More than a thousand people filled the tents at the Gantry Plaza State Park on Tuesday, to chew and nibble on some of the freshest and most uniquely prepared cuisine from more than 50 local eateries, at the 10th annual Taste of LIC.
Since its inception in 2005, Long Island City’s own Shelia Lewandowski, executive director and co-founder of the Chocolate Factory Theatre, has helped lead the charge by organizing the annual celebration of cultural and culinary excellence. All of the proceeds from the event went to help keep the arts alive in Long Island City.
New this year, to help celebrate a decade of the most scrumptious cuisine, the Taste of LIC honored 10 distinguished guests: Michelle Coffey with Lambent Foundation, Icema Gibbs with JetBlue, Paul Januszewski with Rockrose Development Corp., local choreographer Juliana May, Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan (D-Sunnyside), Martha Sherman, the audience Queen of Dance in NYC, Rebecca Trent owner of the Creek & the Cave and Community Board 2 member, City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Long Island City), playwright Mac Wellman and John Kocan posthumously. All of the honorees in attendance were presented with a declaration from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a custom embroidered hooded sweatshirt.
Among the vastly different foods and flavors, people mingled as they went from station to station, tasting everything from duck liver and kangaroo empanadas to freshly prepared quinoa salad and raw oysters. A variety of local wines and beers were also on tap, to help quench patrons’ thirst.
After several hours of wining and dining, the event drew to a close, with practically everyone going home with full bellies.
Originally appeared in the Queens Tribune on June 4, 2015.