Downtown St. Louis was a vacuum of activity on September 28, 29 and 30, as hordes of St. Louisans assembled at Soldiers Memorial for the Taste of St. Louis. The three day event was chock full of things to do. Dozens of St. Louis’ top restaurants were out selling some of their most popular dishes. There were also performances by nationally recognized acts like Macy Gray, The All-American Rejects, Taj Mahal, as well some local artists.
The Taste of St. Louis, an event sponsored by Charter Communications, is an award-winning celebration of the best food, music, art and culture the city of St. Louis had to offer. St. Louis Post Dispatch readers voted the event the “Best Family Festival” in the region. The Taste of St. Louis has also been recognized as one of the “Best Food Festivals” in AAA Midwest Traveler’s Best of the Midwest 2010, voted the “Best Festival” by Metrotix.com, earned a Readers’ Choice “Best Food Event” award from St. Louis Magazine and named “Best Culinary Festival” in Alive Magazine’s top 100 hot list.
The organizers planned the event perfectly to maximize audience turn out. Downtown St. Louis was bustling with movement as the Cardinals hosted the Nationals in a three game series and the Rams entertained the Seahawks at the Edward Jones Dome, which added to the dynamic of the environment. “The lineup for 2012 is our very best ever,” said Taste organizer Mike Koceila. “With the generous support of our sponsors and St. Louis’ growing reputation as a culinary destination, we set to raise the bar again this year.”
As the treasure of the event, Sauce Magazine’s Restaurant Row offered festival-goers the opportunity to purchase a wide arrangement of succulent delights from 46 of St. Louis’ most mouth-watering dining establishments for no more than $7. From Southwest Veggie Sliders – to Georges Bank Scallops – to Ethiopian Cuisine and Jalisco Shrimp and Grits, the 2012 Restaurant Row included cuisine from a very diverse and palatable St. Louis. New to this year’s Taste of St. Louis was the Grand Tasting Event – an affluent, private sampling experience with delectable tasting from the area’s best eateries, wine, beer and premium cocktail samplings, celebrity appearances and live music.
The Taste of St. Louis is well known for its food, music, art and culture. Thanks to Charter Communications this year’s musical acts pleasantly entertained the crowds. The free concert series featured The All-American Rejects, Macy Gray, Taj Mahal and other great local and national talent.
The Art & Wine Walk displayed a truly unique experience where event-goers could scan work from both local and national artists, while they enjoyed the wine tastings of more than 200 wines from all around the world. The Marketplace included interactive exhibits and displays by Dodge/Ram, Texas on Tour, Ford, the Missouri Lottery and so much more. Among other cool attractions, this year’s Marketplace included a custom-made, all American T-shirt vendor, Mobili-tees, that created official custom made Taste of St. Louis T-shirts for patrons.
Travel Channel’s “Taste of America” Mark DeCarlo hosted The Chef Battle Royale Competition, presented by Stella Artois, was held on The Bunge Culinary Stage. 2012 celebrity chef presentations included Tom Pizzica of Food Network’s Outrageous Foods and Marc Bynum from Food Network’s Chopped.
The 2012 Showcase Stage and Dining Area was the perfect place to relax and enjoy some scrumptious grub while watching educational and entertaining showcases like Cocktail mixology demonstrations.
2012’s all-new Kid City opened on Saturday and Sunday and was the events best family fun yet, with adventure-filled and educational activities for the whole family. Visitors enjoyed an all-new family area, which included a Kid’s Credit Union, Soccer and T-Ball Park, Giant Carousel Bounce and Road Wise – an interactive, life-size cityscape designed to help children learn to safely navigate city streets. The first 100 kids, 10 and under, received free bicycle helmets. Dora the Explorer and Elmo took pictures and gave out hugs to the children.
All in all,- this year’s Taste of St. Louis fulfilled the proverbial appetite of all in attendance.