In more than 10 years, the Taste of Huntington Beach festival has become one of the city's most successful — and satisfying — traditions.
Last year, I was asked to be a tasting judge at the festival, and it was one of the most fulfilling experiences I've had since I lived here, both figuratively and literally.
The cause is great, the food is great, and the people behind the idea are as tireless and dedicated as it gets.
Some background: The Taste of Huntington Beach is sponsored by the Huntington Beach Restaurant Assn. and benefits the Children's Department of the Huntington Beach Public Library by providing funds for books and learning enrichment programs. The event is cosponsored by the nonprofit Friends of the Children's Library.
First held in 1999 at the Huntington Beach Public Library with about five restaurants participating, the event soon grew and was moved to the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort, then the new Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa, the largest indoor space in the city. Since 2008, the event has been at the Huntington Central Park Sports Complex to accommodate the demand. More than 3,000 people are expected to attend.