Rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm for the eighth annual Taste of Blount as more than 450 people turned out Sept. 17 to sample the fare of Blount County restaurants, grocers and other establishments.
Kathy Delozier, executive vice president of Chamber Programs with the Blount County Chamber Partnership, said between 450 and 500 people showed for the event which was relocated to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church because of inclement weather.
“It was a really good crowd, and we’ve already seen some restaurants that have benefited from it,” she said.
Delozier said the Chamber has received several calls from people asking about some of the businesses featured at the event. “I think they’re getting a good response,” she said of businesses. “Everybody seemed happy. There no complaints, even though it was tight quarters.”
The Chamber vice president praised the new rector, Rev. Steve Mosher, and said St. Andrew’s provided a good place for the event. “It’s a fantastic facility, and they really worked with us, especially with all the rain,” she said. “The City of Maryville was wonderful. The police department, fire department and public works -- everybody worked well with us in spite of having to move the location.”
Delozier said Taste of Blount has grown into a downtown event. “We really do want to focus on bringing people to Maryville and Blount County and to focus on all our tremendous restaurants and caterers we have,” she said. “You don’t have to go to Knoxville, you can stay in Blount County and have the best of the best. I think it has been a good event to help us promote what we have locally, along with trying to bring people downtown.”
Best Appetizer: Royal Oaks Events Facility
Best Dessert: First place (tie) -- Kathy’s Deli and Marble Slab Creamery; Second place -- Sweet Celebrations
Best Main Entrée: First place -- Lemon Grass Thai Cuisine and Sushi Bar; Second place -- Puleo’s Grille
Best Sandwich: Lenny’s Subs
Best Beverage: (tie) McAlister’s Deli and Vienna Coffee Company, LLC
Best Presentation: Royal Oaks Events Facility
Corporate sponsors for the event included Creekside Fine Wines and Spirits, Knoxville TVA Credit Union and Dixie Home Crafters.