Taste of the Region returns (in person!) to Derry
From pizza, tacos and macaroni and cheese to locally produced brews, spirits and sweet treats, there will be an array of foods and drinks to discover during the annual Taste of the Region, happening on Wednesday, June 16. After the pandemic forced the event to go virtual last year, Taste of the Region is back at its normal spot at Derry’s Tupelo Music Hall for 2021, this time under a large tented space outdoors.
More than 25 restaurants, breweries and other businesses from Derry and a few surrounding towns will be offering samples and vying for your vote in at least one of three categories — “savory,” “sips” or “sweets.” Each vendor can opt to participate in one, two or all three of them.
“We’ll have one entrance into the tented area … and people will be able to move among the tables,” said Ashley Haseltine, president of the Greater Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the event. “They can either sample as they go or sit down at the tables at the outdoor restaurant area that the Tupelo has set up for this season.”
This year’s participating vendors include a combination of returning and new faces to the local dining scene. Destination India Bar & Restaurant, which opened its doors on East Broadway in Derry earlier this year, is among them, as well as The Nutrition Corner, a Derry shop offering protein smoothies and teas, and Bellavance Beverage Co. of Londonderry, which Haseltine said will act as a liaison between attendees and even more local businesses.
“They’re a distributor, so what they’re actually going to be doing is offering products from some of our other Chamber members that can’t make it to the event themselves,” she said.
Other vendors will include Kiss the Cook Macaroni & Cheese, a Derry-based business offering a few types of homemade macaroni and cheese to go; The Residence at Salem Woods, a senior living facility that Haseltine said will be offering tacos; and Rig A Tony’s Italian Takeout, which has in the past featured a display of desserts like coconut macaroons and whoopie pies. Clam Haven, also owned by Rig A Tony’s founder Lisa DeSisto, will be at the event as well.
During the tasting, attendees are invited to vote for their favorite item in each of the three categories. Haseltine said each onsite vendor will have a code you can scan with your phone, which brings you to an online voting system. If you especially like what you try, vendors will also be selling discounts on gift cards and certificates during the tasting.
Attendees can also now pick up a “dining passport” at the Chamber or at any participating restaurant or brewery, getting a stamp with each purchase that they make. Stamps will then be redeemed during the event for your chance to win an outdoor fire pit.
“We wanted to find ways to keep the core of the event intact, while also creating revenue opportunities for everybody participating,” Haseltine said.
Taste of the Region
When: Wednesday, June 16, 5 to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Outside the Tupelo Music Hall, 10 A St., Derry
Cost: $35 admittance per person (includes full access to food and drink tastings; tickets are available both in advance online and at the door, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the Kyle B. Ross Memorial Scholarship Fund)
Event is rain or shine. Masks are recommended but not required.
Participating food and beverage vendors
• Bellavance Beverage Co. (bellavancebev.com)
• Casa Java Cafe (casajavacafe.com)
• Clam Haven (clamhaven.com)
• Daydreaming Brewing Co. (daydreaming.beer)
• Destination India Restaurant & Bar (destinationindianh.com)
• Doire Distilling (doiredistilling.com)
• Kiss the Cook Mac & Cheese To Go (kissthecookllc.com)
• Kona Shaved Ice (kona-ice.com)
• La Carreta Mexican Restaurant (lacarretamex.com)
• Long Blue Cat Brewing Co. (longbluecat.com)
• The Nutrition Corner (thenutritioncorner.business.site)
• Nutrition in Motion (nimrd.com)
• Pipe Dream Brewing (pipedreambrewingnh.com)
• The Red Arrow Diner (redarrowdiner.com)
• Rig A Tony’s Italian Takeout (rigatonysitalian.com)
• Rockingham Brewing Co. (rockinghambrewing.com)
• Sal’s Pizza (sal-pizza.com)
• The Residence at Salem Woods (lcbseniorliving.com)
• Troy’s Fresh Kitchen & Juice Bar (troysfreshkitchen.com)
• Windham Terrace Assisted Living (windhamterrace.com)
• Zorvino Vineyards (zorvino.com)
Feautred photo: The Residence at Salem Woods. Courtesy photo.