18 September 2010

Taste the Future 2010

Taste the Future is an event that showcases some of Columbus best and brightest culinary talents at an institution noted for fostering burgeoning culinary careers. This year's event was September 14th on the campus of Columbus State.

The weather was perfect, allowing participants to browse the stands leisurely and sample small plates from about 50 places. Full disclosure: I benefited by getting free tickets as a food blogger. Tickets for the public were $100.

Overall, the event is a great opportunity to try tons of Columbus dining establishments. The event was not vegan-friendly, and there was a slight lack of non-cheese protein options for vegetarian diners. Despite the lack of tofu and veggie burgers, Taste the Future is still a ton of fun.

It's difficult to describe everything I tried. I'll try to cover the major highlights.

The cranberry salad on Belgian endive and tortilla chips with watermelon salsa from the Crosswoods Restaurant at the Worthington Hotel were both expressive uses of fruit. The cranberries in the salad and dressing added a nice, tart accent to the salad, and the watermelon salsa added a cooling influence to a slightly spicy salsa. The color of the chips was visually appealing.

The Caprese salad from Creekside was a fantastic use of the bounty of tomatoes. The cherry tomatoes were juicy, the cheese was soft and the dressing was bright and flavorful.

It was great to see Pasqualone's La Plaia at Taste the Future. La Plaia is a traditional Italian restaurant with great service and freshly prepared fare. I don't get to eat here nearly as often as I would like living in the city. The gnocchi in gorgonzola cream sauce was divine.

While the entrees and salads were great, Taste the Future is also a great opportunity to sample the wealth of delicious baked goods and sweet treats in Columbus. Mozart's Bakery prepared delicious mini-cupcakes.

Cherbourg Bakery was new to me, but it was worth trying out. Cherbourg is a gluten-free bakery. The espresso brownies and chocolate chip cookies were phenomenal.

One of my favorite items of the night was the doughssant from Auddino Bakery. It is a hybrid doughnut/croissant sprinkled in powdered sugar, and it is more delicious than it sounds (if that's even possible).

The Jeni's ice cream stand was packed all night. Flavors included salty caramel, dark chocolate gelato, pear riesling sorbet and the goat cheese with roasted red cherries.

This is but a small sampling of restaurants at Taste the Future. Some other notable establishments included Barcelona, Barrio, Burgundy Room, Elevator, G. Michael's, Lindey's, Luce and the Refectory. While not all of their stations featured vegetarian choices, these restaurants are accommodating to vegetarians.

Taste the Future is a blast. Although it's difficult to recommend to dieters, the event should be impossible to resist for foodies in the coming years.

Taste the Future

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