Taste of the Bronx Returns as Invite-Only Event in Manhattan

By Eddie Small on June 18, 2014 7:10am 

 Ceetay will be one of the restaurants at this week's Taste of the Bronx event, John DeSio said.
Ceetay will be one of the restaurants at this week's Taste of the Bronx event, John DeSio said.
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DNAinfo/Eddie Small

BRONX — A Taste of the Bronx has returned after a few years off and landed in Manhattan.

The Bronx Borough President’s Office plans to put on the invite-only event this Thursday, hoping to attract food industry writers and bloggers and get them thinking about the Bronx as a food and drink destination.

The event on June 19 at 6 p.m. is being held at Coca-Cola's Midtown headquarters to make it more convenient for people in the food industry and media.

"When a food writer or a food blogger or an industry person is thinking of, for example, where the best places to watch the World Cup are, we want them to think about some sports bars in the Bronx," said John DeSio, a spokesman for the Bronx Borough President's Office.

Taste of the Bronx used to take place at Lehman College and was open to the public, but that stopped a few years ago because the event was not properly highlighting the borough's restaurants, according to DeSio.

The purpose of the gathering is different this year. At Lehman College, the Taste was mainly a chance for restaurants to showcase their offerings to locals, but this year's will be more about pitching the Bronx as a significant part of New York City's food scene.

"We’re revitalizing the name as a different kind of thing," DeSio said.

The Taste will likely last for a few hours and be set up like a cocktail party, with the food and drink vendors bringing in samples.

Participating vendors include Mike's Deli, the Bronx Beer Hall, Ceetay, the Bronx Brewery and the Gun Hill Brewery.

Kieran Farrell, co-owner of the Gun Hill Brewery, said he viewed the Taste as a good way to get more exposure.

"We’re in a lot of bars already in Midtown Manhattan, so the word is getting out," he said. "But this can only help bolster that."

Chris Gallant, co-founder of the Bronx Brewery, which hopes to start making its beer in the Bronx next month, was excited for the chance to showcase the borough's food and drink.

"I think it’s a chance to connect with other Bronx businesses and, as a whole, show everything the borough has to offer," he said.

DeSio described food and drink as an important part of helping the Bronx transform its reputation.

"If we’re going to rebrand the Bronx, you have to get people to think differently about the borough," he said.

"This is one way that we want to get people in the food industry — the movers and shakers in the business — to start thinking about the Bronx."

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. viewed the Taste as just the beginning of the Bronx becoming a more renowned place to eat.

"We expect this event to be the start of a major focus on the burgeoning food options our borough has to offer, not just locally but across the region and world," he said in a statement.

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