Café Bleu in Downtown Delray Beach is located in the historic 1924 Masonic Lodge Building. Taste History features, on a rotation, Café Bleu.
Through stops at eateries, local businesses and cultural districts, Durante connects the past with the present. Chefs serve samples of the dishes that illustrate the evolving foodscape. Artists and gallery owners address changes in the arts scene.
Each tour is unique, and the stops rotate like museum exhibits. Durante draws on years of experience as the founder of the nonprofit Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History, which puts on the tours (it currently operates without a gallery).
"Some places may reoccur… and new are introduced," Durante said. "As a cultural organization you can't stay the same or the programs can become stagnant."
Restaurants cover the themes of Floribbean, New Cuisine and Bakery Trail in each trip.
Recent stops in Delray included the Bamboo Fire Grill, Dee Dee's Conch & Rib Shack and Marianne Gourmet Shop. Galleries visited were the William DeBilzan and Artists Guild Gallery.
The stop at Café Bleu at 44 E. Atlantic Ave. in Delray is typical.
"It's in the historic Masonic Lodge building that was built in 1924," Durante said. "It's a wonderful combination of being surrounded by the history while you're having a tasting."
Christian Backenstrass, co-owner of Loic Autret French Bakery, enjoys meeting the groups and the atmosphere they bring into his shop, he said in an email.
"We push for the talent of local artisans and family-owned eateries," Durante said. She looks for hidden gems and those off the beaten path to showcase.
Durante started the Taste History Culinary Tours in 2011. The idea sparked as she watched Anthony Bourdain on television exploring countries through food, art and culture. She had been running a historical bus tour since 2004 and decided to start a food-centric excursion.
Her hunch about the rising popularity of food was spot on. The culinary tours have expanded to nearly every Saturday. As new cities are added, they've sold out for months in advance.
In 2014, a Huffington Post reviewer said the "tasty tour" was "chock full of Florida History." This fall, USA Today listed it as a"10 Best" attraction in West Palm Beach. Viva Florida, the state's heritage campaign, enlisted Taste History as a partner.
"You taste food, you taste art, you taste history," Durante said.
Tickets for the next Delray tour on Nov. 28 are $45. Visit TasteHistoryCulinaryTours.org or call 561-243-2662.
Click here to view news story at sun-sentinel.com
The non-profit Taste History Culinary Tours of Historic Palm Beach County, Florida has been designated one of the official community event partners for the State of Florida’s Viva Florida initiative.
Effective February 1, 2015, $45 per person is the new rate for the tours traveling to Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth and Lantana. The new rate for the West Palm Beach/Northwood Village tour is $50 per person. Free for children under age 14 (children must be accompanied by a paid adult family member). Children age 14 and over pay regular price. Due to the increase in fees that are charged to our organization for the tour bus rental and insurance; an increase in our tour fees is necessary. Pre-paid reservations that have been made prior to that date will not be affected. Taste History is a non-profit educational organization. Fees are inclusive of all food and visits to cultural centers and art galleries.
Brief Facts about Taste History:
- Offered year-round
- Held on the first, second, third and fourth Saturdays at 11am
- At least 3 to 4 locally owned and family owned bakeries and eateries are visited for food tasting. Some cuisines may be culturally-specific. Most food portions are hearty.
- Cultural centers or emerging art and craft shops are visited
- Tour travels through historic neighborhoods, downtowns, main streets and off the beaten path.
- Bus riding and 4 to 6 blocks of walking
- Some eating experiences are standing-only.
- Tour is at least 3 to 4 hours
- Food and Florida history are narrated by a guide
- To maintain an element of surprise, each tour is different and never an exact duplication of any previous tour hosted.
- Private group tours are also available during the weekday
- Pre-payment is required. Fees are inclusive
- Tour takes place Rain or Shine.
- Dietary Restrictions Cannot be Accommodated. Click here to read about types of foods served on the tour.
- Taste History is a food tasting tour, with art and history combined, and although there is some sitting it's not a sit-down luncheon but many of the food portions are hearty and most people are full by the end of the tour.