Food lovers flock to Taste of Palmdale

Culinary students from University of Antelope Valley impressed attendees at the 5th Annual Taste of Palmdale.

PALMDALE – Hundreds of Valley residents came out Thursday night to sample signature dishes from restaurants and caterers throughout Palmdale.

“There’s really good food, the deserts are incredible and I love atmosphere,” said first-time attendee Donna Campbell.

The 5th Annual Taste of Palmdale was held from 4 to 9 p.m. in Poncitlan Square and was presented by the Palmdale Chamber of Commerce.

Jazz music featuring Gina Eckstine provided a backdrop, as indulgent foodies sampled a variety of food items, ranging from Asian to barbecue to Italian to sweet treats and everything in between.

“The reason why we have this event is to let the people that show up know that these restaurants are in Palmdale,” said Jeff McElfresh, Chief Executive Officer of the Palmdale Chamber of Commerce. “The restaurant vendors don’t pay anything to be here. We give them the booths, they bring the food and they provide a taste of Palmdale.”

The event showcased 17 restaurants and caterers, six wineries, and more than a dozen local artists.

The art walk and wine tasting began at 4 p.m. and food was served at 5 p.m.

Attendees selected the “Golden Spoon Award” recipients in four categories: Best Restaurant, Best Caterer, Best Dessert and Best Winery.

And the winners are….

Jonathan Greek (center) said the Kobe beef sliders were a hit with attendees.

Fourteen Restaurant & Lounge

The restaurant, which is located inside the Embassy Suites – Palmdale, offered Caribbean barbeque shrimp skewers, spicy chipotle skewers, American Kobe beef sliders, and fresh Ahi Tuna potstickers.

“The one that won everybody over was definitely the Kobe beef slider,” said Jonathan Greek, Director of Food and Beverage. “It was American Kobe beef, which is called Wagyu, topped with an 18-month dry white cheddar, a little bit of apple smoked bacon, and roasted tomato bourbon onion marmalade on a toasted brioche bun… it’s something that’s on our new menu that’s going to start on September 24.


Executive Chef Dusti Patterson serves up her award-winning cuisine.

LaMaes’ Fine Cuisine Catering

Executive Chef Dusti Patterson nabbed top honors for the second year in a row.

“I never do the same thing twice,” Patterson said. “I have a lot of rabbits in my hat.”

This year Patterson offered pulled pork bruschetta, using homemade bread and caramelized onions, chocolate bread pudding and a unique salad.

“I decided to make a salad that was kind of portable,” she said. “I put it in a Parmesan cup with mandarin oranges on top.”

Nadia Cakes

This is the second win in a row for Nadia Cakes, the nationally recognized cupcake shop and custom cake studio. Nadia Cakes has been featured on season one and two of TLC’s show, Fabulous Cakes, and was named “Best Cakes in LA” on the 2011 LA Hotlist.

Owner and head designer, Abby Jiminez was also the $10,000 winner of the Rose Bowl episode of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars.

Owner Katherine Calandri-Nelson (right) said she wasn’t even aware that the event was being judged.

Don Giovanni Vineyards

Owner Katherine Calandri-Nelson said the vineyard was a lifelong dream of her late father.

“Before my father passed away [in 2003], he planted the vineyard, but he didn’t get to see it come to fruition,” said Calandri-Nelson. “So we kept it up, and 2010 was the first time we were able to harvest our grapes and get them into a bottle.”

She said the back of each label features a description of her dad’s life.

“We have Zinfandel Cabernet, Sangiovese, a full-bodied blend, and then we have Rose,” said Calandri-Nelson, adding that her wines recently won a gold medal at the San Francisco International Wine Tasting Competition.

For many more pictures of this event, visit our facebook page.