CAMBRIDGE — As far as the people of Cambridge are concerned, Black Water Bakery holds all the bragging rights for its crab gazpacho dish, which won People’s Choice Saturday at the Taste of Cambridge Cook-Off.
This was Downtown Cambridge’s 14th year hosting the food festival, showcasing a variety of local flavors and bringing the community together.
Visitors packed Poplar and Race streets from 5 p.m. July 13 through the evening, sampling crab favorites prepared by local restaurants in the Crab Cook-Off. Local vendors and businesses also offered a variety of food and drinks.
Eleven local restaurants competed in the cook-off with their best crab dish, and two restaurants even competed with a bonus snakehead fish street taco.
The competing restaurants were allowed to enter in four categories: soup, crab cake, crab dip and crab specialty.
RAR Brewing beat Theodore’s at Madison Bay for best crab cake. People voted Blue Point Provision as best crab dip. Palm Beach Willies won best crab specialty for its buffalo soft shell bites.
In addition to its overall win, Black Water Bakery took home the prize for People’s Choice best soup.
Event organizers wrote on the Downtown Cambridge Facebook page, “Some of the votes were very close! All the dishes were delicious and we are in awe of the effort to compete in this very competitive competition.”
Judge’s Choice winners of the cook-off were Palm Beach Willies’ crab dip, Black Water Bakery’s crab soup, Bistro Poplar’s crab specialty and RAR Brewing’s crab cake.
The overall Judge’s Choice winner was Blue Point Provision for its take on the snakehead fish street taco.
Downtown Cambridge Director Katie Clendaniels said the event had a great turnout this year.
Clendaniels called Taste of Cambridge “a great chance for us to showcase all of the great restaurants, businesses and people we have because we offer so much variety.”
Over the years, Taste of Cambridge increasingly has been attracting people from all over the state.
Dorchester County Council President William Nichols, who attended the event, said he was “really intrigued” by the attention the festival has gotten.
Nichols said he met people at the event who came on a full bus from Bowie. He said the people he spoke with told him they heard about the event by word of mouth.
“There were two buses there from Bowie, [and] the people were very, very impressed,” he said. “I asked what made them come here, and they said they heard this is always a good function, a good thing to come to.”
Nichols applauded the event organizers for their hard work and said they should “keep it up,” because what they’re doing is working.
This year’s Taste of Cambridge was sponsored by G&G Distributors, Dorchester County Economic Development, Delmarva Public Radio, Hyatt Regency and Shore Craft Beer, among others.
For more information about the festival, visit Downtown Cambridge’s Facebook page.