Taste of Prince George’s spurs friendly competition -- Gazette.Net







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Chefs Donnell Long and Ronald Reid may be former colleagues at Stonefish Grill in New Carrollton, but that doesn’t mean a bit of friendly competition is out of the question.

The two Prince George’s County chefs will serve up their own versions of barbecue shrimp and grits Saturday at the second annual Taste of Prince George’s food and wine festival.

The festival, which will be hosted from noon to 8 p.m. at Six Flags America in Largo, will feature food and wine tastings from more than 17 restaurants throughout the day, said Quianne Perrin, the coordinator and founder of event.

“People should expect awesome food and unique and exclusive tastings that they won’t be able to taste anywhere else,” Perrin said.

New to this year’s festival is the fantasy food stage, a space where chefs will prepare dishes exclusively for the festival.

“We’re asking all of the chefs to put thinking caps on and go big or go home,” Perrin said.

Long, the former co-owner and executive chef of Stonefish Grill and now the owner of the Upper Marlboro restaurant Olde Towne Inn, said he would be cooking up a barbecue shrimp and grits on the fantasy stage.

Meanwhile, Reid, the corporate executive chef for Stonefish Grill in New Carrollton, said he will be offering his low country shrimp and grits as a food tasting.

“When I cook, I cook with love. If he ain’t coming with love, he’s going to lose,” Reid said.

When asked how he would respond to his challenger, Long’s answer was simple.

“I wish him well,” he said.

In addition to food demonstrations and competitions, the event will spotlight more than 17 county restaurants and chefs, Perrin said.

Baruch Ben-Yehudah, the CEO and founder of Capitol Heights vegan restaurant Everlasting Life, said his business continues to benefit from participating in Taste of Prince George’s last year.

“The exposure was tremendous,” Ben-Yehudah said. “We connected with so many customers and other businesses that we could network with. It was really a good event for us and we continue to get a return with new visits and people who saw us at the Taste.”

Ben-Yehudah said the festival is a important opportunity to show residents what kind of culinary creations can be consumed in their own backyard.

“I think the rest of Prince George’s needs to know what kind of options we have here in the county and how important it is to support businesses within their county,” Ben-Yehudah said.

Tickets to Six Flags America must be purchased to enter the festival. The $27 general admission ticket includes entry to Six Flags, parking, and access to the festival. “Taste tickets” must be purchased to sample food, according to the Taste of Prince George’s website.