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'New York Taste' Festival Returns for Its 15th Year

'New York Taste' Festival Returns for Its 15th Year

The event brought together more than 40 top chefs and mixologists

Dan Myers

The tasting tables seemed to go on forever.

For 15 years, New York Magazine has brought together many of the city’s leading chefs, restaurateurs, and mixologists under one roof, and Nov. 11’s New York Taste event, held at The Waterfront inside the far West Side of Manhattan’s sprawling Terminal Stores building, really pulled out all the stops.

The walk-around tasting featured more than 45 tables, each home to a well-known restaurant or cocktail bar and the chef or mixologist behind it. The selection of bites served was truly stunning: grilled cobia from Recette; prime New York strip steak from Porter House New York; Spanish mackerel crudo from Delicatessen; burrata with truffle dashi and fresh wasabi from Morimoto; shrimp and grits from Red Rooster; spiced pumpkin soup from Tertulia; lemongrass pork slippery noodle from Talde; shrimp kataif from Balaboosta; beef stew with country biscuits from Commerce; sable cookie topped with coffee caramel cream and chocolate caviar from Dominique Ansel Bakery; beets with horseradish and goat's milk (in both food and drink format) from Betony; steak tartare from Arlington Club; veal terrine from Lincoln Ristorante; kabocha pumpkin-butternut squash soup from Brushstroke; veal tail salad from Benoit; black sea bass and avocado tart from RedFarm; brisket from Hill Country and Dinosaur BBQ; and hanger tartare and pork meatballs from Pearl & Ash.

To wash it all down, guests had their choice of wine, Corzo tequila-based cocktails, Belgian beer and cider, and cocktails from Clover Club, Blue Hill, and Pegu Club.

All in all, this event appeared to be a smashing success, and the lineup just keeps getting better and better every year.

Share All sharing options for: Sound of Silent Film Festival lets music do the talking in 14 shorts

Live musicians accompany a screening during the Sound of Silent Film Festival in 2018. Provided

Jerky, simplistic and outmoded. Such prevalent if misguided views of silent films have been increasingly debunked as film festivals give them proper screenings and reveal the depth and richness of these century-old cinematic treasures.

Chicago’s Sound of Silent Film Festival goes even further, bringing this venerable form into the 21st century. It returns June 26 and 27 for its 15th year with 14 contemporary films without dialogue, each with a new score performed live on tape by a six-member classical ensemble.

Sound of Silent Film Festival

Info: Register each day at for a streaming link

“You really understand the power of music and movies when you distill it down this much,” said New York filmmaker Greg Emetaz, who will be represented by two movies that each run about nine minutes.

As in recent years, the festival was supposed to have taken place in March before audiences at the Davis Theater, 4614 N. Lincoln, with the film lineup divided between two performances at 7 and 9:30 p.m. The presentations were delayed by the coronavirus and instead will be streamed on YouTube with no public present.

In this new format, the movies and music will be divided between the two evenings with each session beginning at 7 p.m. The streaming will be free, but organizers are hoping that viewers will consider making a donation to support the cost of the event.

The festival is one of the signature presentations of Access Contemporary Music, a non-profit organization founded by Seth Boustead in 2004 after he completed his master’s degree in music composition from Roosevelt University.

Boustead created the event as an alternate way for composers to get their music heard, and in the beginning he didn’t know much about the cinema world or silent films in particular. “To me it was always a music event, and it happened to have film,” he said.

But with the help of Robert Steel, an associate professor in DePaul University’s School of Cinematic Arts who oversees the festival’s film review panel, Boustead came to understand that it was as much a film festival as a music festival.

In the intervening years, he said, it has steadily improved in quality and has attracted increasing numbers of entrants with the event being repeated several times in Austin, New York and Mexico City. This year, it received 130 cinematic submissions, both what Boustead calls “truly silent films” and, as a concession to contemporaneity, ones with sound effects but no dialogue.

He and a film review panel winnowed those entries to 13 that each run three to 12 minutes, and the organizers brought back an audience favorite as a way to mark the festival’s 15th anniversary. Among the 15 offerings are two by Emetaz: “Get the F K Outta Paris” and “Death by Omelette,” a thriller and comedy respectively.

Emetaz was attending a film festival in New York, when someone mentioned the Sound of Silent Festival in Chicago, and he was immediately intrigued. “I was like, ‘That sounds incredible,’ and that night I submitted both of these films that I have that are effectively silent films,” he said.

“Death by Omelette” is one of two films by Greg Emetaz to be featured in this year’s festival, presented on YouTube. Provided

While making “Death by Omelette,” which revolves around a potentially ominous miscommunication, he realized the movie would be more effective without dialogue. Instead, text messages perform the role that intertitles (text cards) used to play in old silent films.

“It’s an exciting genre now,” Emetaz said, “because it’s like we’ve come full circle back to writing notes to each other like you did in pre-telephone times when everyone was exchanging those kinds of messages.”

After the films were selected, each of the participating composers was asked to choose their top three preferences for the ones he or she would like to score. “Every year, I think this is the year that composers are going to fight over a film, and we get lucky every year,” Boustead said.

Steel has composed four scores for the festival, starting with one for Mark Playne’s “Love at First Sight” in 2014 and continuing this year with another for “Get the F K Outta Paris.” The latter has an edgy, dissonant feel that he said took him “way out” of his comfort zone.

“I thought it was a great opportunity,” he said, “not only for composers, but I also thought it was great opportunity for filmmakers to have scores performed live with their films. I wanted to be part of it.”

While it’s impossible to know for sure, Boustead believes that the Sound of Silent Film Festival is the lone such event in the world. “Every year I look to see if anyone is doing what we’re doing,” he said, “and I do think we are the only one.”

Kyle MacMillan is a local freelance writer.

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A Hip Sustainable Seafood Festival Returns To New York City On Saturday

Sustainable seafood, farm fresh cocktails, Manhattan skyline views, fire breathers and aerialists will all converge in one place as Aquarius—a sustainable seafood festival—returns to The Foundry in Long Island City for its third year this Saturday, January 25 . The sure to be Insta-worthy event was put together by the producers of Secret Summer (a cocktail festival highlighting farm-to-bar mixology), Tyler Hollinger of HighLife Productions, Andrew Maturana of RAPT and Allison du Val of The Foundry.

Key partners for this year’s event include Oceanic Global, a nonprofit organization that engages new audiences in ocean conservation by tapping into universal passions like art, music and more to raise awareness and by providing individual and industry solutions to drive positive change. Attendees have the opportunity to donate $10 to Oceanic Global when purchasing tickets for the event online.

Sustainable seafood is the star on dishes offered at Aquarius.

Credit: Travis W. Keyes Photography

Food offerings are sustainably minded and seafood choices in particular follow recommendations from Monterey Bay Aquarium’s rigorous Seafood Watch program. Ned Baldwin, chef/owner of Houseman in Hudson Square, will serve dishes like squid with XO sauce, scallions, citrus and chili oil, and a fried clam roll with Kashmiri curry and herbs. Ca’Pisci returns to Aquarius this year with a rustic Italian menu—think stuffed calamari, local seafood skewers and sautéed mussels. Farm to food truck Mattitaco from chef Justin Schwartz will serve an eclectic menu that includes moules frites, crab rangoon nachos, scallop aguachile, and a raw bar with both farm-raised and wild-caught oysters. Additionally, Monterey Bay Aquarium’s executive chef Matthew Beaudin will prepare a San Francisco smoked trout pate with pickled onion jam, preserved lemon crema and mustard caviar. MF Events will have local oyster and clam chowder plus lobster fondue, and for those that want something sweet, My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream will also be at the event.

Spirits brands are crafting signature cocktails for Aquarius attendees

Credit: Travis W. Keyes Photography

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While the food at Aquarius comes at an additional charge, beverages (including craft cocktails) are included with the price of admission. Participating spirits brands are crafting signature drinks for the event. Highlights include Nolet’s Silver gin peach lemonade with elderflower liquor and market peaches Coca Pura tequila pink paloma with coconut water, ruby red grapefruit, seltzer, agave and a dehydrated grapefruit wedge Boukman botanical rhum honey tea with Owl’s Brew chai piña colada mixer and KAS honey liqueur and Chinola passion fruit liqueur sangria with Kendall-Jackson Sauvignon blanc, club soda, tonic and tropical fruits. Cocktail garnishes will be provided by Square Roots, an urban indoor farming company with a mission to bring local, real food to people in cities by empowering next-gen leaders in urban farming. To ensure a plastic-free event, Cup Zero will provide $2 cups for attendees to purchase upon entry and use throughout the festival. Designated Cup Zero recycling bins will be available, and festival-goers who return their cups to the Cup Zero station will get their money back.

“Aquarius will immerse ticket-buyers in a sensorial abyss and exploration of modern, sustainable methods in ocean conservation and seafood sourcing,” Maturana told me. “With the support of Oceanic Global, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch and chef Ned Baldwin, guests should expect to discover a bounty of delicious dishes and thoughtful products utilizing not only sustainable varieties of fish and shellfish but sustainable marine vegetation as well.”

I’ve been planning trips around notable eateries and the buzziest new dishes even before my food writing career began as an associate editor at The Daily Meal, where I

I’ve been planning trips around notable eateries and the buzziest new dishes even before my food writing career began as an associate editor at The Daily Meal, where I reported on food and drink news and wrote longer form culinary travel features. After TDM I moved on to a content editor position at Google where I wrote Zagat content – both reviews and blog posts – as well as copy that appears in Google Maps and Google Earth. For Forbes I cover a wide range of food and drink topics, from interviews with chefs and artisanal makers to national dining trends.

How to Make a Mooncake

Amateur bakers, beware! Making a mooncake at home is not easy. The pastries are relatively expensive—not because of high ingredient costs, but because the process is extremely labor intensive and requires a skilled baker.

“If you’re making (the filling) from scratch, you need to stir fry and re-stir fry the ingredients until they take a dark brown color, especially with lotus seed paste,” Jeffrey L. Wong, a New York resident who grew up with mooncakes, told Chowhound. �pending on the quantity,” he adds, “stir frying the fillings can be quite a physical workout as it is usually quite heavy.”

Perfecting the filling is only half the battle, Wong warns.

“The thin dough crust is also where the main difficulty comes in,” he said. “Only skilled hands can make them thin yet strong enough to hold the usually heavy fillings.”

If you insist upon making your own mooncakes, though, Taste of Asian Food has a (comparatively) simple recipe that explains each of the numerous steps in great detail. Find it here.

Millennium Park summer programming

Visitors can expect pop-up music, theatre, and dance performances throughout Millennium Park, starting in June. The Auditorium Theatre will present ABT Across America featuring American Ballet Theatre (July 8 at 7:30pm) as well as Dance for Life (August 26 at 6:30pm) presented by Chicago Dancers United. All events will require advance reservation for pavilion and lawn seating&mdashcapacity is still being dertermined. The summer programming lineup also includes some familiar events at Pritzker Pavilion, including:

  • Grant Park Music Festival (Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, July 2 &ndash August 21 at 6:30&ndash8pm)
  • Millennium Park Summer Music Series (Mondays, August 2&ndashSeptember 13 at 6&ndash8:30pm, and Thursdays, September 2&ndash16 at 6-8:30pm)
  • Millennium Park Summer Workouts (Saturdays, July 3&ndashAugust 28 at 8:30am&ndash12:15pm)

F&B Trends for 2021

Modern Restaurant Management (MRM) magazine asked restaurant and food and beverage industry experts for their insights on what trends will be on the radar for restaurant owner and operators in 2021. Here are their views.

Af&co Do The Hustle

Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, af&co. produce its latest trend report with its partner company​ ​Carbonate​. ​Do The Hustle​ is a preview of the trends and practices that will shape the hospitality industry in 2021. This comprehensive annual report identifies key influences in restaurants, hotels, food, beverage, and hospitality marketing.

Now in its 13th edition, the report is compiled from extensive year-long research and intended to serve as a guide to help operators prepare for the coming year.

&ldquoAs we prepare to exit a year that has challenged the hospitality industry with a nearly continuous stream of unimaginable circumstances, it is with a measured sense of hope that we look forward,&rdquo says Andrew Freeman, Founder and CEO of af&co. and Co-Founder of Carbonate. &ldquoFrom wildfires to a pandemic to addressing racial injustice head-on, we&rsquove been forced to reevaluate every single aspect of how we do business. It has been an emotional time, and an incredibly difficult one. Challenges have come from all angles. As we prepare for the future with cautious optimism, we&rsquore celebrating this remarkable resiliency.&rdquo

&ldquoThe silver lining for our industry is that so many – from restaurateurs and hoteliers to suppliers and distributors – have determinedly said &lsquoI will survive&rsquo this year,&rdquo says Candace MacDonald, Co-Founder of Carbonate. &ldquoThis has brought about a level of creativity that we believe will continue to fuel innovation for the year ahead.&rdquo

Here is a preview of several of the top trends you can expect to see in the report:

Food Trend of the Year: Quesabirria. ​Stemming from queso (cheese) and birria, a Mexican meat stew traditionally made from goat but now often made with beef or lamb, this addictive dish trending on both coasts is comprised of a tortilla usually dipped in a chili laced broth, melted cheese crispy on the edges, and tender stewed meat, often served with a side of consomme for sipping or dipping. It has been surging in popularity first in Los Angeles (by way of Tijuana) and then San Francisco, and now it is beginning to take hold on the East Coast. This dish is perfect for this moment: comforting, made from inexpensive ingredients and a mash-up of tastes and textures.

● El Garage​ (Richmond, CA) grew from a pop-up with cult-like following to a restaurant

● Birria-landia​ (New York, NY) has been lauded for some of the best street food in New York

Drink Trend of the Year: Hot Cocktails. ​Hot Cocktails will make a comeback this year as many people will continue to gather and drink outdoors and as restaurants and bars have built up outdoor dining spaces. While we can expect the Hot Toddy, Hot Buttered Rum and Irish Coffee to proliferate, we look forward to seeing many new creative additions to the cocktail cannon incorporating hot tea, mulled wine, and cider as well as other drinks designed to be served warm.

● Dead Rabbit​&rsquos Taproom (New York, NY) offers Spiked Hot Chocolate with Irish whiskey, amaro, sherry, Chartreuse, oat milk, cream

● Sobre Mesa​ (Oakland, CA) Cremosa de Cocoa with spiced rum, red wine, sweet potato liqueur, chocolate, toasted marshmallow, ginger, coconut crema (​photo​, courtesy of the restaurant)

Cuisine of the Year: Chinese-American. ​Chinese American cuisine had delivery down way before it became popular. It is also a taste of comfort for people of all ages and nationalities despite where they grew up. While it may have been out-of-fashion for a while, we believe Chinese-American food is about to make a comeback. Chinese American food presents an opportunity for reinvention, offering people the tastes they know and love but with a bit more transparency to ingredients and where they come from. Perhaps refining some recipes or preparations to reduce sugar or oil. It is dependably delicious, but for many of us, not something readily made at home. We&rsquore not going to say the food is authentically Chinese, but rather that it has evolved into its own identity now enshrined in the American taste memory.

● P.F. Chang&rsquos​ announces plans for 27 P.F. Chang&rsquos To Go delivery-only locations by end of 2021 and we anticipate more growth from other smaller chains to come.

Cuisines on the Rise. ​While we have named Chinese American cuisine as our trend of the year, we want to acknowledge many of the other cuisines we see rapidly rising in popularity. Some of these are rising particularly in specific regions of the country, and we expect them to take some years before they expand beyond the local or state level, others have more national traction and we expect to see them take hold and continue to grow.

  • Regional Indian​ – We&rsquore excited to see more variety and specialization in Indian food, presenting a bounty of flavors and dishes from all over the country
  • Afro-Carribean​ – These flavors are taking hold often in unexpected ways and forms, let&rsquos see greater appreciation for the subtle and not so subtle variations of food from this vast region
  • Singapore/Malay​ – It was only a matter of time before Singapore and Malay cuisine began to take hold. Laksa may be the gateway dish and we are predicting (and hoping!) to see it proliferate in coming years, bringing with it a wealth of other dishes and flavors to get excited about.
  • Jewish​ – Bagels, babka and Jewish style delis are popping up everywhere, as both restaurants and popups, creating great fanfare and devoted fans.

Plant-Based Global Fare. ​2020 Trend of the Year &ldquoVegan Goes Viral&rdquo (cringe)

While we may never use the word &ldquoviral&rdquo again, 2020 was still the year that vegan cuisine entered the mainstream. Plant-based foods are so mainstream now that we&rsquore seeing entirely plant-based restaurants specialize in world cuisines not associated with the concept: plant-based Italian, Mexican, soul food, tacos, Tinidadian and more. OZO is the official &ldquoPlant-Based Food Choice of the Denver Broncos,&rdquo so it&rsquos clear this way of eating has gone way beyond the fringe. No longer a polarizing dietary choice, plant-based menu items are popular for their taste and presentation well beyond any health drivers. Added benefit: plant-based menu items often have lower food costs, allowing for increased profit margins or lower price points for your guests. The only question is what do you call that &ldquomozzarella&rdquo on the vegan pizza or the &ldquoshrimp&rdquo in the plant-based gumbo?

● ShadoBeni​ (Pittsburgh, PA) vegan Trinidadian street food

● Souley Vegan​ (Oakland, CA) vegan Louisiana style comfort food

● Casa del Vegano​ vegan taqueria (Dallas)

High Quality Coffee Quickly, Finally! ​It takes a little more effort to go out for coffee when you&rsquore not going into the office, and most homes aren&rsquot equipped with the magically refilled office coffee pot. Realizing that there was an opportunity with many more working from home, coffee brands are developing ways to produce high quality single brew coffee in the most convenient way possible, whether you&rsquore at home or on the road. See you later, Sanka.

● Mr. Espresso​ has introduced coffee bags for steeping single brew servings

● Sudden Coffee​ offers &ldquoyour favorite coffee brands – made instant&rdquo

Mirror Mirror on the Wall… Who&rsquos the Fittest of Them All? ​Offering both convenience and the safety of an in-room workout, hotels will offer rooms with integrated wall mounted home gyms like Mirror and Tonal for a way to work-out without going to the gym. Others will partner with Peloton, taking advantage of their dedicated user base and offer not just Peloton equipped gyms or in-room equipment but also digital memberships to provide guests access to the wide range of branded fitness classes that they can follow even without special equipment.

● Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley​ (East Palo Alto, CA) offers Fitness guest rooms with integrated smart Tonal all-in-one fitness system with personal trainer

● Yotel New York​&rsquos (New York, NY) VIP Suite has a Peloton bike

Business Travel Has Subscribed to the Subscription Model. ​Realizing that many are and will be working remotely for the foreseeable future, hotels and airlines eager to get business travel back have launched subscription programs offering remote workers a place to work (and a place to stay) anywhere they want with subscription based travel packages and offering companies an easy way to bring employees from across the globe together.

● CitizenM&rsquo​s subscription model gives members access to workspaces in any citizenM hotel living room along with a monthly three-night stay with complimentary welcome drink and breakfast the following morning

● Selina​ offers the subscription based Selina Nomad Passport and the ​Selina CoLive​ program for digital nomads seeking long-term stays

● United Airlines​ paired up with ​Peerspace​ to bundle flights with meeting space rental offering companies working remotely an easy way to book regular meetings including flights, meeting spaces, airport club lounge use, etc.

Freeman told MRM, while it was challenging to deduce trends during the pandemic, he anticipates that innovation and creativity will play crucial roles in the restaurant recovery."

"Crisis does indeed create creativity," he said. "People will be cautious, but the setbacks will get behind us."

UniFocus Co-founder and CEO Mark Heymann and VP of Restaurant Development Dave Gates

DG: Third party services are here to stay

The uptick of third-party delivery apps is not exclusive to COVID-19. Its popularity is here to stay largely due to the convenience factor. People are accustomed to having access to their favorite dishes from their favorite restaurants from home — all on their smartphones. So, in response, it&rsquos imperative that restaurants realign their budgets and labor structures to account for increased third-party service even when in-person dining returns.

Leveraging technology will create positive customer experiences

COVID-19 has diversified the formula for fostering a positive customer experience. For restaurants, it&rsquos no longer just about smiling faces from your wait staff, great food and timely service. Customers expect personalized experiences regardless of how they dine — whether it&rsquos in-person, takeout, third-party or even drive-thru. Restaurants need to explore how their solutions stack aligns with the digital shift and identify concepts of the customer experience that can be enhanced by technology. It might be helpful to assess how retail has addressed this issue as well.

MH: Workforce optimization is more important than ever

The pandemic has taught us the importance of workforce optimization. Once occupancy levels begin to return, hotels will face an uphill climb toward maintaining sustained success again. Service expectations based on COVID-19 guest experiences may well impact future service offerings. In turn, their approach to labor will need to be proactive. Leveraging a workforce optimization system that can streamline labor budgeting, enable flexible scheduling, and align labor levels with advanced forecasting data will empower hotels to foster pathways to profitability within a volatile market.

Contactless interactions will continue to grow

COVID-19 has ushered in a new wave of contactless interactions, but the innovative concept isn&rsquot going anywhere after the pandemic. From digital touch screen ordering to contactless check-ins with a mobile app, customers will continue to desire streamlined experiences through technology. The restaurant and hotel sectors shouldn&rsquot plan to pivot away from contactless. It&rsquos the way of the future.


Tastewise offers real-time industry insights on how consumers order, cook, and eat and predicts changing consumer needs based on 880,000 restaurants and delivery menus, 22-billion social interactions, and 3.8-million home recipes.

The latest Tastewise report shares the top 10 food trends in the U.S.for the coming year:

Global Cuisines, Local Mentality

Plant-Based, with No Sacrifice

Gluten-free for More than Celiac

Foodmix Marketing Communications

Foodmix Marketing Communications is sharing its 30 years of experience to shed light on how food brands across all channels will prosper in 2021. From changes in technology, to getting creative with pampering guests, to the support of mental health initiatives, these 2021 post pandemic predictions created by Foodmix CEO Dan O&rsquoConnell and the Foodmix team will aid in kicking off the new food era we are about to embark on.

Foodmix Marketing Communications&rsquo 2021 Predicted Food Trends

Ghost kitchens will foster adventurous foodies
The investor community got behind ghost kitchens in 2020 in a big way. These are no longer locally-based entrepreneurs &ndash networks are being created. Branded concepts tapping specialties from across the globe will follow.

Food will embrace mental health

The mental health costs of the pandemic are becoming increasingly clear. The role of food in mental health will be brought to life through both suggestion and fact. True food fixes, or partial fixes, to common mental health maladies will lead to a new dimension of brand love.

Creative and innovative ways to sample food will keep everyone happy and healthy

Food is a sensory experience as we all know &ndash the smell, appearance and even sound of food matters &ndash but taste matters most. Sampling at grocery stores, food shows for food buyers and even food festivals and events are going to struggle. The challenge for food marketers/promoters/mass feeders will be finding more intimate ways to lead people on the sensory path to brand love.

Technology advances will make it convenient to keep distance and buy dinner

The restaurant industry has led with &ldquocontact-free&rdquo food buying &ndash but other channels will catch up. Both AI and scanning technology will not only make it easy to keep your social distance while making a transaction but will also help lead you to the right product &ndash and yes, the right brand for your lifestyle.

Contactless pampering coming soon

We&rsquove been cooped up and serving ourselves or others for too long. Many Americans will remain hesitant to return to large dining rooms &ndash but will still want to be pampered and served. Food providers that find ways to serve and pamper individuals and small intimate groups &ndash while maintaining social distance &ndash will create brand love for the safe worry-free environments they create.

Meal kits will expand beyond a brown box

Services that lock consumers into several days of food and boxes of ingredients delivered in bulk will continue to struggle. But restaurants (with those large empty dining rooms), grocery stores (with the large food bars that germaphobes hate), convenience stores (who realize the roller grill is not the answer) and even retailers&rsquo parking lots will offer pre-packed meal components that let consumers assemble a meal on their terms &ndash fast and easy &ndash thus, creating brand love for those who understand flexibility, safety and delicious matter.

Plant-based made easier and more approachable

To recruit and keep more consumers in the plant-based movement, plant-based foods will need to taste better and be easier. We talked about eliminating the &ldquoyuk&rdquo factor last year and while work still needs to be done, the focus will shift to full meals and even meal plans. Food brands that figure out not just how to offer plant-based ingredients, but can help lead the consumer to a full plant-based meal &ndash or longer-term meal plans for the whole family &ndash will win the hearts and love of the health conscious.

'New York Taste' Festival Returns for Its 15th Year - Recipes

In honor of this celebration, Shana Jeannot-Thomas, Founder and Creator of The Global Taste was inspired to celebrate her heritage by launching The Freedom Project to highlight the diversity of Haitian professionals and celebrate their contribution within the Food x Travel x Culture industries through photography and audio storytelling answering the question What Does Haitian Independence Means to Me?

Fet Ghede, Gede, Guédé is also known as Haiti’s Festival of the Dead, which is a celebration of Lwa( spirits) of death, fertility, and loved ones who transition to the ancestral realm. On Halloween Day, Adà Supper Club x Chef Nicole “Nicky” Marcelin celebrated Fet Gede by honoring Haitian Vodou traditions!

Are you curious to seek new places but unsure about its destination, beauty & its culture? Justa Lujwangana of Curious on Tanzania launched Experience Tanzania NYC experiential event on Saturday, June 15th at Punto Space for all curious travelers to get a taste of her homeland for the day.

Did you ever consider visiting Taiwan? Passport to Taiwan is an annual celebratory festival that gives you an opportunity to experience their unique culture, food, and more.


While a similar item, packed minced ham, may have been produced in the later 1700s, [3] John Taylor is credited with creating his secret recipe for the product in 1856. George Washington Case, a farmer and butcher from nearby Belle Mead, created his own recipe for pork roll in 1870. [4] Case's was reportedly packaged in corn husks. [3]

Taylor originally called his product "Taylor's Prepared Ham", but was forced to change the name after it failed to meet the new legal definition of "ham" established by the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906. [1] [5] [6] Marketed as both "Taylor's Pork Roll" and "Trenton Pork Roll", it saw competition from products with similar names like "Rolled Pork" and "Trenton style Pork Roll". Of particular note is the "Roll of Pork" produced by Adolph Gobel, the "Sausage King" of Brooklyn. [7] Gobel was sued by Taylor in 1910, [8] but the court ruled that the words "Pork Roll" and "Roll of Pork" could not be trademarked.

A century later, many in North Jersey (and parts of Central Jersey) continue to use the term "Taylor ham". [1]

Being both a regional specialty and a processed meat with a unique taste, Pork roll has resisted accurate description and is sometimes referred to as a mystery meat. [9]

The 1910 legal opinion [8] which established the generic term "pork roll" described the product as:

a food article made of pork, packed in a cylindrical cotton sack or bag in such form that it could be quickly prepared for cooking by slicing without removal from the bag.

Both the "cylindrical cotton sack" and vacuum-sealed sliced forms are widely available in the region. Variations on this, including hot dog sized "pork roll links" [10] may also been seen. For some time, Taylor also made "Taystrips", [11] which was the same kind of meat, but shaped into rectangular strips, similar to bacon or sizzlean. [12]

Larry Olmsted of USA Today has described the taste of the meat as "a cross between Canadian bacon and bacon, less hammy and smoky than Canadian, fattier and saltier than bacon, with a unique texture, both crispy and slightly mushy." [13]

Each producer maintains their own recipe, however there are generally 2 flavors of the product, Tangy and Mild. Compared to Mild, Tangy has more of a salami-like lactic acid flavor.

Companies that make pork roll include Taylor Provisions (USDA EST 256) [14] as Taylor and Trenton, Case Pork Roll (USDA EST 184) [14] as Case's, Spolem Provisions (USDA EST 5421) [14] as Loeffler's Gourmet [15] and Mercer Meats, Clemens Food Group (USDA EST 791) [14] as Hatfield, Leidys (USDA EST 9520) [14] as Leidy's and Alderfer, and Rob-Dave Distributors (USDA EST 2159) [14] as Johnston. [16] [17]

ShopRite (regional grocery store's private label) Tangy

Though the packages commonly suggest barbecuing or grilling the product, pork roll is most often prepared by frying slices in a pan or on a griddle. No oil or butter is necessary. Slices of pork roll naturally curl up into a cup shape as they are heated. To make the slices lay flat, as many as four inward cuts from the edge towards the center are commonly made, leading to a distinctive shape once cooked. The product is ready once it is hot and a bit of crispiness has developed.

Pork roll is typically eaten as part of a sandwich and frequently paired with egg and/or cheese. A popular breakfast sandwich in the region is the "Taylor ham, egg and cheese" [18] or "pork roll, egg and cheese" [19] in which fried pork roll is joined with a fried (or scrambled) egg and American cheese and served on a hard roll, bagel or English muffin. [13] [18] [19] New Jersey eateries noted for their Jersey Breakfast include Slater's in Middletown, and Starks United in Keansburg. [20] Popular condiments include black pepper, ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, lettuce, and tomato.

It is also incorporated in many other recipes, [21] such as the "Jersey Burger", [22] [23] a Pork Roll Monte Cristo, [24] or a variation on deviled eggs. [25]

Many people from New Jersey have strong feelings for the product, associating it with fond memories of family, youth, and visits to the Jersey Shore. [26]

The first of several Pork Roll Festivals was held in Trenton on May 24, 2014. [27] At the inaugural festival, hundreds of pounds of pork roll were served to thousands of visitors and a Miss Pork Roll Queen was crowned. [28] The following year, the organizers split up and held competing festivals. [29] The 7th annual Pork Roll festival was scheduled for 2020, [30] but was delayed and ultimately cancelled due to the COVID pandemic. [31]

The Trenton Thunder minor league baseball team hosted their inaugural "Trenton Thunder World Famous Case's Pork Roll Eating Championship" on September 26, 2015. Joey Chestnut won the contest by eating 32 pork roll sandwiches in 10 minutes. [32] On Fridays in 2018, the team rebranded itself as "Thunder Pork Roll" [33] with pork roll themed uniforms and merchandise. [34]

The Jersey Shore BlueClaws minor league baseball team holds a Pork Roll, Egg, and Cheese Race at the end of the fourth inning of every home game. [35]

Several songs by the band Ween contain references to pork roll, including "Frank" and "Pork Roll Egg and Cheese" from their 1991 album The Pod. The band is from nearby New Hope, Pennsylvania.

On April 14, 2016, Assemblyman Tim Eustace introduced an Act in the New Jersey State Legislature designating the Taylor Ham, egg, and cheese sandwich as the New Jersey State Sandwich. [36]

On May 15, 2016, President Barack Obama gave a commencement speech at Rutgers University's 250th graduation ceremony in which he referenced the "Taylor Ham vs. pork roll debate", saying, "I come here for a simple reason – to finally settle this pork roll vs. Taylor Ham question. I'm just kidding. There's not much I'm afraid to take on in my final year of office, but I know better than to get in the middle of that debate." [37]

Episode 9 from Season 7 of the television program Bizarre Foods Delicious Destinations [38] featured pork roll as a Jersey Shore specialty.

On October 28, 2020, Montana gubernatorial candidate Mike Cooney released a video of former New Jersey governor Chris Christie on the app Cameo requesting Cooney's opponent return to New Jersey. Christie, who had been tricked into recording the video by a Cooney aide, invoked pork rolls. [39]


We know that many people throughout New York State love to visit our member maple producers during the traditional Maple Weekend celebrations in March. This year, however, the risks presented by COVID-19 are making that tradition one that we all have to think about more carefully.

Our Board of Directors has been actively monitoring all official information concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on our ability to safely conduct public events like Maple Weekend. We understand that the pandemic situation, and various regulations concerning it, vary from county to county. We recognize our obligation to public safety for any event that we officially promote and sponsor across all of our regions. Therefore, the Board has unanimously decided to cancel the Statewide official Maple Weekend for 2021.

That being said, we do understand that certain local maple producers may have physical facilities that can safely operate with drive-through, online ordering for take-out, limited-capacity safe accommodation of socially-distanced customers, etc. Likely there is a maple producer with these accommodations near you who will be open for these sorts of visits.

To find one of these safe-operation producers, we encourage you to use our map of maple producers to determine who might be able to accommodate you for a visit. Please check directly with them at

We regret that we have had to take this action in 2021, but we remain hopeful that things will gradually return to normal as the rest of the year progresses. We thank you for your love of all things maple, and we will do our part to make sure that there will always be a tasty supply when you get that craving!

EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival Begins July 15!

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We have exciting news to share this morning. The EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival will begin on July 15th at Walt Disney World Resort!

This year’s event will kick off with Global Marketplaces, including the return of many favorites – Canada, Greece, Germany, Hops and Barley, Appleseed Orchard and others. Even more marketplaces will join the international smorgasbord as the festival continues on into the fall before wrapping on Nov. 20.

There will be lots of ways for families to enjoy this year’s event:

  • Sample all sorts of delicious cheeses served in fun ways as part of Emile’s Fromage Montage – if you collect a stamp from five different Global Marketplaces, you’ll earn a prize!
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak will send you on a savory scavenger hunt in search of Remy statuettes hidden all over the park.
  • Take a tasty souvenir home from the new merchandise collections, including a festival collection featuring a spirit jersey, baseball cap and so much more.
  • Listen to musical favorites performed by Voices of Liberty, Mariachi Cobre and the Jammin’ Chefs.

In case you forgot the Epcot’s Taste of Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is running until July 5th and just 10 days later EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival starts up. It should be noted that for this year Disney removed the “Taste of” from the title so we are hoping this is a full-blown Food & Wine Festival like in years past!

We hope to have more details for the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival coming soon, so stay tuned!

Watch the video: Taste of Gramercy Festival Returns For 6th Year (January 2022).