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'Queens Taste' to Celebrate Borough's Culinary Diversity

QUEENS — Dozens of Queens restaurants will soon have the chance to present their food during Queens Taste, an annual culinary and networking event organized by the Queens Economic Development Corporation, a non-profit promoting tourism and business development in the borough.

The event, which will take place on May 14 at Caesars Club at Citi Field, is expected to attract about 1,000 attendees, mostly Queens residents and business owners, the organizers said.

“The idea is to celebrate Queens and to celebrate Queens food,” said Rob MacKay, director of public relations, marketing and tourism at the Queens Economic Development Corporation.

During the event, organized for the 11th time, restaurants will present samples of their food, offer coupons and menus.

“It’s a good way of promoting our food and our cuisine,” said Fernando Gumes, chef at O Lavrador, a Portuguese restaurant in Jamaica, Queens, which had participated in Queens Taste before and will be back this year. “It’s a good way to meet people and we can get new customers.”

This year, among more than 50 participating venues, there will be many Latin American and Caribbean restaurants, including Jamaican, Peruvian, Trinidadian, Mexican, Argentinian, but Italian, Indian and Portugese food will also be represented, MacKay said.

Rego Park’s Ceviche Bar will be serving Peruvian delicacies, including ceviche and chicha morada, a beverage made from purple corn, and Sunnyside’s Dog & Duck gastropub will serve duck hamburgers, the organizers said.

The event will also honor businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy, MacKay said. Fairway Market, which was hit hard during the hurricane, will be the lead sponsor of Queens Taste and the U.S. Tennis Association will be honored for donating about $300,000 worth of water, medicine, clothes and food to the Hurricane Sandy victims in Queens, MacKay said.

There will also be a special Rockaway section which will include two restaurants from the neighborhood — Cuisine by Claudette and the Irish Circle – and the Blue Bungalow, a local store selling gifts and home accessories.

Queens Taste 2013 will take place on Tuesday, May 14, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Caesars Club at City Field in Flushing. Tickets cost $125 and are partially tax deductible. For more information, go to www.queensny.org or call (718) 263 0546.