said Sarah Kam, who said that one of her favorite flavors was the Tango Chili hot sauce, a tangy and salty Central-American-born condiment with a hint of lime. Kam also enjoyed a cocktail made with fresh cucumber, celery and Queens Courage gin from Astoria Distilling Company.

Craig Tamamoto said that while he enjoyed being able to taste the more unusual culinary fare at the festival, his favorite flavor was the classic burger from Bareburger, which sells organic and gourmet hamburgers in Astoria, Bayside, Forest Hills and LIC.

“It had a bacon jam on top of it, which I’d never heard of before,” said Tamamoto.

Perhaps the only person in the room who did not eat anything was QEDC Executive Director Seth Bornstein. He said that he enjoys going to all the restaurants throughout the year, but he was so busy hosting that he would have to settle for a late-night snack at home later that night.

“I’ve got to be on to speak to everybody so I’m busy chatting,” said Bornstein. “That’s the irony. It’s all this wonderful food and I’m told it’s great, but my role is to be the host and make sure everybody has a good time.”


Queens Taste 2015 set for May 12 at NYSCI

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Dominick Totino Photography

Get ready to take a bite out of Queens.

Queens Taste, an annual celebration of the borough’s diverse food scene, will take place at the New York Hall of Science on May 12, the Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC) announced Tuesday.

The event will give attendees the chance not only to sample food, but also to network with hundreds of others who either live in Queens or do business in the area.

Some of the culinary offerings will include La Fusta in Elmhurst, which will bring beefy Argentine fare; Jamaica’s O Lavrador, which will prepare Portuguese paella; Pa-Nash in Rosedale, with its West Indian/Moroccan fusion; and Astoria’s Zenon Taverna, which will provide Greek specialties. Latin participants include the Arepa Lady from Jackson Heights and Mexican cuisine from La Adelita in Woodside. Asian treats will come from Flushing’s Mulan, Thai Rock in Rockaway and Kimchee Smoke, which is often at LIC Flea & Food. And the Michelin-starred M. Wells Steakhouse will bring its famous beef tartare meatballs.

Queens Taste offers diverse cuisine from around the borough. (Photo courtesy of QEDC)

Queens Taste offers diverse cuisine from around the borough. (Photo courtesy of QEDC)

Also, clients of the Entrepreneur Space, a food-and-business incubator that the QEDC operates in Long Island City, will be at the event with their artisan specialties, including gluten-free products and ethnic desserts.

Long Island City’s SquareWine & Spirits will headline a beverage group that includes borough-based Queens Courage gin.

Attendees will be able to vote for the best beverage as well as the top appetizer, entrée and dessert in a people’s choice format. While they’re deciding what they like best, Big Apple Circus clowns will do magic tricks and give away free red noses.

“We’re excited to partner again with the Queens Economic Development Corp. and the Queens Tourism Council to bring neighbors together for this popular — and delicious — community event,” said Gail Grimmett, senior vice president New York for Delta Air Lines, lead sponsor of the event.

“Because of the food, drinks, desserts, people, venue and tremendous energy, I look forward to Queens Taste all year,” added QEDC Executive Director Seth Bornstein. “It’s so much fun on so many levels.”

Queens Taste 2015 is scheduled for Tuesday, May 12, from 6 to 9 p.m. The cost is $125 per ticket or two for $200. To purchase tickets, visit www.itsinqueens.com/queenstaste.


The QEDC crowns best in Queens Taste

| jlane@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Gary Leli

The Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC) hosted the tenth annual Queens Taste 2012 festival at Citi Field on May 1. Fantastic food and refreshing beverages happily competed with unique networking opportunities and a festive atmosphere as 47 vendors and almost 1,000 individuals enjoyed at Citi Field’s Caesars Club on May 1.

Roughly 1,000 people attended the event to taste the food and beverages of 47 vendors. Queens Taste 2012 also included an art exhibit by Jackson Heights-based curator Zoescope, a stand up routine by Steve Hofstetter of the Laughing Devil Comedy Club in Long Island City and a special appearance by Mr. Met. During the taste competition, Magna Ristorante of Flushing won the Best Entrée Award for its Penne alla Siciliana and Pollo alla omana, and Bayside’s Papazzio Restaurant won the Best Appetizer Award for its Pasta e Fagioli. The Best Dessert award went to Long Island City-based Tropisec, which creates flowers and other edible designs from dried tropical fruits.