Taste of Cincinnati is focusing on becoming more eco-friendly and boosting rising artists in its 40th year.
The "Zero Hunger Zero Waste" goal is to reduce the food festival's carbon footprint by 5% every year. Taste and Kroger are partnering to donate leftover food to a local homeless shelter and increase recycle bins.
"Instead of wasting the food, or worse, having it go to a landfill where it creates methane gas," explains Jessica Adelman, group vice president at Kroger.
In a press conference Tuesday, representatives announced the Best of Taste winners and runner-ups in categories including appetizer and dessert. Mystery judges tallied up the best food samplings on April 29 at the food truck takeover on Second Street. The 12-hour braised brisket bowl won first place in this year's food truck best soup-salad-side category.
Joseph Garcia owns Texas Joe Tex-Mex which made the award-winning brisket bowl. He says fresh ingredients makes his truck stand out. "We are doing cabbage - it's a lot crisper (and) it's a lot better for you," he says. "We also offer blue corn tortillas as an option."
The food festival will kick off Memorial Day weekend on May 25 in downtown Cincinnati.
More than 45 entertainers will perform on five different stages throughout the weekend.
The performances were arranged through a partnership with the Cincinnati Music Accelerator. The organization helps up-and-coming talent navigate entrepreneurship.
"It's very exciting for us because our mission is working to put (money) with starving artists," CEO of the accelerator Kick Lee says. "We are actually doing that."
Lee says performers will vary in genre.
Taste of Cincinnati says the entertainment lineup will be announced next week.