Taste of Savannah: A Success


Nearly 1,000 people turned out Friday night to enjoy the very best fare prepared by nearly two-dozen local restaurants, caterers and associated businesses for the annual Taste of Savannah®.

The three-hour affair at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center on Hutchinson Island sported a theme of “Jazz … the Soul Ingredient.” The ninth annual upscale tasting event was organized by the Savannah Area Tourism Leadership Council, a nonprofit professional association of Savannah-area businesses in the tourism and hospitality industries.

“The Taste of Savannah Committee imagined what the volunteers executed and the attendees enjoyed during this year’s jazzy Taste of Savannah,” observed Marti Barrow, TLC executive director.

Tickets were $50 each for general admission or $75 apiece for VIP admission.

Tourism Leadership Council executive director Marti Barrow said this year’s event raised nearly $55,000, with proceeds supporting the programs of the council, including scholarships for students pursuing hospitality careers, work-force development initiatives, professional networking opportunities, educational seminars for food-industry workers and an emergency fund to help member organizations and individuals in crisis situations.

A three-judge panel declared Savor Savannah Catering as the winner of the night’s coveted “best entrée” award for serving up Crawfish Etouffee with Grits and Green Tomato Salsa. Chefs and caterers competed for recognition in half-adozen categories, including “best booth.”

Judges were master chef Scott Crawford, contributing magazine editor and former restaurant reviewer Stacy Kunstel and Savannah’s own

Dianne Thurman(r), discusses Johnny Mercer Centennial
Dianne Thurman(r), discusses Johnny Mercer Centennial
food-and-beverage guru and communications company entrepreneur,Tim Rutherford.

“If you had the stomach for it, you could eat a scrumptious 30-course meal in 3 hours at this event!”raved Karen Kelly, Director of Destination Services with the Savannah Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau

“The Equinox Jazz Orchestra really set the mood as soon as we walked in,” said Ashley Denby, Fun Coordinator at the Westin Harbor Golf Resort & Spa.

This year’s winners were:

Best novelty food item: Hot Dogs from the Savannah Sand Gnats

Appetizer award winners: First place – Crawfish Pie from Vic’s on the River Second place – Wonton Crisp with Seaweed, Ahi salad and Wasabi Créme Fraiche from Hyatt Regency Savannah Third place – Crab Salad Stuffed Cucumber Cups from Big Water Catering and Events/River Street Riverboat Company Entrée award winners: First place – Crawfish Etouffee with Grits and Green Tomato Salsa from Savor Savannah Catering Second place – Roast Duck Breast with Wild Cherry & Frissee from Bistro Savannah Third place – Crab Cakes from Belford’s Savannah Seafood & Steaks

Dessert award winners: First place – Bananas Foster from Aqua Star at The Westin Savannah Harbor Second place – Huckleberry Cheesecake from Leopold’s Ice Cream Third place – Jazzberry Cobbler from The Mulberry Inn

Guests’ choice/best booth The Mulberry Inn Guests’ choice/best food item: Crawfish Etoufee with Grits and Green Tomato Salsa with Catfish Sloppy Joe from Savor Savannah Catering.

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