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Budweiser Taste of St. Louis set to kick off in Chesterfield

(River City Images photo)

(River City Images photo)

Billed as “The Ultimate Food Experience,” the 2014 Budweiser Taste of St. Louis will make its debut in a new location beginning Friday, Sept. 19. As it marks its 10-year anniversary, the three-day festival will move from downtown St. Louis to the Chesterfield Amphitheater in Central Park, 631 Veterans Place Drive, and the adjacent Chesterfield Village area.

The 2014 festival will include a number of elements its loyal patrons have come to expect, along with some new ones. As in past years, free admission to the Taste of St. Louis festival area will include access to many of its most popular venues and events, including the Sauce Magazine Restaurant Row, Stella Artois Chef Battle Royale, Kid City, Showcase Stage, Art & Wine Walk and The Marketplace.

This year, the festival also will take full advantage of Chesterfield’s spacious amphitheater, where events will combine food and live music for two new, ticketed shows on its Bud Light Amphitheater Stage. Both general admission and VIP tickets – the latter offering early entry, free hors d’oeuvres and reserved seating on a limited basis for Friday and Saturday – are available for advance purchase at a reduced rate and will also be sold at the event. Also new for 2014, the festivities will conclude with fireworks shows on both Friday and Sunday nights.

Celebrity chef Tyler Florence of the Food Network, host of “The Great Food Truck Race” and “Food Court Wars,” will start off Friday night’s events in the amphitheater with a cooking demonstration, followed by a concert featuring national recording artists Big Head Todd and the Monsters. On Saturday, Sept. 20, Duff Goldman, host of the Food Network’s “Ace of Cakes,” will showcase his pastry preparation expertise before a performance by St. Louis band The Urge. Highlights on the Bud Light Amphitheater Stage Sunday will include a free all-ages show with entertainment by Groovethang, That 80s Band and fireworks.

A perennial favorite of Budweiser Taste of St. Louis visitors, Sauce Magazine’s Restaurant Row, will include food offerings from 40 fine area restaurants, some that have participated in the past and some brand new to the festival.

The festival also will again host a three-day culinary competition, the Stella Artois Chef Battle Royale. Eight of the region’s top chefs will compete head-to-head on the Hollywood Casino Culinary Stage in seven “battle” categories, with eliminations after each round until one chef is crowned Chef Battle Royale Champion.

Situated alongside the Hollywood Casino Stage, a smaller Showcase Stage will be completely culinary focused and will feature more intimate demonstrations where audience participation is encouraged.

The Art & Wine Walk, sponsored by Chesterfield-based Sachs Properties, will showcase and sell artwork created by regional artists who work in a wide variety of media. Taste of St. Louis patrons will be able to browse the artwork while enjoying wines from A. Bommarito Wines.

Kid City will be open from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, bringing plenty of kid-focused fun and some all-new interactive experiences little ones are sure to love.

The Marketplace returns also, providing patrons with an opportunity to shop, sample, be entertained and get some great giveaways, all courtesy of local businesses.

Highlights and a schedule of the 2014 Budweiser Taste of St. Louis are contained on the following pages. For additional information, updates or to purchase tickets for ticketed amphitheater shows, visit tastestl.com.

Taste schedule 1 Taste schedule 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Restaurant Row to showcase dozens of dining establishments

The St. Louis area is widely known for its many fine restaurants and an eclectic mix of culinary talent, and the Budweiser Taste of St. Louis festival will feature fare from some of the best eateries in the region.

Along Sauce Magazine’s Restaurant Row, more than three dozen restaurants will offer up a wide variety of palate-pleasing creations, giving patrons a true taste of St. Louis’ culinary diversity. Many of this year’s restaurants have been a part of the Budweiser Taste of St. Louis for many years, while others are first-time participants.

A new element of this year’s festival is the addition of “Taste Bites” – i.e., smaller portions – which will be available from each participating restaurant.

“The restaurants generally have five or six items on their menu, and this year, two of those items are going to be smaller portions of 3 ounces or less, because people want to try a little bit of everything,” explained K Sonderegger, Taste of St. Louis co-director.

Patrons will be able to purchase foods directly from the restaurant vendors, with no tickets required. All will accept cash, many will accept credit cards, and ATMs will be available at the festival. Menu items usually are priced from $2-$7.

Whatever guests are craving – be it Bourbon Wings or Lobster Nachos, Vegan Baklava or Bacon Peanut Brittle – they are bound to find it on Restaurant Row, where the following restaurants will be serving some of their best culinary creations:

Annie Gunn’s, Balaban’s, Basso @ The Cheshire, Bayou Seasoning and Catering, Bishop’s Post, Bogart’s Smokehouse, Callier’s Catering, Cyrano’s Cafe, Dippin’ Dots, Drunken Fish, EdgeWild Restaurant & Winery, Espino’s Mexican Bar & Grill, Frida’s Deli, Hank’s Cheesecakes, Hot Wok Cafe, Joe Boccardi’s Ristorante, Kakao Chocolate, Mandalay Asian Cuisine, Mandarin House, Midland Wok, Naked Bacon, Oberweis Dairy, Pearl Cafe, Rearn Thai, Rib City, Rice House, Russo’s Catering, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Sheridan’s Frozen Custard, St. Louis Biergarten, Steve’s Hot Dogs on the Hill, Strange Donuts, Sugarfire Smoke House, Syberg’s, The Cup, The Scottish Arms, Tivanov Catering, Tucanos Brazilian Grill, Villa Farotto

 

chefcompetitions_Peter_Newcomb

(River City Images photo)

Dining establishments on Restaurant Row will be in the running for two prestigious Budweiser Taste of St. Louis awards, and patrons who cast votes in the competitions will be eligible to win prizes, too:

• The People’s Choice Award will be given to the restaurant that receives the most votes in the People’s Choice Award poll, which is taken online prior to the Budweiser Taste of St. Louis weekend. To cast a vote for your favorite restaurant, visit tastestl.com/vote-win no later than 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 15. Once you submit your vote, you will be automatically eligible to win a $75 gift certificate to one of the participating restaurants.

• The BEST BITE Competition is a brand new element of the event. Patrons are encouraged to vote for the “BEST BITE” via their smartphones or tablets during the Budweiser Taste of St. Louis. When you vote, you will be automatically entered for a chance to win a $75 gift certificate to one of the participating restaurants.

 

Bud Light Amphitheater to bring out the stars 

All new for this year’s Budweiser Taste of St. Louis and sponsored in part by West Newsmagazine is the Bud Light Amphitheater Stage, where ticketed shows will feature culinary celebrities and showcases, live music, beer sampling and more at Chesterfield Amphitheater. For ticket information, including Friday and Saturday VIP Party tickets, visit tastestl.com.

Tyler Florence

Tyler Florence

Duff Goldman

Duff Goldman

“Tyler & Todd” Night

 Friday is named for the evening’s Bud Light Amphitheater Stage headliners: Food Network’s Chef Tyler Florence, who will present “How to Build a Better Burger,” and Big Head Todd and the Monsters, one of two bands bringing the beat.

St. Louis-based Jeremiah Johnson Band will get the party started with its blues-style sound as guests partake in the Beers of the World Tasting Experience, inspired by the global reach of Anheuser-Busch. Taste-sized portions of a wide range of the brewery’s ales and lagers will be available, and patrons receive tickets for 10, three-ounce samples or two full beers.

Also taking the stage will be Budweiser Taste of St. Louis Executive Chef Vito Racanelli Jr., –owner of the multi-award-winning Mad Tomato – and Jane Killebrew, Anheuser-Busch brewmaster.

The culinary extravaganza will continue with a demo by Chef Tyler Florence, a 17-year Food Network veteran (“How to Boil Water,” “Food 911,” “Tyler’s Ultimate,” “The Great Food Truck Race,” “Food Court Wars”). A graduate of the prestigious culinary program at Johnson and Wales University, Florence has garnered numerous food/wine industry awards, including “Restaurateur of the Year” honors from Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

Next up will be Big Head Todd and the Monsters, one of the most respected and adventurous rock bands in America. Its 1993 album “Sister Sweetly” went platinum in the U.S.; its latest release, “Black Beehive,” is a collection co-founder Todd Park Mohr says allows the band to reach its audience “through the language of the blues.”

A fireworks show concludes the evening.

 

“Ace & The Urge” Night

The Food Network’s Duff Goldman, “The Ace of Cakes,” and The Urge, a longtime, much-loved St. Louis band, will headline on Saturday.

The Beers of the World Tasting Experience will return (see “Tyler & Todd” Night, above) while Dirty Muggs, a high-energy cover band, provides the sounds.

Next, Chef Casey Miller, two-time “Cupcake Wars” champ, will share his passion for pastry, showing how to master a simple dough for éclairs, cream puffs and more via the art and science of choux.

Then, “The Ace of Cakes” will wow the crowd with his “Fire and Ice” dessert demo.

“The ‘fire’ comes from the fireball that I make happen when I make Bananas Foster,” Goldman explained. “The ‘ice’ comes from the liquid nitrogen as it spews smoke and freezes everything it touches as I use it to make ice cream right there, a la minute, on stage.”

To close out the party, The Urge will bring an eclectic mix of ska, funk, metal, reggae and hard rock. The six-man band’s lead singer is also a Budweiser Taste of St. Louis restaurateur:  Steve Ewing, owner of Steve’s Hot Dogs on the Hill.

Free, all-ages party

The Bud Light Amphitheater Stage opens to the public at 1 p.m. on Sunday for a lively party featuring Groovethang and That 80s Band, followed by a fireworks show at 8:45 p.m.

 

Chef Chris Lee, 2012 and 2013 Stella Artois Chef Battle Royale champion  (Photo by Peter Newcomb)

Chef Chris Lee, 2012 and 2013 Stella Artois Chef Battle Royale champion
(Photo by Peter Newcomb)

Top chefs to square off in Stella Artois Chef Battle Royale

Eight of the region’s top chefs will compete for the coveted crown in the 2014 Stella Artois Chef Battle Royale, a live and lively culinary challenge that always is a favorite of Budweiser Taste of St. Louis patrons, foodies, chefs and the media.

This year, Budweiser Taste of St. Louis has partnered with the American Culinary Federation’s local chapter, Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis, and with their expertise and guidance has taken the culinary competition to an even higher level of prestige. Participating chefs were hand-picked for the competition and include:

• Aaron Baggett,

EdgeWild Restaurant &

Winery

• Eric Brenner, Fit Fuel 365

• Carl Hazel, The Scottish Arms

• Josh Norris, Triumph Grill

• Wil Pelly, Sanctuaria

• D. Scott Phillips, Balaban’s

• Dave Rook, Bishop’s Post

• Robert Trampier, St. Louis

Country Club

Battle categories will include “Chicken and Egg,” “Pork,” “Tomato,” “Cheese,” “Beef,” “Mushroom,” and “Seafood & Stella Artois.”

Festival patrons can watch the chefs in action and cheer on their favorites from the Culinary Stage, where all seven rounds will take place and the winner will be crowned.

 

 

 

 

Art & Wine Walk returns to Taste

Serigraph of barn by Bob Hartzell, one of the Artists featured at Taste.

Serigraph of barn by Bob Hartzell, one of the Artists featured at Taste.

Felted scarf by Diann Wensing, one of the Artists featured at Taste.

Felted scarf by Diann Wensing, one of the Artists featured at Taste.

Geometric pendant by Mindy Johnson, one of the Artists featured at Taste.

Geometric pendant by Mindy Johnson, one of the Artists featured at Taste.

 Budweiser Taste of St. Louis patrons with discriminating taste will find more than fabulous food to whet their appetites. The Art & Wine Walk, always a popular aspect of the festival, will provide the chance for guests to view and purchase original works of art while enjoying a variety of wine, available for purchase from A. Bommarito Wines.

The art show is a juried exhibit, and applicants were narrowed down to 34 artists who will be exhibiting at the show. Most are from the St. Louis area and Illinois, and a few will be traveling from outside the region.

Jenny Donaldson, Art & Wine Walk organizer, said those who frequent art shows in the area can expect to see some fresh faces and some familiar ones.

Works by some of the artists who will be exhibiting at the Art & Wine Walk: geometric pendant by Mindy Johnson; felted scarf by Diann Wensing;  serigraph of barn by Bob Hartzell.

“There will be several artists that people have seen at Shaw and Laumeier and some of the bigger area shows, but we also have some new artists,” she said. “It’s a good, diverse mix, and I think it will be nice for people to see some variety.”

Art & Wine Walk artists will be featuring works in a wide range of styles and mediums, including drawing, painting, pottery, glass, stone carving, photography, fiber and more. “We tried to get something for everybody,” Donaldson said.

On Friday night, about $1,500 in prize money and gift cards will be awarded to first-, second- and third-place artists. Sherri Jaudes, a metalsmith instructor at Maryville University; Jeff Hirsch, a local photographer; and Faith Berger, an art consultant, will be doing the judging.

Fittingly, the Art & Wine Walk will be located right near “The Awakening” sculpture. The area will be open from 4-9 p.m. on Friday, from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Sunday. Most artists will accept cash and credit cards, and ATMs will be available at the festival.

The Art & Wine Walk is presented by Sachs Properties.

 

Kid City open for family funSaturday and Sunday

Kid City will return to the Budweiser Taste of St. Louis this year and will be open for family fun from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The area will feature ongoing entertainment and deliver non-stop action, fun, games, educational activities and plenty of laughs. Families that never have experienced Kid City and those who have visited in the past will want to stop in and join the fun.

Kid City favorites scheduled for the weekend include Tekno Bubbles; circus performers who will entertain and amaze with feats of juggling, balancing and acrobatics; Brent Lowenstein, a world-class magician performing astounding family magic shows and tickling audience funny bones with his hilarious comedy; Juggling Jeff, who never fails to win over a crowd with his breathtaking feats and interactive comedy; and the Reptile Experience with Serengeti Steve, who educates families while giving them the opportunity to safely handle reptiles and arachnids from around the world.

Kid City will feature favorites like The Little Gym of West County and several new activities, including:

• Art & Reading Nook – The area will include literacy games and activities such as shape sorting, puzzles and building blocks and also will provide a place for kids to show off their creativity on an art wall. There also will be an area for parents and kids to sit and read a book. The first 200 children aged 12 and younger to visit the area each day will receive a gently used book to take home.

• Kid’s Credit Union – Because saving money is one big puzzle, the Kid’s Credit Union exhibit was designed to teach children how to “Save the Most, Spend a Little & Share” what they have left. The lessons are taught through fun games involving money and math, and children who complete activities earn a $5 gift certificate to be used for opening a new savings account or to deposit into an existing account. The activity is designed for children in kindergarten through fifth grade.

• MyPlate Area/MyPlate Interactive Section – This year, Kid City has been putting an emphasis on what families are eating and how much they are eating at home and on the go. An interactive area features games and learning activities that kids can play while their parents receive information about portion control for children and how to make smarter food choices by using MyPlate, introduced in 2011 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a new model of healthy eating, replacing the food pyramid.

• Ready. Set. Recycle! – Through fun games and activities, kids will learn what things can and cannot be recycled and discover ways we all can help care for the planet. This year, the program will feature a brand new element, so be sure and stop by and learn something new!

• St. Louis Rams Play 60 Challenge – Featuring inflatables and Play 60 activities, the area will inspire kids to get the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity at school and at home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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