Taste of Delaware event hits the road at home

Coons, chamber invitees tour the state to sample culinary offerings

By Logan B. Anderson
Posted 12/13/21

MILFORD — For its 10th celebration, the Taste of Delaware came home — for a road trip.

To celebrate Delaware Day — the day that the state of Delaware first ratified the U.S. …

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Taste of Delaware event hits the road at home

Coons, chamber invitees tour the state to sample culinary offerings

Posted

MILFORD — For its 10th celebration, the Taste of Delaware came home — for a road trip.

To celebrate Delaware Day — the day that the state of Delaware first ratified the U.S. Constitution — U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., and the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce have historically hosted a large event in Washington to showcase some of Delaware’s food and beverage providers in order to highlight the state’s culinary and tourism attributes.

“Given how close we are to D.C. and that many people from D.C. choose to vacation in Delaware … because a lot of people come to the Delaware beaches and become good customers of our Delaware businesses,” Sen. Coons said Monday of the Taste of Delaware purpose.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, last year’s event was canceled. This year, the event’s organizers chose to take their show on the road.

Sen. Coons and the DSCC invited this year’s attendees to board a tour bus and visit several locations in the First State. Guests included local dignitaries and Washington professionals

“In a normal year we do this because it is an interesting way to broaden the Delaware hospitality brand,” said Michael Quaranta, Delaware State Chamber of Commerce president. “Doing this here, locally, I think is very impactful and hopefully very meaningful to the people who are stopping by because they’ve had a rough, rough 20 months.”

The trip began at 11 a.m. on Monday in New Castle County with the Delaware Technical Community College’s Culinary Arts Program. The stop also featured selections from Big Fish Grill, the Delcastle Technical High School Culinary Arts Program, Double Spiral Chocolate, the Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau and UDairy Creamery.

Next, they visited Kent County’s Painted Stave Distilling in Smyrna and sampled items from them, Fordham & Dominion Brewing Co., Harvest Ridge Winery and Kee’s Cookies and Cupcakes.

The tour bus made a pitstop in Milford to visit Mispillion River Brewing. The Milford-based brewery has been a part of every Taste of Delaware event.

“A lot of our business is built on passion. We like to hire on passion, and we train the rest. We have it easy here at Mispillion because everyone here is so passionate,” said Eric Williams, founder of Mispillion River Brewing during the Taste of Delaware visit.

Mr. Williams said he was proud to be a part of the event because he is grateful for the work Sen. Coons has done to help Delaware’s craft brewing industry.

“I’ve been happy to be able to play a very small role in supporting the growth of the brewing industry in Delaware via legislation. But it’s also a cultural phenomenon around the country,” Sen. Coons said. “It is still overwhelmingly controlled by a few large conglomerates, by volume, but today you can literally go up and down the state of Delaware and go to a dozen different breweries, wineries and distilleries and have a fantastic day.”

Finally, the Taste of Delaware tour visited Sussex County with another pitstop at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton before going on to The Starboard in Dewey Beach. There, the group visited with southern Delaware vendors, Beach Time Distilling, Dewey Beer Co., Hyatt Place Dewey Beach, Nassau Valley Vineyards, Thompson Island Brewing and Woody’s Dewey Beach.

When asked what his favorite thing he sampled on Monday, Sen. Coons said, “That is not a question I have an easy answer to. I had tacos, different types of beer, two different types of cupcakes. So much good stuff.”

“People should get out and support our local restaurants and hospitality retailers and be safe,” Mr. Quaranta said.