"Every morning the kitchen staff gathers whatever is growing including mint for the bar drinks."
The remaining Taste lineup of returnees and newbies is: A Taste of N'Awlins; Adelphia Sports Bar & Grille; Berry Hills Country Club; Charleston Brewing Company; Distinctive Gourmet; Ellen's Homemade Ice Cream; Embassy Suite Athletic Club; 5 Corners Café; Huntington Prime Penthouse & Piano Bar; Irise SoulFood Café; Lil' Huskey's of Cross Lanes; Little India; Mardi Gras Casino& Resort; Mayberry Restaurant; Ms. Groovy's Catering & Café; Ridge View BBQ; Stonewall Resort; Zul's Lemonade and Quarry Manor Senior Living.
After expenses, Quarry Manor is donating its proceeds to the Walk to End Alzheimer's.
Ashton Place Kroger is returning with its bakery desserts while stirring up something savory and exciting in their booth.
The Taste will be a chance for the public to first enjoy what will soon be available when the new Ashton Place Kroger's prepared food department opens in the expansion sometime early next year.
"We want to demonstrate the quality and creativity of our stores," says Steve Alls, executive chef for Kroger's Mid-Atlantic region, commenting on the new aspect to Kroger's Taste-o-All participation.
Samplings being prepared by Alls are: rotisserie chicken salad; Korean BBQ steak; roasted pork mac & cheese with poblano relish; Caprese salad of marinated roasted tomatoes with fresh mozzarella; and stuffed peppadew peppers with Jarlsberg cheese dip.
Admission to the Taste is free. Tickets for food purchases, which remain at 50 cents each, are available in the lobby and inside the hall. Items are priced from one to eight tickets. Beverages are cash only.
Along with the surplus of dining temptations, relax with a dance contest, live music, children's games, children's food demo, X-box and more.
Trolleys will shuttle passengers between Taste-of-All Charleston and the free West Side Main Street's Ice Cream Social from 2 to 6 p.m., further cooling you down after Saturday's Smoke. There will be enjoyment for the entire family, including music, games, crafts and a clown.
After taking a day off to work up an appetite, at 6 p.m. Tuesday you will find FestivALL up at Edgewood Country Club for the celebrity Chef's Challenge Mystery Basket.
Lewis Payne handled the task of selecting the competitors who are both well known to him and the city. "I immediately thought of Dr. Stefan 'Rastaman' Maxwell, famous in Charleston for his Jamaican Jerk BBQ parties, and Gazette wine columnist John 'Wine Boy' Brown."
Maxwell and Brown, with their teams, will go head-to-head in a lively chopped-style cooking contest. Each cook will invent a dish using just five secret-until-unveiled identical ingredients, chosen by Jeremy Still, executive chef at Edgewood Country Club. Judging by an expert panel will follow.
Still explained the club's interest in joining FestivALL. "I want the public to know that community involvement is important to us. This event provides a way for others to see what Edgewood's about and that we are approachable. I personally feel it's my responsibility as chef to help wherever we can."
A silent art auction, live music, a host of hors d'oeuvres to savor and a wine tasting accompany the cheering on of your favorite culinary personality.
Reservations are not required. Just arrive at the door. Admission is $35 per person. You may also call ahead for tickets at 304-343-5557 and ask for Martha. A portion of the ticket sales will be contributed to FestivALL.
If you aren't quite full yet, hold on because from noon to 2:30 p.m. June 29 brings one more chance to indulge. This time it's the East End Bazaar Country Roads Cook-Off at the East End Bazaar, 1428 Washington St. E.
It brings talented home cooks into the spotlight, highlighting the use of locally grown products woven into their treasured family recipes. They prepare their heritage dishes for judging, resulting in prizes and bragging rights. Sampling tickets are $2, available at the door. Contestants are still being accepted. Details on entering and other information are online at charlestoneastend.com.
Reach Judy Grigoraci at ...@suddenlink.net.