When city officials cancelled the Sternwheel Regatta in 2009, Taste organizers couldn't find a home for the event, which wasn't held that year. In 2010, it was revived as Taste-of-ALL Charleston, a one-day FestivALL event.
"When the Taste was a two-day event, we had 14,000 people attend," said Emily Wall, chairwoman of Taste-of-ALL. "As a one-day event, we have between 5,000 to 5,500."
Awards and judging were added in 1988, including People's Choice awards for appetizer, entrée and dessert. Chocolate Suicide dessert created by the former River's Edge restaurant in St. Albans has received the most dessert awards through the years. Best of Crete received the most awards in general and Main Kwong has the highest number of ticket sales.
In celebration of the 30th anniversary, organizers will run a slide show of photographs of past Tastes. They will bring back popular events such as swing and ballroom dance competitions and have added a cake contest.
"The cake contest started as birthday cake contest in celebration of the 30th birthday," Wall said. Contest entries must be made-from-scratch cakes with homemade icing and will be judged on taste and decorations. Entries should be dropped off in the Grand Hall between 11 a.m. and noon Sunday.
Vendors participating this year are Adelphia Sports Bar & Grill, Charleston Marriott Whitewater Grille, Cheerful Heart Catering, Da Sweeterie, Distinctive Gourmet, Ellen's Homemade Ice Cream, Embassy Suites -- Athletic Club, Fireside Grill, Generation St. George, Huntington Prime Penthouse and Piano Bar, Italian Grille, Joey's Ice Cream Trucks, Kawayan RestoBar, Lil' Husky's of Cross Lanes, Little India, Main Kwong, Mama Rosa's, Mayberry Restaurant, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Ridge View BBQ, Risin' Dough Bakery, Riswanto Organic-to-Go, Savage Sweets, The Candy Factory, The Daily Cup and Zul's Frozen Lemonade.
New vendors are Generation St. George, which will sell Mediterranean platters of kabobs, hummus and salad, Italian Grille in Teays Valley offering a pasta bar, Kawayan RestoBar's Filipino/Asian fusion entrees, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Savage Sweets' cupcakes and truffles, Joey's Ice Cream Trucks shaved ice, Cheerful Heart Catering and Riswanto Organic-To-Go with gluten free, vegetarian offerings.
Prices range from $4 for entrees such as crab cake, braised short rib or salmon, pulled pork tacos sliders, walleye with potato latke, chicken tikka masala, pasta bar and Mediterranean platters to 50-cent side dishes such as baked beans, mac and cheese, dinner rolls and cookies.
Food demonstrations by Ichiban and possibly others are scheduled in the West Virginia room. The West Virginia State University Extension Service will present interactive activities for children including a NASA star lab, take-home agriculture activities, healthy food samples and fun physical activities.
"We really want this to be a family event with something for everyone," said Wall.
Taste-of-ALL Charleston, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 17 at Charleston Civic Center's Grand Hall. Visit festivallcharleston.com.
Reach Julie Robinson at jul...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1230.