Taste may be one of the five senses, but it’ll be the most important thing at this Williamsburg festival.
Tickets for the Williamsburg Taste Festival are now on sale, and organizers have announced the menus for several of the smaller events within the festival.
“Williamsburg is one of America’s oldest foodie destinations with wine-making, beer brewing, and ancient oyster beds and fresh seafood from the Chesapeake,” Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance president Karen Riordan wrote in an email before calling the region “the original farm-to-table” pioneers.
The festival is set to begin in Greater Williamsburg on April 19 and end on April 22, but tickets are on sale right now.
Williamsburg Taste Festival event tickets cost between $10 and $158 for adults.
Between the $10 ticket to an after hours event with area sous-chefs to the $158 “Out and About” with Waypoint Seafood and Grill, tickets range in price but can be purchased a la carte. An “all festival” pass to the ‘must attend’ events can be purchased for $145.
The events support the local farmers, chefs and businesses who make the area vibrant, according to Williamsburg Economic Development Authority chairman Adam Steely.
“The idea of supporting local farmers and producers is not new to us,” Steely said. “People who are passionate about food have always done that. What’s fantastic about our region in this time, is we have this incredible array of product that I think most of our citizens remain unaware of.”
While menus haven’t been set for the entire event, some of the “Out and Abouts” have each released a carte du jour, listing food and drink pairings for the mini-events.
At the Waypoint Seafood and Grill mini-event, guests can tentatively expect hors d’oeuvre such as barbecue seasoned oysters on spinach and red onion salad with blue cheese dressing, sautéed prawns with a sweet chili sauce and lime dressing, or smoked salmon and cream cheese pinwheels on party rye triangle.
The main course is expected to feature octopus carpaccio, American paddle fish caviar on Melba toast, while those hungry patrons looking for more turf than surf will appreciate the roasted South Dakota buffalo tenderloin or the sautéed Hudson Valley foie gras.
“This festival is our way of celebrating our food heritage, while also educating our residents and tourists that greater Williamsburg is a great place to eat fresh, delicious food from top restaurants, as well as experiencing the fast-growing craft beverage scene,” Riordan wrote. “With five craft breweries, a meadery, the Williamsburg Winery and two distilleries, this has been a great new addition to our food and beverage scene.”
For Waypoint Seafood and Grill’s Chef Hans Schadler it’ll be an opportunity for locals and tourists to try new flavors and classic takes on Tidewater tastes.
Schadler’s long-time friend and colleague certified master chef Hartmut Handke will serve as guest chef at multiple events during the festival.
At the end of the day though, Schadler hopes to see the event evolve and grow to be as grand as the Charleston Food and Wine Festival in Charleston, South Carolina.
That event brought nearly $9.6 million dollars to the local economy, according to the festival’s website.
“I think the true local flavors will be expressed when the five local chefs put their Sunday morning brunch on,” Schadler said. “It’s going to represent the Tidewater area, the local bounty at its best in one place.”
For more information on the Williamsburg Taste Festival and tickets to its events, click here.
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