The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce announces 33rd annual Taste of the Town vendor lineup, celebrity judges

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The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce announced Dec. 5 that 17 vendors have signed up to participate in the 33rd annual Taste of the Town, on Jan. 17.

According to a news release, those vendors include Craft Grille, Huti’s 5 Free-Fire Grill, Gringo’s Mexican Kitchen, Nona’s Italian Grill Restaurant, The Egg and I/First Watch Cafe, Thistle Draftshop, Woodson’s Local Tap & Kitchen, Zanni Cucina Italiana, Goode Company Kitchen and Cantina, Houston CityPlace Marriott at Springwoods Village, Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Robard’s Steakhouse, Schilleci’s New Orleans Kitchen, The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, Truluck’s Seafood Steak & Crab House and VillaSport Athletic Club and Spa.

However, more vendors are expected to be added to this year’s lineup, as Joerg said the number is expected to double in the next few weeks.

“Last year we had 41 [restaurants]signed up,” said Lauren Joerg, The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce director of marketing and communication.

Expected to attract more than 3,000 attendees, Taste of the Town gives local restaurants an opportunity to build relationships with the residents as well as each other. For attendees it is a chance to try new foods and get introduced to new cuisines and flavors. It also provides fundraising opportunities for various nonprofit organizations and community projects.

This year’s event will feature live entertainment and a raffle and will take place from 4-9 p.m. on Jan. 17 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, 1601 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands. Tickets range from $20-$35.

“We have a lot of businesses that host booths and give out [bottles of]water along with some of their marketing events materials, so it’s a chance for our restaurants and breweries to showcase their menu items and also for businesses to showcase their services,” Joerg said. “It really attracts a lot of people; last year there were 3,300 [attendees].”

Restaurants are encouraged to sign up and feature popular menu items. The only prerequisite for participating vendors is that they are members of The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce, Joerg said.

The highlight of the expo is the ‘Best of Taste’ competition. Attendees can vote for their favorite sample to receive the Planet Lincoln People’s Choice award. This year, attendees can also vote for the best decorated booth.

Additionally, six celebrity judges will select the best appetizer, best entree and best dessert. The Taste of the Town committee has announced three of the six judges—Greg “Grego” Onofrio, Phaedra Cook and Kerry Steel. Last year’s winners were Broken Barrel for best appetizer, Avenida Brazil Churrascaria Steakhouse for best entree and KICPOPS for both best dessert and the Planet Lincoln People’s Choice Award.

“The Woodlands area offers a multitude of restaurants and fine dining options, but it can be hard to give them all a chance when you’ve already picked your favorites,” Chamber President JJ Hollie said. “If you’re ready to try something new and learn about other establishments in the area, then you don’t want to miss Taste of the Town on Jan. 17.”

The Chamber welcomes all restaurants, bakeries, caterers and breweries interested in participating to call 281-367-5777 or email events@woodlandschamber.org.

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