As the sole celebrity judge for this weekend’s Taste of Del Ray, I’m pondering how I’ll be able to select a winner from a slate of twelve very qualified competitors vying for just one trophy. A nicely balanced three-person panel might have taken some of the heat off of me, but organizers were firm. “One judge!” they insisted in unison. So there you have it. Yours Truly acceded to their demands. The event will take place in the heart of Del Ray in the tented parking lot of the Virginia Commerce Bank on Mount Vernon Avenue on June 9th from 1 till 3pm and I’m hoping you’ll be there.
The plan is to sample everything from cheese to chocolate and pizza to BBQ. Everyone gets to taste the dishes. There’ll be French, Mexican, Modern American and Italian tastings that I expect to wash down with glugs of coffee from Swing’s, a century-old coffee roasting company that recently moved their operations into an historic building in the Soho-hip community.
Following in the footsteps of previous judges Rock Harper (third season winner of Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen), and Carla Hall (of Top Chef and ABC’s The Chew) will not be an easy task. I’ll need to channel my inner Sonya Thomas aka “The Black Widow”, a Virginia native and uber competitive eater who can put away forty-five Nathan’s hotdogs in ten minutes. I’ll have five minutes per restaurant to sample their wares. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
Sheriff Lawhorn Gayle will announce the Chef’s Choice Award (That’s me!) and the People’s Award Choice (That’s you!). Let’s hope I don’t get arrested for public gluttony.
Here’s the line up and the link. Artfully Chocolate, Cheesetique, Del Ray Café, Del Ray Cakery, Del Ray Pizzeria, Dos Amigos, Evening Star Café, Pork Barrel BBQ, Rosemarino d’Italia, Swing’s Coffees, Taqueria Poblano and The Happy Tart.
www.VisitDelRayVA.com. Bring your discerning palates and a big appetite.