In 2015, I had my first visit to Taste Talks in Brooklyn. I had a terrific time tasting new products, meeting chefs, tasting wine, listening to informative lectures and, of course, enjoying delicious food. This year I headed back to Brooklyn to see what was on the agenda.

This year brought together some talented people in food from chefs and restauranteurs to food makers, writers, photographers and producers. The event organizers wasted no time in celebrating these talents by having the annual Tastys Awards on the first night.

Some of my personal favorite nominees fell in and among the myriad categories. I have tried nominee Beyond Meat from the Innovation Awards-Startup category and it is a delicious meat-replacement burger. Congratulations to Outstanding Restaurant winner, Blue Hill at Stone Barns; Outstanding Chef winner, Alice Waters of Chez Panisse; and Service winner, Alinea, and to my boo, Anthony Bourdain, for winning the Food Television Show category for Parts Unknown.

The Future Food Expo is always a great place to see up-and-coming food brands, companies and media and their technologies and discoveries. The Kellogg’s cereal competition, among chefs Floyd Cardoz, Dale Talde and Angie Mar, was an occasion to see who could make something unique from a collection of some iconic cereals and other ingredients.

Always a favorite of mine is the All-Star Cookout Sunday. There is great music and food, and no one is mad, because there is less waiting in the long lines. I headed out with a food friend and we made the most of the day.

We tried to be logical and went for the shortest lines first, ticking off our buckslip menu as we went. The first bite came from one of my favorites, Nom Wah Tea Parlor, working with Schaller & Weber to produce the double-smoked bacon bao with Swiss chard. Pretty awesome and it took away the hunger pangs.

Next, we hit up Okonomi, which was serving wild-caught shioyaki skewers and pickled vegetables. That fatty tuna hit me right! We followed that up with an outstanding smoked pastrami sausage from The Meat Hook and Small Black.

The last line we decided to join was for grilled corn two ways from Sunday in Brooklyn and Camperdown Elm. I was all about that sweet corn with sweet umami black garlic paste. Dynamite!

We got to only four of the 12 offerings and waiting in another line for Van Leeuwen and Frankie Cosmos’ “Kid Cacao and the Coconuts” was not happening. Thank goodness there was a Van Leeuwen truck on Bedford and my favorite Earl Grey tea ice cream on a sugar cone at the ready.

Good on you Taste Talks! Looking forward to uncovering more next year.

Happy eating and thanks for reading!

Kysha Harris is a food writer and editor, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service in NYC for more than 15 years. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, @SCHOPgirl, on Facebook, /SCHOPnyc, and her blog, Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback?  Invitations!  Email AmNewsFOOD at Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @NYAmNewsFOOD and tag us with #SoAmNewsFOOD
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