After COVID delays, the local foodie event highlighted 20 restaurants to a sold-out crowd at the Destination Daytona Pavilion.
The 8th-annual Taste of Ormond event hosted by Ormond Beach MainStreet was the event to attend Sunday, May 23.
The event was sold out with an additional 16 tickets purchased by walk-ins for a grand total of 516 attendees. A local favorite, the event has sold out every year. It’s usually held in March, but this year’s event was postponed due to COVID-19. The non-profit organization relies on these events to raise funds used to support new businesses, maintain a healthy historic district and generate a sense of community through arts and entertainment.
“We sold out at 52 tables,” said Julia Truilo, Ormond Beach MainStreet’s executive director. “We sell out every year but this year I was concerned. We were at a new venue and didn’t know what to expect. We didn’t know how people would feel attending a large gathering.”
The city of Ormond Beach is not issuing permits for events to be held on public property yet so through MainStreet’s board members, they reached out to the Rossmeyers, owners of Destination Daytona, and asked if they could use the Pavilion for the Taste of Ormond. They agreed.
“It’s important to do our events in the district that we are serving. That’s kind of the point,” Truilo said. “But I am very grateful for Mandy and all the Rossmeyer clan who helped and gave us the space. They were very kind and accommodating.”
S. R. Perrott, Inc. offered craft beers and wines to pair with the unique menus of 20 local restaurants. Perrott company owner and artist Michele P. Connors provided her “Mimi’s Art Store” cart to serve creatively labeled wines to the guests.
After a self-imposed hiatus, Hull’s Seafood and Market returned bringing fresh oyster shooters with Copper Bottom vodka and smoked fish dip and crackers. Locals are familiar with Hull’s fresh-caught seafood and crowded their tent immediately. This August marks the 40th anniversary of the market Jimmy Hull opened in 1981.
Blau’s new chef Josh Slack served Spanish chorizo meatballs and filet and goat cheese empanadas with chimichurri sauce. He purchases his greens and vegetables from local farms and prepares his dishes fresh daily. Gradually he is transitioning to farm-to-table.
“Blau has done this event a few years except for last year,” Slack said. “I’m trying to get us back out there. I just want people to enjoy good food.”
As residents and their guests enjoyed each others company following over a year of uncertainty surrounding public gatherings, Resting Beach Face covered everything from the Beatles to Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl.” Seabreeze students cruised the perimeter pushing Donnie’s Donuts on people whose waistbands could not withstand another bite.
Seabreeze High School’s Culinary Academy students also played a key role in assisting restaurants with their food preparation prior to the event. The pandemic has created a deficit in the workforce and some businesses have been left short-staffed. 31 Supper Club reached out for help on Saturday and paid two students to work in their kitchen.
“I always see an increase in business following this event,” founder of Restaurant Row Scott Hanson said. “It is important to be involved with the community. That’s why we do the beach cleanups every year. I was born and raised here so it’s about cleaning up where we live. Trying to give back.”