By SERINA MARSHALL
Staff Writer [email protected]
“All things edible, all things Appalachian!” That is the motto of this year’s “Taste of Tennessee” festival, taking place Saturday, June 18, in downtown Jonesborough.
Taste of Tennessee is a day-long celebration of Appalachian food, highlighting the history and culture surrounding the region’s cuisine.
“We are excited to bring the food and culture of Appalachia and East Tennessee,” said Executive Director for the Heritage Alliance Anne G’Fellers Mason. “There will be knowledge of food shared, seasoned speakers and food trucks. We will also have demonstrations where people can make noodles. It is a day where you can expect everything food and experience the culture that is Appalachia.”
This year, Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia staff were happy to be able to announce the event would take place live and in-person, with an exciting program of activities. The festival will include musical performances, food, special guest presentations, vendors, and contests.
One special feature of the event is a cake-baking “Take the Cake” competition for home cooks, professionals, and children, where local residents show off their skills, as well as their favorite dishes. A public tasting of the entries will be offered.
Mason and Programming Coordinator Megan Cullen Tewell hope that the event will bring people together to explore and celebrate Appalachian cuisine. This festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is completely family friendly.
In addition to highlight- ing the work of local chefs, farmers, historians and food experts, the celebration also serves as a fundraiser for The Heritage Alliance and will benefit local hunger-fighting initiatives.
“Our goal is to get people excited about Appalachian cuisine, past and present,” Tewell said. “That’s our main objective with this event— to connect people to food and to each other.”
The Heritage Alliance has partnered with numerous local entities to highlight Appalachian foodways in a variety of contexts.
Confirmed speakers include prominent chefs, “foodies,” farmers, historians, interpreters, to name a few. Speaker series tickets are now available to purchase on the Taste of Tennessee page at heritageall. org. The cost for the speaker series is only $5 or you can bring five, non-perishable food items to the event to donate to the JAMA Food Pantry.
Vendors will have artisanal goods available for purchase, alongside food trucks offering local fare.
Featuring historic recipes, techniques, and ingredients, as well as modern spins on Appalachian classics, Mason and Tewell hope that Taste of Tennessee helps the public to come together and enjoy sense of community, preferably one smothered in butter. Vendor forms, food truck
forms, sponsorship forms, speaker series tickets, and “Take the Cake” contest forms can all be found on the Taste of Tennessee page at heritageall.org. Listening tickets
for the lecture series, starring some stellar panelists and demonstrators, are available for purchase online at heritageall.org.
Taste of Tennessee promises good times, good company, and good eats. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to learn more about our local food heritage on June 18th— and bring your appetite for Appalachia! Learn more and purchase tickets at heritageall. org or via Heritage Alliance on Facebook.