The centerpiece is a cornucopia of Hudson Valley restaurants, providing seasonal samples of food and drink for $2 to $3 per taste. This year’s diners may sample braised pork and pear salad, squash salad with avocado dressing, tempura-dipped lobster medallions with mango and papaya salsa, homemade doughnuts, maple-leaf cookies with New York maple syrup glaze, Tasmanian crab and grapefruit salad, hot apple crisp sundaes and much more.
“If you’ve been meaning to try ‘that restaurant,’ here’s your chance. Our restaurants are going to be showcasing the best of what they have to offer. It’s like a culinary premiere,” said Chamber of Commerce president Joyce Minard.
The Taste celebrates diversity, welcoming all restaurateurs from New Paltz and beyond. This year’s participants will include the Acapulco Grill, Adair Vineyards, Aroma Thyme Bistro, Baba Louie’s, Caribbean Cuisine, the Catskill Animal Sanctuary, Elsie’s, EveL’s Sweets, Gomen Kudasai, Gourmet Pizza, the Main Course, the Main Street Bistro, Mohonk Mountain House, Neko Sushi, P & G’s, Pasquale’s, the Ship Lantern Inn, Hurd’s Family Farm, Tantillo’s Farm, Wright’s Farm and others.
“In 2010 we have a lot of repeat restaurants, wineries, beer vendors, crafts, art and businesses. This gives the Taste its backbone. Yet we also have a lot of new participants that make the Taste original and exciting,” said Taste chairperson Kathy Combs, owner of New Paltz’s 36 Main Restaurant & Wine Bar.
Complementing the chefs are a wide variety of exhibits and activities for the whole family to enjoy: “Artistic Taste,” highlighting local painters, sculptors, photographers and company exhibiting their creations; a Craft Expo, with handcrafted textiles, ceramics, jewelry and more; a Business Expo, featuring raffles and specialty swag from local purveyors of goods and services; a Wellness and Recreation Expo, for sports and health information and demonstrations; crafts and games at the Kids’ Expo; edible goods-to-go at the Country Store; live music from local bands the Trapps and the Sweet Clementines and acoustic act Peter Morrison; and demonstrations by New Paltz Karate and Ignite Fitness, as well as on-site butter-churning, rugmaking and quilting. Visitors can even bring a small antique to be appraised at the Antiques Tent.
Conceived in 1991 by Chamber board member Maraline Mazzetti, the Taste has grown exponentially. At its zenith, the event attracted 10,000 guests. It takes a team of more than 100 volunteers set up, clean up, sell entrance and food tickets and circulate among the crowd to help direct pedestrian traffic and keep lines short.
Eve Prince, owner of EveL’s Sweets, sees participation in the Taste of New Paltz as beneficial for both business and the community. “People rave about the Taste of New Paltz all year long, so I’m really excited to be a part of it this year. I used to be a performer, so I really love getting out and being in front of people. I think it’s going to be fantastic,” she said.
Admission is $3 in advance, $5 at the door. Children age 12 and under are admitted free. The package deal includes one admission, ten “taste” tickets and a Taste of New Paltz tee-shirt for $20 (while supplies last). The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine. The Ulster County Fairgrounds are located at 249 Libertyville Road southwest of New Paltz.
For more information, call (845) 255-0243 or visit www.tasteofnewpaltz.com or the New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce office at 257 Main Street in New Paltz.