The 38th Annual Taste of Buffalo, presented by Tops, happened this weekend. Here are the 2021 winners, according to a media release I received:

- Chair’s Choice - this dish was picked by the 2021 Taste of Buffalo Chair Amber Hartman: Carmine’s Asiago-Asparagus Risotto
- People’s Choice Best (Overall Item): BW's Barbecue's Peach Habanero Pork Slider
- People’s Choice (Independent Health Foundation’s Healthy Options):
First Place: Cheesecake Guy's Lemony Fresh Bites
Second Place: BW's Barbecue's Grilled Pineapple
Third Place: India Gate's Chana Masala
- Gusto Critic’s Choice Award (Best Overall Item): Local Kitchen and Beer Bar's Short Rib Poutine
- Gusto Critic’s Choice Award, (Best Healthy Option): Water Lily Café's Cucumber Salad

I've been a food judge for many years at the Taste of Buffalo, but unfortunately, this year, since they scaled it down, I didn't get to judge. Being a food judge is a dream job. I would be assigned three restaurants and one wildcard. Then I would go to each booth (skip the line) and try each of their dishes. Then I would write down my scores for each of the restaurants. I hope that next year they will have judges back and I will be one of them.

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Upcoming Food Festivals in Buffalo and WNY

If you love food festivals, which I'm sure you do, since you live in Buffalo, there are quite a few that are back this year. That's such great news since we missed out so much last year. Here are a few of the upcoming food festivals you might want to check out.

Buffalo Mac and Cheese Festival is happening on August 14, 2021, from 11:30 am - 9:00 pm. It will take place at Buffalo Riverworks, 359 Ganson Street in Buffalo. There is more information on its website.

Buffalo Taco & Margarita Fest will take place on September 4, 2021, from 11 am - 6 pm at Buffalo Riverworks, 359 Ganson Street in Buffalo. General admission tickets are $10 and VIP tickets are $39. You can get more info and tickets on Eventbrite.

The 20th annual National Buffalo Wing Festival will take place in Western New York from September 4 to September 5, 2021. The festival will take place at Highmark Stadium, located at 1 Bills Drive in Orchard Park. You can get more info on the National Buffalo Wing Festival website.

Taste of Vegan 2021 will take place on Sunday, September 26, 2021. Prior to the festival, there will be a Vegan Vendors Market on Sunday, August 1, 2021, at Buffalo Riverworks, 359 Ganson Street in Buffalo from 12 – 2 pm. Get more details about both events on Eventbrite.

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