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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

New Taste Marketplace Returns, With a Cheesy New Director

Posted By on Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 12:45 PM

click to enlarge MICHAEL DAVIDSON
  • Michael Davidson
If you're anything like us, you've been waiting with baited breath for the New Taste Marketplace to rise again. The last event was in January, right before its director Elianna Friedman left to become market chef at CUESA.

After the Underground Market was shut down last year, this was virtually the only open market in town for small-batch artisan foodstuffs. And, honestly, we always liked New Taste better than its garish faux-underground colleague: less crowds, more interesting selection, better...vibes? So the last few months have been tough, but we've soldiered on.

On Sat., May 26, from noon to 5, New Taste will finally return to St. Gregory's with a brand new director: Michael Davidson, aka the Grilled Cheese Guy.

Davidson was a longtime vendor at the market, so he's well-acquainted with its operations on the ground. He also brings a knowledge of mobile food vendors from both sides of the Bay (his home base is Oakland) through his roving pop-ups and periodic Behind the Cart mobile food showcases.

Notable changes will be the addition of alcohol sales and some food trucks* parked out front (keeping Slow Hand BBQ company, no doubt). Additionally, Davidson plans to host Behind the Cart at St. Gregory's after New Taste wraps up in the evening.

His plan -- which isn't yet completely confirmed -- is to work a theme of church-like ritual into the first melodically named BTCNTAD (Behind the Cart New Taste After Dark). Each dish in the five-course meal would be given from the altar like Communion, with possible blood of Christ (read: wine) pairings.

And for the food market junkie, rumor has it that the Underground Market is now street-legal, and will return the following Saturday, June 2.

*Bonus for Potrero residents: Davidson said the food trucks may become a regular fixture in front of St. Gregory's, not just on New Taste days. Stay tuned...

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Jesse Hirsch


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