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Restaurateurs Talk 'Taste of the South End'

Monday Mar 19, 2018

What is one of the best harbingers of Spring in Boston? For some, it is the Taste of the South End, the annual fundraiser for the AIDS Action Committee that takes place on Tuesday, March 21 at the Cyclorama at the Boston Center of the Arts.

Those attending the event will enjoy small plate culinary creations from the top chefs in Boston's favorite "foodie" neighborhood. It will also feature live cooking demonstrations, a broad sample of wine and beer to taste, and a silent auction.

"Taste of the South End is the one night that foodies don't have to choose between the many delicious dining options in the neighborhood. Guests can enjoy the best of just about every restaurant in the South End under one roof," said Carl Sciortino, executive director of AIDS Action. "The fact that they're eating for a good cause - supporting AIDS Action's work to bring the number of new HIV infections in Massachusetts down to zero - assuages any guilt one might feel after eating at 40 restaurants in one evening."

"Being in the hospitality business, nothing makes me happier than seeing people come together to enjoy delicious food and support a wonderful cause," said Mark D'Alessandro, general manager of Mistral. "That's why I look forward to Taste of the South End every year. I am proud to get into the community and help raise much-needed money for the continued fight against HIV/AIDS."

A partial list of participating eateries includes Aquitaine bar á Vin Bistrot, Area Four, Banyan Bar + Refuge, Bar Mezzana, Barcelona South End, Blackbird Doughnuts, Boston Chops, Cinquecento Roman Trattoria, Five Horses South, Flour Bakery + Cafe, Formaggio Kitchen South End, Frenchie, Gaslight Brasserie, Haley House Bakery Cafe, Lion's Tail, Masa, Metropolis Café, Meyers + Chang, MIDA, Petit Robert, The Elephant Walk South End, Stephi's on Tremont, PICO, The Gallows and Mistral.

Taste of the South End features a silent auction, mystery bag, and a wine toss game where guests can find a huge array of fabulous prizes including trips, food and wine experiences, and tickets to upcoming shows and events.

Admission to Taste of the South End is limited to those 21 years of age or older. For ticket information, visit the event's website.

EDGE reached out to four of the participating restaurants - Masa, Mistral, Boston Chops and Five Horses - to talk about their involvement in the event:

Masa


The interior of Masa

EDGE: What are the food trends of 2018?

Masa: More small plates and culturally correct dishes.

EDGE: What are you offering this year?

Masa: Ceviche of Bay scallop and fresh watermelon.

EDGE: Why is this such an important event for you to participate in?

Masa: Taste of the South End is about community. After 20 years in the South End, Taste of the South End is one of the few things that has survived the test of time with us.

EDGE: What is about food that makes people want to be part of this event?

Masa: Food always brings people together... sharing a meal is central to friendships and as such this event allows the community as a whole to come together

EDGE: What makes Boston such a destination for foodies?

Masa: As a destination that is growing exponentially it brings great attention and puts a good kind of pressure on local restaurant to step up their games everyday.

EDGE: What do you think of the changes that have occurred in the South End over the past decade?

Masa: It is exciting to be part of a growing neighborhood - and maybe to be part of what has made the area so interesting and desirable to new residents.

For more information on Masa, visit the restaurant's website.

Mistral


The interior of Mistal.

EDGE: What are the food trends of 2018?

Mistral: Small plates continue to be a trend.

EDGE: What are you offering this year?

Mistral: Our signature tuna tartare.

EDGE: Why is this such an important event for you to participate in?

Mistral: We as a company have always supported HIV/AIDS research.

EDGE: What is about food that makes people want to be part of this event?

Mistral: Food has always been a part of family and social gatherings. What better way to involve both for such a great cause.

EDGE: What makes Boston such a destination for foodies?

Mistral: All of the many talented chefs and creative concepts.

EDGE: What do you think of the changes that have occurred in the South End over the past decade?

Mistral: Fantastic for the city and all the great restaurants in the neighborhood.

For more information on Mistral, visit the restaurant's website.

Boston Chops


The interior of Boston Chops

EDGE: What are the food trends of 2018?

Boston Chops: The biggest trend that I am seeing is for restaurants to plate food based on what looks good for social media. I call it "Insta-famous-food." It is basically photographic food that restaurants hope will gain attention and traction on social media platforms. Brian Piccini, owner

EDGE: What are you offering this year?

Boston Chops: We will be serving a mini Beef slider. It is a smaller version of our delicious Sunday Brunch burger. Brian Piccini, owner

EDGE: Why is this such an important event for you to participate in?

Boston Chops: Giving back to our community and our neighbors through events is the most important thing that we can do. Supporting the community who supports us in business is fundamental to who we are. It is our way to say thank you in person to our neighbors. Brian Piccini, owner

EDGE: What is it about food that makes people want to be part of this event?

Boston Chops: Everyone likes good food, and the South End culinary scene is consistently at the top of Boston's game, so people love to come out and see what is new and enjoy food from some of their favorite places. Brian Piccini, owner

EDGE: What makes Boston such a destination for foodies?

Boston Chops: The Boston restaurant scene has grown so much over the past decade. We have so many talented, homegrown chefs that are starting to gain national attention for their food. It is great to see Boston's food scene thrive and be part of it. Brian Piccini, owner

EDGE: What do you think of the changes that have occurred in the South End over the past decade?

Boston Chops: I think the expansion of the South End into Sowa and the development of the Ink Block have helped create more residential and dining destinations which has grown the community and the businesses in the South End. It is great to see our neighborhood expanding and more new faces moving in! Brian Piccini, owner

For more information on Boston Chops, visit the restaurant's website.

Five Horses


The interior of Five Horses.

EDGE: What are the food trends of 2018?

Five Horses: As always there are a lot of different food trends each year. One of the more interesting trends for me is the continued interest in food from the Levantine (Eastern Mediterranean). Aaron Parsons, Executive Chef.

EDGE: What are you offering this year?

Five Horses: Our shortrib and oxtail chili with a mini version of our very popular cornbread. Aaron Parsons, Executive Chef.

EDGE: Why is this such an important event for you to participate in?

Five Horses: This is a great event to be involved with because it is obviously a great cause. Also, with us having a restaurant in the area it is great to meet and talk with our neighbors and guests. Aaron Parsons, Executive Chef.

EDGE: What is about food that makes people want to be part of this event?

Five Horses: Having lived in the South End for many years it has always been such a dynamic restaurant scene; we are honored to own and operate in the South End. It's a true neighborhood and people want to be a part of that. Dylan Welsh, Owner.

EDGE: What makes Boston such a destination for foodies?

Five Horses: Boston is a great location for food lovers because it is a true melting pot. So many diverse styles and flavors. A great variety of ethnic foods. Aaron Parsons, Executive Chef.


EDGE: What do you think of the changes that have occurred in the South End over the past decade?

Five Horses: The South End has always been so diverse and it's nice to see that diversity show in the restaurant culture. Dylan Welsh, Owner.

For more information on Five Horses, visit the restaurant's website.

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