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Saturday, July 4, 2015
By +Scott Leffler

Steak Stone & Sushi won big at last year's Taste of Lockport. Can they
repeat their "best appetizer" victory Sunday? (ENP FILE PHOTO BY
This year's Taste of Lockport is set to be bigger and better than ever. There's more to do, more to savor, and more time to do it in. There's also more food to judge.

The 15th Annual Taste of Lockport, taking place Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Ida Fritz Park and along Main Street, will feature 10 judged food categories — the most ever.

Twenty judges from Lockport and beyond will decide their favorite appetizer, dessert, entree, sandwich, healthy choice, pizza, wings, hometown favorite, sweet sip and dry wine. Plus there will be prizes awarded for best display and a people's choice award.

A majority of the judges are from local media, including five judges from East Niagara Post: co-publisher Heather N. Grimmer, photo contributor Stephen M. Wallace, columnist Jill Keppeler, food critic Jay Berent, and intern Jessica Cassick. Others include Brad Riter of Trending Buffalo, formerly a talk show host with WGR, WLVL and WECK; Ryan Whalen of Time Warner Cable News; Samantha Christmann, author of the Discount Diva column in the Buffalo News; and Union-Sun & Journal Sports Editor John D'Onofrio.

Other judges include AJ Amherst, lead singer of Whiskey Reverb; Dan Christmann, wine expert and sommelier; City Clerk Richelle Pasceri; Mayor Anne McCaffrey; Rick Cohen, owner of the Transit Drive-In; Mr. Lockport Demetrius Grant; Miss Lockport Lea Sobieraski; Dr. Donna Kester Phillips and Tracy Cain from the Niagara County Auxiliary Police; Pete Robinson, founder of the Peanut Butter & Jelly Drive and the Winter Wonderland Project; and Emily Leffler, LHS Class of 2015 graduate.

The judges will be critiquing their food choices based on three categories: flavor, presentation, and originality. The judging will take place outside for the first time at Lock 34 Bar & Grill. Spectators will be allowed to watch the judging from noon until 3 p.m. with the awards presented shortly thereafter.

The Taste of Lockport has been put on annually by the Lockport Business Association since 2001.

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