Taste of St. Louis Festival

Wednesday September 5, 2012

For the past 8 years, St. Louis has been hosting the ever-so-delicious and entertaining Taste of St. Louis Festival. The festival will continue this year, September 28th-30th at Soldier’s Memorial. Over 350,000 people are expected to take advantage of this free admission event over the course of the weekend. So what can you expect?

Food

Well, it wouldn’t be called The Taste of St. Louis if it did not showcase some of the best cuisine in the city. Patrons will have a choice of 45 different restaurants, each one running their own booth and selling some of their best dishes for prices ranging around $3-$7. You’ll find everything from Gooey Butter Cake to Pad Thai, tasty vegan dishes, juicy meats for meat-lovers, and everything in between.

Grand Tasting Event

This year, a brand new Grand Tasting Event has been added to the food festivities. This ticketed VIP event will include unlimited samples from a number of niche and upscale restaurants from around St. Louis, such as 111Mississipi, Bella Milano, Cleveland Health, Milagro, and many more.

This special event is limited to only 500 guests per session. Session 1: 12-2:30pm Saturday, September 29th – Session 2 4-6:30pm Saturday, September 29th. The idea behind this program is to include intimate, niche restaurants in the festival. These restaurants may not be able to accommodate the large swarms of people that approach the food booths all day long, but their cuisine is certainly worth showcasing.

This event also caters to food-lovers who are not big fans of lines. Instead of hunting down the booth you want and then standing in the hot sun while the line inches forward, you can enjoy unlimited samples of a variety of cuisines without any stress or hassle.

The event will take place in the historic Peabody Opera House and will include trendy cocktail mixology, music, food demos, and meet-and-greets with several chefs along with the food sampling. Tickets are on sale for $39 in advance and $50 at the door , so make sure you reserve your spot.

Chef Battle Royal

Twenty-five local chefs applied to compete, but only nine were chosen to battle it out on stage during the festival. The 45-minute head to head battles include: chicken and egg, vegetable, mushrooms, beef & beer, pork, cheese, and lobster. These intense battles will be judged on the spot by a panel of judges who will choose winners based on taste, presentation, and originality. Nine chefs will battle, but only one will win!

Art

Of course, food is not the only thing the Taste of St. Louis festival has to offer. After you grab yourself a dish (or two or three) you can take a stroll through the Art and Wine Walk. Art from both local and national artists will be on display and for sale. As a juried-only art event, you can count on seeing work from some very talented artists.

Music

This year, the three big musical acts include Macy Gray, The All-American Rejects, and Taj Mahal, headlining on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, respectively. A wide variety of local bands and musicians will be hitting the stage as well, so make sure you check out the full lineup so you can find something that will get you in the mood for dancing or at least some rhythmic clapping. They’ve got a little something for every musical preference.

Free stuff and more

Festival attendees will have several chances to win awesome prizes during the weekend. Some of the prizes include free Stella beer tasting, gift cards for local establishments, and even a $7,500 vacation giveaway. If you aren’t chosen as one of the lucky winners, don’t worry, there is plenty of other free stuff to enjoy at the festival. You can take a look at the Showcase Stage where chefs will be showing off their skills, take the kids over to Kid City for some fun and educational games, or interact with local and national businesses in the Marketplace.

The Taste of St. Louis is most definitely a must-attend event. With 8 years of successful festivals and several awards to brag about, this year promises to be the best Taste of St. Louis yet. Swing by for food, art, and entertainment – and come hungry!

Guest Blogger Rease Kirchner from St. Louis, Missouri contributed this blog. You can follow Rease and her adventures in St. Louis and beyond on her personal blog,  indecisivetraveler.com or on twitter @IndecisiveRease

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