20th Annual Taste of Reston Fri, June 18 & Sat, June 19 with Chili cookoff with Me as a judge!

The 20th Annual Taste of Reston, Northern Virginia’s largest outdoor food festival,  produced by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, will take place this upcoming weekend, Friday, June 18 and Saturday, June 19 on Market Street at the Reston Town Center. This year’s event marking their 20th year celebration, will feature more than 30 area restaurants, a full line-up of musical entertainment, a kid’s activity tent and, for the first time, a chili cook-off showcasing the culinary prowess of our local heroes in a battle between police and firefighters. I have attended the Taste of Reaston the last several years and last year I even volunteered to work at the event. It’s so much fun and this year I have the pleasure of serving as judge for the chili cook-off. Best of all, admission to Taste of Reston is FREE, but Taste Tickets and Carnival Tickets are necessary to sample food or take a spin on your favorite ride. Taste Tickets are $1 per ticket or $20 for a sheet of 24 tickets! Each sample ranges from 1-5 tickets. Avoid the lines and buy taste tickets online here.

This year’s Taste of Reston samplings from local eateries include over 30 area restaurants such as:  Chef Geoff’s, Vinifera Wine Bar & Bistro, Jackson’s Mighty Fine Food, Mon Ami Gabi, Clyde’s, McCormick & Schmick’s, M&S Grill, Il Fornaio, Obi Sushi, Texas de Brazil, The Melting Pot, Mamma Lucia, Buffalo Wing Factory and Milwaukee Frozen Custard. It’s an impressive list with something for everyone!

On Friday from 5:30 until 10:30 pm The Fabulous Dialtones will entertain from the Town Center Pavilion. On Saturday, June 19, from 7:30 – 10:30 pm C.J. Chenier & the Redhot Louisiana Band will  perform. The Kid’s Corner tent will feature face painting, games, huge inflatables, and arts and crafts for children of all ages.

Now …. on to the good stuff! In addition to the restaurant samplings, the “Guns n’ Hoses Chili Cook-off” will pit area cops against firemen – the ultimate battle of the heroes –  this time in aprons in front of chili pots.  Attendees can vote for the “People’s Choice” chili. A panel of food writers and critics, including myself, will determine the “overall best chili”.  The event’s masters of ceremonies will be my friend, MIX107.3’s Tommy McFly and News Channel 8’s Katherine Amenta.

Judges will use an official International Fire Chiefs Association chili cook-off judging sheet and will be judging on the following categories:

  • Aroma
  • Color
  • Consistency
  • Taste
  • Aftertaste

The official judges:

  • Michael Birchenall – Editor, Food Service Monthly and “Sauce on the Side”
  • Alexandra Greeley –Author, Editor, Fairfax Times food writer
  • Ashley Estill – Associate Editor, On Tap Magazine
  • Lisa Shapiro – Author, Editor, Dining in DC

I really hope that you come out to cheer us on! It’s going to be a fantastic event! See you at the Town Center! 😉

More Information: www.RestonTaste.com

Admission: Free, food tickets $1 each

Dates/Hours: Friday, June 18 – 3-11 pm; Saturday, June 19 – noon-11 pm

Guns n’ Hoses Chili Cook-off, Saturday June 19, noon- 4:30 pm

Location: Reston Town Center, 1760 Reston Parkway, Reston, VA 20190

Contact: Lesley Green, Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, 703-707-9045

Jill Collins, Jill Collins Public Relations, 703-716-0925

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