The Nashville LGBT Chamber welcomed 125 more guests and nine more vendors than last year and set fundraising records at TASTE, a benefit to raise funds to support the LGBT Chamber Foundation’s mission. The event, held at Nissan Stadium on November 19, overlooking the iconic downtown Nashville skyline at night, will provide needed funds for education, resources, and advocacy for LGBT professionals.
Now in its sixth year, TASTE featured thirty food and beverage vendors. Some of the samples included lamb chili, housemade agnolotti, a squash bowl with seasonal veggies, gingerbread spice cupcakes, craft cocktails, and much more.
Singer Meghan Linsey (The Voice) was this year’s celebrity emcee. Awards were presented in nine different categories. Winners included:
Best Food Presentation - EiO & The Hive for "Farro Fawcett" Octopus Entree
Best Booth Decor - A Catered Affair
Best Beer - Bell’s Beer Winter White Ale
Best Wine - Natchez Hills Vineyard & Winery
Best Cocktail - Sinema - Bad & Rougie
Best Appetizer - Butcher and Bee - Avocado Crispy Rice Salad
Best Dessert - Jeni’s Ice Cream - Pumpkin Pie Sundae
Best Entree - Sinema - Chef Kyle’s House Made Agnilotti
People’s Choice - The Mockingbird - “Tatchos” tater tots topped with lamb chili
“We welcome the diversity of the vendors. I feel like they are a reflection of Nashville and our Chamber. We had vendors ranging from fine dining to food trucks,” said Lisa Howe, CEO. “The vendors serve their finest dishes and drinks, display their best decor and aesthetics, and bring high-energy and friendly staff. I think this is a tribute to the loyalty of our guests. Our members and partners want to do business with people who support the LGBT and Ally community, and this is a professional and fun way to support the community.”
“I am proud of the amazing growth of this event,” said Jack Davis, event chair. “Nashville has a plethora of food tasting events, but vendors and guests continue to tell us TASTE is one of their favorites... The desire to support the LGBT community inspires so many people to support this event, and it has resulted in one of the best tasting events in Nashville. We look forward to a larger and more successful TASTE in 2018.”
The popular silent auction and inaugural live auction raised more money than previous auctions. Items included a guitar signed by Reba McEntire, a Dell XPS13 laptop/tablet convertible, autographed sports memorabilia from the Predators and Titans, a one-week stay in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and a limited-edition rainbow Cracker Barrel rocking chair.
TASTE was chaired by Jack Davis, founder and owner of JD Events & Festivals. Greg Cason, Clayton Klutts (Silent Auction co-Chair), Amy Parker (Volunteer Chair), Ron Sanford (Event Design Chair), Jennifer Austin (Competition Chair), Courtney Lawrence, Christopher Lester (Marketing Chair), Donna Drehmann (Silent Auction co-Chair), Terry Vo, Ron Snitker, and Joe Woolley served on the committee. Michael Van Kerckhove served as the TASTE 2017 Coordinator.