Saturday, May 25, 2002

Taste of Cincinnati upgrades technology

People vote for favorite foods online

By Allen Howard,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Taste of Cincinnati goes hi tech this year.

        Patrons can vote on the festival's new People's Choice Awards by logging onto or by visiting online voting booths at the festival set up by PlanetFeedback and CincyTechUSA.

        “What better way to make this event great then to allow the participants to rate the plate,” said Pete Blackshaw, founder of PlanetFeedback. “In our business we have found that restaurant and food customers are a good source for public opinion.”

        This will be the first year for the People's Choice Awards, said Jonathan Holifield, executive director of CincyTechUSA.

        “People will be able to vote on the best appetizer, dessert, entree and the best ethnic dish,” Mr. Holifield said. Taste of Cincinnati, which started 23 years ago as a one-day festival on one block in Piatt Park with 5,000 people attending, now spreads over three days, today through Monday, and covers eight blocks on Central Parkway, drawing an estimated 500,000 people.

        “Taste of Cincinnati is the oldest continuously running culinary arts event in the nation,” said Anastasia Mileham, of Downtown Cincinnati Inc., a division of the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce and one of the producers of the Taste of Cincinnati. The Greater Cincinnati Restaurant Association also is a producer.

        She said there will be 168 menu items, priced at $4, served by 40 restaurants.

        This year, 10 more restaurants will join the festival. They are: Andy's Mediterranean Grill, Walnut Hills; Down to the Bone, LaNormandie, LeBoxx Express, Patoshniks, Shanghai Mama's and Trattoria Roma, all downtown; Skyline Chili, Fairfield; Fish Factory, Springdale and Don Pablo's with restaurants in Springdale, Symmes Township, Norwood, Bevis, and Newport.

        “I think this is a good way to let people know who we are and where we are,” said Wayne Ashby, owner of Down to the Bone. “I hope this will bring more customers downtown.”


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