MADISON, NJ - The annual Taste of Madison food festival brought together residents of all ages who wished to sample food and drinks from some of Madison’s finest restaurants. For 16 years now, The Madison Chamber of Commerce, The Madison Rotary Club and The Downtown Development Commission (DDC) with the help of sponsor Gary’s Wine and Marketplace organized this event to raise money for a variety of nonprofit organizations in town. In addition to a wide variety of food and drink samples, this event features a silent auction, tricky tray, 50/50 and a beer garden.

Taking place at the Park Avenue Club in Florham Park, local restaurants donated their services to this event. Although this is the 16th year this event has taken place, Chair of the Madison Chamber of Commerce Danielle Dixon said that this year, they decided to make a few changes in order to bring in new residents.

“This year we decided to make it a business casual event and also incorporated a beer garden as a way to draw in some younger residents,” she said.

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The event was also advertised at local schools as well which brought in a lot of younger parents in town she said.

Some of the restaurants in attendence were Rocco’s Tuscany Bar and Grill, Mexican Spice, Drip Coffee, Pascarella’s, Healthy Italia and Slamwich Scratch Kitchen.

Healthy Italia returned for their second year in a row with an assortment of healthy northern Italian products including Taralli with Tomato and Oregano,  Fennel Seed Taralli and Onion Taralli which were all product was prepared on site.

Owner of Slamwich George Braun also said he and his staff participated in Taste of Madison last year and was excited to come back again.

“We did a demo last year and we just felt it was a great way to introduce Madison to our restaurant,” he said. “It is just great exposure for us.”

For this year’s demo, Braun said he wanted to “challenge everyone’s pallet” by offering samples of their Duck Torchon.

Other Taste of Madison sponsors included Stop & Shop, Adams Dental, Drew University and Wyndham Hamilton Park.