What do you get when you mix a bunch of hungry chefs, live music, and boojie drinks in a hot, dusty field?

Taste of London. And it’s worth it.

London’s hottest restaurants and bars take over Regent’s Park every summer. Over 55,000 hungry Londoners come together for a food experience like no other. And it’s a party. They want to share their adoration of complex flavours and cooking techniques. Eating is their love language, and they believe “Food has no borders beyond the edge of a plate”. Dedicated to living life to the full, they ask you to come without expectations.

At Taste, there are no rules. Food is joyful and best when shared. It is a significant part of our culture and heritage. No two chefs cook the same dish, the same way. Add a sprinkle of traditional spices, a squeeze of lime, or a dash of soy sauce, and everything has changed. Like us, our food is evolving. Taste is a celebration of our creativity and openness to change. It celebrates the playful nature of food and our love for it.

There are no stuffy dinners here. Only the essentials. Good food, drinks, and a whole lot of fun.

5 reasons why Taste of London should be on your radar:

1.   The food

Every time I’ve been to Taste, it’s a heatwave. Who wants to BBQ in 35 degrees? Not me. Despite the heat, the chefs deliver flavour with every bite. The clue is in the name here. It’s all about the taste. Each restaurant gets 4 dishes to shine. Distilling your heart and soul on a plate is challenging. It takes guts to declare these dishes as the ones which will win your discerning audience. A high bar, but the calibre of chefs is high.

Taste selects the cream of the crop. The line-up feels fresh, it’s peppered with popular restaurants and emerging talent. My heart skips a beat when I see iconic chefs BBQ their hearts out, but there are also new food heroes to discover. Every bite of Roti King’s aromatic, sweet and tangy, beef Rendang and creamy coconut rice is divine. Flesh and Buns’ sticky BBQ pork ribs are so incredible, I find it hard to comprehend. Angelina’s Japanese-Italian truffle and asparagus Agnolotti? I mean, come on.

Finding great-tasting food is easy. Deciding what to eat is hard.

    2.   Innovation

According to Google, innovation is “crucial to the continuing success of any organization”. The practical details of innovation are a new idea, method, or device. Producing the next best thing in food can be daunting. A pretzel is a pretzel, right?

Not at Taste. Take Olly’s pretzels. They have tried the humble pretzel, and we’re like, “Nah, we can do better!”. Flatten it and you have Olly’s pretzel thin! Crispier, tastier, and even more snackable. Taste is bursting with producers and restaurants who define innovation. Pushing the boundaries, they are ahead of the game. Taste is a platform with impact. It offers a stage from which new products can meet their intended market. Sure, some items are questionable, but it’s part and parcel of innovation. Some make you realise what you were missing.

   3.   Inspiration

Progress is not linear. We all have days where we don’t deliver. Often, this is due to an invisible standard we have set for ourselves. We determine we have failed in some way when we presume, we didn’t meet the mark. Recently, I’ve worked on breaking down my internal standards. Without the looming threat of expectations, my mind is free to wander. My creativity starts to flow, and there is room for inspiration to strike.

I can feel inspired by my daily cycle, morning coffee, and favourite song. But sometimes I need a little encouragement. New experiences can help us to let go of our expectations, breaking down our creative blocks. Taste offers a wealth of new, and vibrant experiences. There are DJs, cocktail-making workshops and even cooking classes. From the way the chefs present their food, to the first sip of a new cocktail, it’s exciting and awash with dopamine. It’s a wonderful space to encourage inspiration out of its shell.

   4.   Marketing

There is no doubt, Taste is a well-oiled marketing machine. Giant deckchairs line the walkways, and glitzy disco balls adorn every tent. Its unbashful approach to appeal to Instagrammers and Tiktokers, is shameless but endearing. Companies can’t give their free samples away fast enough. Are you winning at life if you don’t try the latest canned water or raw energy drink? The free tote bags filled with discount codes seem endless, and you can play Spin the Wheel at 2 thirds of the stands. A freebie is something I can get behind, but there are so many samples, I was full before I got to the food.

The event organisers have been meticulous. Yet, it still has the carefree spirit of every summer festival. It is there to win your loyalty, and it does this by offering a dazzling experience. Did it feel like I had become a sucker for advertising while there? Yes. Did I, drink in hand, look up at the cloudless sky, and think how incredible life can be? Also, yes. It feels real, tastes delicious, and the bottom line is, it’s a good time.

   5.   Relaxed networking…

When someone says the word ‘networking’, I shudder. I dread the idea of standing in a field with other reluctant networkers, while my hay fever runs amok. Finding something to talk about isn’t the hard part. It is the internal struggle of deciding when to drift away. I wriggle out of conversations only to find myself talking once again about orders and KPIs. I guarantee that I am not the only one who feels this way, and its well-known activities can ease the networking pain. Taste is the perfect activity. Grabbing chips and dip on the way to Burger and Lobster enhances the experience. Wash it down with a shot of Mezcal and a free tote bag, and the conversation becomes a whole lot easier.

Taste of London is more than the deckchairs and the disco balls. It’s a celebration of flavour, cultures, and the creative journey behind the scenes. It’s about the one thing we all have in common. Food.

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