WILMINGTON, DE (Feb. 12, 2013) – A sampling of the tastes of Delaware has been packaged into a trail of 24 iconic restaurants made to order for the culinary tourist.

The Delaware Culinary Trail was unveiled Tuesday at Harry’s Savoy Grill along with the companion book, “First State Plates: Iconic Delaware Restaurants and Recipes,” which is the prize for those diners who “complete” the trail by visiting 15 of its 24 eateries – a trek that begins by downloading a passport at www.visitdelaware.com/culinary.

Dining out is one of the top activities in Delaware, and as such the Delaware Tourism Office set its sights on creating a menu-like road map of some of the First State’s restaurants. The trail was modeled after the popular Delaware History Trail, Delaware Geocaching Trail and Delaware Wine and Ale Trail, offering one-stop tourism shopping, a prize element and a passport system designed to encourage multiple stops and user interaction with the Delaware Tourism Office’s website.

Delaware Culinary Trail Launch

The most challenging part of building the trail was narrowing the field down to 24, which was done with an eye toward representing a diversity of culinary style and geography, said Linda Parkowski, Delaware Tourism Director.

“The restaurants we chose provide an accurate representation of the tastes and traditions of the First State,” Parkowski said. “It’s real people making real food, from local favorites like crabs, scrapple and signature pizza to dishes at fine-dining establishments on par with those found in nearby big cities.”

Restaurants are big business in Delaware, and the proof is in the numbers. According to the National Restaurant Association, Delaware’s restaurants were projected to register $1.6 billion in sales in 2012.

“Most Restaurants are small businesses, and small businesses form the backbone of Delaware’s economy – a backbone that Gov. Jack Markell plans to strengthen during his second term,” said Alan Levin, Director of the Delaware Economic Development Office. “I’m excited to see the launch of an initiative like the Delaware Culinary Trail that will use the success of small businesses to bring out-of-state visitors and added revenue to Delaware.”

While the restaurants on the Delaware Culinary Trail will offer a plethora of eats for breakfast, lunch and dinner, “First State Plates” provides a feast for the eyes. The book, written by Pam George, features the stories behind the 24 restaurants, as well as recipes for some of the most popular dishes at each of the eateries. The book also features photos of the mouth-watering meals by Keith Mosher.

Those who download a passport at the Delaware Culinary Trail website, http://www.visitdelaware.com/culinary and collect codes at 15 of the 24 restaurants – five in each of Delaware’s three counties – will receive a copy of “First State Plates” as their prize. The book will also be available for $25 through the Delaware Tourism Office website.

Carrie Leishman, president and chief executive officer of the Delaware Restaurant Association, said “First State Plates” does a great job of capturing everything Delaware restaurants have to offer.

“Our restaurants feature dishes with ingredients plucked fresh from the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean, or raised fresh on farms in our southern towns,” Leishman said.

“First State Plates” was published by Media Two, a subsidiary of Today Media.

Today Media is also the parent company for Delaware Today, which features the Culinary Trail in its February issue.

About the Delaware Tourism Office
The Delaware Tourism Office, 99 Kings Highway in Dover, Del., a division of the Delaware Economic Development Office, promotes tourism and economic growth in Delaware. For more information, visit the official Delaware Tourism website at www.visitdelaware.com or call toll-free (866) 284-7483.

About the Delaware Economic Development Office
The Delaware Economic Development Office is an executive state agency responsible for attracting new investors and businesses to the state, promoting the expansion of existing industry, assisting small and minority-owned businesses, promoting and developing tourism and creating new and improved employment opportunities for all citizens of the State. Visit dedo.delaware.gov.


Click here to download photo of the Delaware Culinary Trail launch. (From left to right, David Banks, Jonathan Witty, Rob Martinelli, Heather Kenton, Carrie Leishman, Linda Parkowski, Maria Hess, Pam George, Alan Levin, Keith Mosher.)

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