Calling All Foodies! Savor the Culinary Celebration at the Williamsburg Taste Festival

Chefs, vintners and brewers show off their delectable wares at this weekend epicurean extravaganza.

Riverwalk Restaurant
Waypoint Seafood & Grill

Greater Williamsburg is for foodies. Exhibit No. 1 entered into evidence for all you Top Chef judge wannabes is the Williamsburg Taste Festival destined to tickle your taste buds from April 19 to 22. After all, this is one place that savored farm and sea to table centuries before it became a buzzword. 

There are more than a dozen mouth-watering events, something for every taste. The area's top chefs will be on hand, offering their modern take on local ingredients — from oysters to pork to seasonal veggies — just like the old days when they ate what was ripe and ready. Mixing the traditions of Southern, European and African cooking, they created something from the mist of history that is thoroughly modern and unique to Greater Williamsburg. And don't forget the up-to-date, local takes on beer, wine, and even mead made in these parts. 

Among the chefs participating in the festival are Ika Zaken of La Tienda Tapas Bar and Market, Steven Sowell of The Hound's Tale, Brian Hines of Water Street Grille, Hans Schadler of Waypoint Seafood & Grill, and Troy Buckley of Amber Ox Public House.

Here's a guide to all that deliciousness.

Establish Your Home Base

The center of the festival is outside in the Culinary Village at 401 N. Boundary Street and inside the Williamsburg Community Building there.    

On Thursday, April 19, starting at 5:30 p.m., slip into the kick-off celebration under the big tent featuring light hors d’oeuvres paired with local wine and beer.   

On Friday, put on your dancin' shoes. Street Beats starts at 5:30 p.m. and runs for four hours of local music and food trucks, an evening perfect for the entire family.    

On Saturday, it's a bonanza of local bounty under the tent starting at 10:30 a.m. and running until 5 p.m. Come thirsty. You will be able to walk the Williamsburg Tasting Trail without getting in your car and enjoy an array of local craft beverages. Bring an open mind. You'll find four main food stations featuring raw, roasted, baked and fried — the four major food groups.  For the little foodies, there is a Kids Zone full of fun.  Inside the community building, chefs will give demonstrations at 11:45 a.m., 1:45 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.   

On Sunday morning, what else could it be but brunch on the community center lawn served by five top chefs beginning at 11 a.m. so you can sleep in after too-much-Saturday-fun? The all-star lineup of chefs features Hans Schadler from Waypoint Grill, J.C. Morton of Aberdeen Barn, Travis Brust from the Williamsburg Inn, Tom Power from Fat Canary and Brian Hines from Riverwalk Restaurant.

Make the Hard Choices: Where to Go Out and About

Over three nights, the festival features Out and About events highlighting special menus with local chefs. The choices are tough, but, unless you've perfected cloning, you'll have to choose. All run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

On Thursday, choose between the flavors of Spain at La Tienda tapas bar, where each dish will be paired with a Spanish wine; be a part of the pack at The Hound's Tale; put on your finery for fine dining at Cafe Provencal at the Williamsburg Winery; or the enjoy a delectable taste of everything at the Yorktown River Crawl

On Friday, Waypoint Seafood and Grill Restaurant marks Williamsburg’s latest culinary destination from Chef Hans Schadler..

On Saturday, it's a mixture of fine views and fine brews at Riverwalk Restaurant in Yorktown, a Master of Taste Dinner at The Williamsburg WineryBillsburg Brewery or Amber Ox Public House in Williamsburg.

Save Time for the Best of the B's: Bourbon and Beer

A cool, late-evening spring breeze. The stars overhead. A good bourbon and a good cigar. What could be better? The pleasure starts at 9 p.m. on Saturday on the Fountain Lawn near the Culinary Village. 

After a Saturday evening of bourbon, enjoy a Sunday afternoon learning and and quaffing a brew at Beer U.  Tom Davis of the Local Voice/WYDaily will lead a panel discussion of the five local brewmasters as they explore their craft, followed by stations pairing beers and food. Of course, there will be beer to enjoy. 

Tickets are limited. Get yours today or your taste buds will haunt you. 

For more culinary adventures in Greater Willliamsburg, check out the best sea-to-table dining, romantic restaurants, cheap eats, savory brunches, sweet treats and perfect pairings of drinks and dishes.