taste

Visiting gourmets can find Key West and Lower Keys chefs specializing in seafood, Caribbean and Cuban flavors, European delicacies, Asian fusion cuisine, vegetarian dishes and more. Only on Monday, April 25, however, can they find virtually all of them in the same place — when the islands’ top culinary professionals gather to produce Taste of Key West.

Scheduled for 6-9 p.m., the open-air extravaganza takes place at the Truman Waterfront Park, overlooking Key West Harbor at the end of Southard Street.

Chefs from leading local restaurants, catering companies, food trucks and other emporiums typically participate, donating their time and talent to create small-plate offerings influenced by the Florida Keys’ seafaring heritage, subtropical climate and multicultural atmosphere.

Culinary fans can indulge their appetites by sampling everything from savory appetizers and casual tidbits to gourmet main dish “bites” and decadent desserts.

In addition, they can select their choice of wines from around the world provided by Republic National Distributing Company.

A large beer selection is to be available as well.

Gates open at 6 p.m. and biking or walking to the event is encouraged.

General admission to Taste of Key West is free. Attendees can purchase a $25 package that includes either a plate, commemorative wine glass or

pint beer glass and 20 tickets to be exchanged for food and beverages. “Tastes” typically “cost” three to six tickets each. Also available is a “date night” package for two people that includes a choice of two glasses, two plates and 50 tickets. Additional food tickets can be purchased as well. Advance tickets are available at keystix.com.

As well as celebrating the talents of Keys chefs, Taste of Key West helps support the annual SMART Ride, a Miami-to-Key-West bicycle trek held each November. The ride benefits Florida agencies that specialize in healthcare and assistance for people living with HIV/AIDS.

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