On the evening of April 12th, the Rahway Recreation Center was transformed into, perhaps, the largest tasting event in the state. Tickets, which sold out a week in advance, became a “hot commodity” to Rahway’s Taste of Spring, an event co-produced by Rahway Arts + Business Partnership, Witty’s Fine Wines and Liquors, Wizdom Media and Northfield Bank. Those who bought early on Eventbrite or managed to score a ticket from Witty’s, Beana’s Para Siempre, Pinho’s Bakery or from the Rec Center, were treated to an evening of “flavor explosions” for their pallet and lively music to tap their toes. Those who waited until the week of to purchase, were left trying to avoid online scammers claiming to have tickets. The main gym, plus two side tents were filled with over 70 vendors of wine, beer, food and aperitif tastings from proprietors from all over Union and Middlesex Counties, that served the crowd of over 1400 people. “People are drawn together over food. Breaking bread with your neighbor is a practice across all cultures. I love this event because it shows the rich cultural tapestry of New Jersey with both the cuisine presented and the patrons who attend. Everyone is coming together to enjoy each other and some delicious food.” said Mayor Ray Giacobbe.
Early in the evening, judges had the difficult task of choosing the “best of” in many categories, including the coveted “Tasters Choice”, (best overall). Music by bands, High Strung and Karickter, created what was called a “music concert feel” in each of the side tents, while DJ On Fire lit up the main gym. Vendors and artisans sold their wares to guests who were thoroughly enjoying themselves throughout the night.
New for this year was the first attempt at making the event more environmentally friendly. Made possible by support from the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, each patron who purchased a ticket, was given a green “multi-tensil” (fork, spoon and knife in one unit). Patrons were encouraged to reuse the multi-tensil throughout the night, reducing the waste of consuming a new utensil for each vendor. Liquor and wine ambassadors also were encouraged to serve their samples in paper cups instead of the traditional plastic. The Rahway Arts + Business Partnership, the non-profit that organizes this event, hopes to incorporate more of these initiatives each year with a goal of becoming fully sustainable. “We are grateful to be able to partner with the Union County Freeholders to make this event more environmentally friendly as that is a focus of Rahway in general” , said Rahway’s new Business Administrator AJ Jalloh.
“Next year is our Twentieth Anniversary and we are already thinking of how to commemorate this milestone.” beamed Matt Dobrowolski, Taste committee chair and originator of the event. “Whatever we decide on, I recommend getting your tickets early! “
Dobrowolski confirmed tickets will go on sale in February 2020.
Taste Of Spring Competition Winners 2019
Tasters Choice & Best Gourmet Pasta
Best Restaurant Dessert
Best Side Dish
Chevys Fresh Mex
Best Metro Bakery
Best Bakery Table Display
Gold Leaf Pastry Shop & Cafe
Best Gourmet Entrée
Best Entree & Best Pasta
Il Forno A Legna
Meatballs & Brews
Mulberry Street Restaurant
Best Metro Ribs
Red Knot Restaurant
Best Restaurant Table Display & Best Appetizer
Best Gourmet Dessert
Best International Dish
New for this year
Best Liquor/Wine Table Display
For more information, please visit www.rahwaytaste.com.