Taste takes it up a notch

Champagne will flow the moment guests walk through the gate

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  • | 8:38 p.m. April 14, 2017
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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It’s time to get hungry, and thirsty. The Taste of Winter Park is coming back to the Winter Park Farmer’s Market. In a city already known for its top-class restaurants, and with 32 years of history behind it, this Taste is going to be a new twist on an old favorite, Winter Park Chamber of Commerce President Betsy Gardner-Eckbert said.


“I’m really excited because we’ll have so many new concepts,” she said.  


The moment guests walk through the door, the party begins. Piper-Heidsiek champagne is waiting just past the gate.


“You’ll walk in and immediately have a glass of champagne,” Chamber vice president Erika Spence said. “We’re trying to make it really feel special.”


It’s the ultimate foodie festival, Spence said, with more than 40 of the area’s top chefs, bakers, caterers, confectioners and beverage purveyors expected to pack the Market for a night of epicurean delights.


Expect local favorites Cocina 214, Luma on Park, TR Fire Grill and Umi Japanese Restaurant there. But there are some fresh businesses too, including New General, The Brewstillery, Bulla Gastrobar, Hunger Street Tacos and Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen. And it won’t just be Winter Park restaurants and bars, with farther-flung arrivals including Blaze Pizza, Heathrow Country Club, Wayne Densch Distributing, Gator’s Dockside, Olde Hearth Bread Company and Jeremiah’s Italian Ice.


There will be wine pairings with Quantum Leap Winery, Love Block Wine, Terlato Wine and more. There will also be some serious culinary skills behind the counters.


“We’re so excited to be partnered with chef Brandon McGlamery who’s the executive chef with Luma, Prato and Luke’s,” Gardner-Eckbert said.


Expect some famous meatballs, crab cakes, plus dessert from Luma. 



Tickets don’t just get guests in the door; it’s all-inclusive, featuring unlimited samples of dishes, beverages and desserts. Other vendors will be there too, offering prizes and more. The prizes aren’t just for guests either. Every year there’s a competition to be the people’s choice, and that’s no different this year. What is difference is it’ll be a text-your-choice to choose the crowd favorite. 


“They’ll win glory and bragging rights,” Spence said. 


Take a walk to the porch half a flight of stairs above the crowd and relax in a new lounge-style atmosphere featuring premium spirits from Hendrick’s Gin and Balvenie Scotch Whisky Distillery. It’ll be a VIP atmosphere for the standard ticket price.


“It’s a different kind of beverage experience,” Spence said.


A photo booth will be set up alongside to capture the moment. 


On the stage, Johnny Mag Sax will bring his unique blend of jazz, chill lounge, blues, classic rock, Motown, R&B and dance.


More than 1,500 guests are expected to attend what Gardner-Eckbert hopes is the fanciest Taste yet.


“We’re just excited to elevate this event,” she said. “We think it’ll reflect the quality of the wining and dining in the area. We’re excited to take it to the next level.”


All-inclusive tickets are $40 for Winter Park Chamber members in advance, $50 for non-members and $50 for everyone at the door. To order tickets, call 407-644-8281 or purchase online at www.winterpark.org

WHEN: 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 19
WHERE: Winter Park Farmers’ Market, 200 E. New England Ave., Winter Park
TICKETS: All-inclusive tickets are $40 for Winter Park Chamber members in advance, $50 for non-members and $50 for everyone at the door.
INFORMATION: (407) 644-8281 or winterpark.org



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