Gastronomes unite for annual Tasting the Town
- Written by By Madison Terrier
The fourth annual foodie event, Tasting the Town, is set to take place Sept. 13. Tasting the Town offers area residents the opportunity to sample foods and wines from local restaurants and breweries. Vendors from the Humble area will set up booths and hand out samples of their best dishes and beverages. Founder Jennifer Jozwiak of Lake Houston Area Events gave the event to the Chamber of Commerce. Jozwiak needed more time to devote to her popular home and garden shows. “We were extremely excited when Lake Houston Area Events gave the Lake Houston Chamber of Commerce a chance to take over this event,” said longtime member of the chamber, coordinator of Tasting the Town, and owner of LogoStuff Inc, Nancy Shortsleeve. “It gives us the opportunity to promote the restaurants that are a member of the chamber, and also the ones that aren’t. It’s a very nice added benefit for our chamber and community members,” Shortsleeve said. The event will be held in the Humble Civic Center from 4 - 9 p.m. Shortsleeve expects about 40-50 local vendors to participate. The event features a Wine Walk, sponsored by H-E-B, in which participants receive a commemorative wine glass and can sample wines available for purchase in the area. The Wine Walk is available at the Wine Lover admission cost. An outdoor pavilion, entitled Grillin’ and Chillin,’ is a part of the general admission price. Attendees will sample tasty dishes that incorporate grilling. The general admission ticket is $20 in advance; $25 at the door. The cost of this ticket includes all of the food you want to sample and two beverages (beer, water or soda.)The Wine Lover ticket is $30 in advance and $35 at the door. This ticket includes the commemorative wine glass, five wine sampling tickets and the general admission items. Tickets can be purchased online at tastingthetown.com. Children’s tickets, for ages 2-12, can be purchased at the door for $10; however, no strollers are allowed inside the venue. Previously, a portion of the proceeds went to local charities. This year, the Chamber is offering the opportunity for non-profit organizations in the community to promote ticket sales. When the organization’s supporters purchase tickets online they will be able to input a code, and the organization will receive a portion of the profit. Shortsleeve said about 2,700 people that participated in Tasting the Town last year, and they expect just as many this year. “I think the community has such a great opportunity at an event like this to taste what various restaurants we have in our area,” said Shortsleeve. “Most people get in a habit of going to the same three or four restaurants when they go out to eat. This gives them an opportunity to try new things and know that these restaurants will be a good place to spend their money if they like the samples they receive.” New this year, Carmen Wisenbaker of Penworth Marketing is creating a Blogger Section for the event. Wisenbaker is contacting local food critics and bloggers to invite them to Tasting the Town. There will be a blogger’s cafe available during the event so the critics can blog about the vendors and food while there. This gives the vendors an opportunity to ask critics to critique a certain dish, or write a story about their restaurant and food. Anyone is welcome in the blogger’s cafe while the event is taking place. Tasting the Town also offers those interested the opportunity to judge the vendors in the People’s Choice awards. Vendors include My Fit Foods, Nothing Bundt Cakes and Zammitti’s. “Judges, as well as the people, can vote on which food is the tastiest and who has the best decorated booth. It adds a little friendly competition to the show,” said Shortsleeve. Photo: A few of the food exhibitors in the Tasting the Town event include Kingwood Medical Center’s cooking staff, My Fit Foods, Nothing Bundt Cakes, and Zammitti’s.