The Pikesville Chamber of Commerce tries to put on events which give people a look at their community while creating interest to entice them to visit the area. The chamber will be at it again later this month – using food to help with the task.
The chamber will host its annual Taste of Pikesville event on April 26. This not only gives those curious a peek at Pikesville and some of its food businesses but also assists the Baltimore Hunger Project, where a portion of the proceeds are headed.
Jessica Normington, the chamber's executive director, added that there will be a prelude to the scheduled main event that night.
The VIF (Very Important Foodie) event is set for 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and will feature a higher ticket price while giving people an opportunity to spend some time with three of the area's top chefs from last year – from Gourmet Again, Wegmans and Island Quizine – who are going to make something specific for VIF folks, paired with a local beer.
The entire affair is a mix of food and mingling with a Pikesville flair.
"The sole purpose of the [night] is to show the community the plethora of options we have at our disposal as far as restaurants are concerned," Normington said. "And it's an opportunity to do it all under one roof."
This is the sixth year for the Taste of Pikesville, and Normington said it drew more than 400 people to the same location last time around. The difference this year is that there will be more space, as two ballrooms and a hallway will be used; in the past, one ballroom held the event. Also, valet parking will be available.
Normington added that there should be 60 vendors total, with 40-45 restaurants and/or caterers represented, and they're optimistic that the extra space will add to the night.
"This way we have more opportunities for restaurants to participate, and people can move around more easily," she said. "There will be more seating. It will be a lot of fun this year."
One of the businesses signed on is For The Love Of Food, located on Reisterstown Road in the heart of Pikesville, and owner/chef Thomas Casey is expecting to have a good time getting to know new people.
"It's a great event to actually showcase the business and connect with the community," he said. "It's very exciting. People get to mingle around the room. It's good and [nice] just being able to meet other people also."
Normington said this this the second-biggest event that the chamber holds each year. The largest is the Pikesville 5k Run-Walk, scheduled for July 16 at the Woodholme Center.
This night, though, will help more than just the Pikesville Chamber of Commerce. The portion of the proceeds that goes to the Baltimore Hunger Project, a Pikesville-based organization, is going to help feed plenty of people in need.
The organization, which started in 2014, provides food packs for children in need; they are handed out each Friday during the school year.
Lynne B. Kahn, a full-time accountant who is founder and executive director of the Baltimore Hunger Project, said the group currently supports 184 children in 10 schools in Baltimore County and City. This is the group's second full school year of operation, and Kahn said the money from Taste of Pikesville will provide a welcome boost.
"We're honored to be the recipients of the proceeds from [Taste of Pikesville]," she said. "It's usually impactful. We are a grass-roots organization, and 100 percent of the donations we receive go towards the cost of feeding the kids. I don't think we realize there's hunger in our own neighborhoods here."
So the chamber will be giving people a good look at the type of food people can find in the area, on one hand, while at the same time helping a Pikesville-based group do some good —and all of it revolves around food.
"This gives everyone a chance to get a taste of what the Northwest Corridor has to offer," Normington said.
When: Wednesday, April 26/VIF event: 5:30 p.m.; main event: 6:30-9:00 p.m.
Where: DoubleTree by Hilton Baltimore North-Pikesville, 1726 Reisterstown Road, off Beltway Exit 20, Pikesville
Cost: $48 per person ($55 at the door); VIF event $70 per person (after April 19 — $80 per person)
Contact information: Pikesville Chamber of Commerce, firstname.lastname@example.org; 410-484-2337 (9 a.m. till 1 p.m.)
For tickets: www.tasteofpikesville.com