Watch out Lower East Side. The Upper West is about to stake a claim for being a neighborhood culinary powerhouse in New York City.
The 2013 Whole Foods Market New Taste of the Upper West Side is slated to begin Wednesday, May 29 and run through Saturday, June 1. Over the course of several days, New Taste will be showcasing some of the city’s best chefs, A-list hosts — including Gail Simmons and Travel Channel’s Adam Richman — renowned honorees, and top-notch restaurants.
Travel Channel’s Man v. Food star Richman will be hosting Comfort Classics Friday, May 31. The event is meant to showcase the Upper West Side’s chefs, including chefs from Gastronomie 491, Jacob's Pickles, and Sugar & Plumm, as well as Ditch Plains and Magnolia Bakery. Richman certainly has close ties to the Upper West and is glad to be returning to a place he used to call home.
"I return every year to Taste of the Upper West Side because as a native New Yorker it’s a great opportunity to showcase not just delicious foods within the city, but to show how one specific neighborhood, maybe one that people don't necessarily focus on food-wise, has its own culinary identity, culinary standouts, and a really special adventurous, delicious spirit," Richman told The Daily Meal. "And as someone who once lived at 103rd and West End Avenue, I think of it as sort of a great homecoming where I can invite hundreds of my dear friends."
Additionally, the Best of the West VIP Reception hosted on June 1 will be honoring visionary restaurateur Danny Meyer, founder and CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group (Union Square Café, Gramercy Tavern, Maialino, Blue Smoke, and Shake Shack, among others) and his colleague, Randy Garutti, CEO of Shake Shack. The event promises to be an evening of dancing and dining held beneath a tent with a backdrop provided by Joe Battaglia & The New York Big Band.
New Taste was launched by the Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District (BID). Proceeds from the weekend will continue to benefit the Columbus Avenue BID’s Streetscape Project as well as support the Wellness in its Schools program at the O’Shea School complex and P.S. 87. Tickets can be purchased online.