First Citizens Bank in cooperation with the Transylvania County Schools Education Foundation (TCSEF) presented the 6th annual Taste of Transylvania on May 2 at the Brevard Lumberyard. Fourteen Transylvania County restaurants provided over 20 delicious samples of h’ors d’ouevres, entrees, and desserts, while guests were entertained by the Jason DeCristofaro Trio.
A new feature to the event this year was the judged awards. The TCSEF committee invited three judges to taste and to grade each dish based on presentation, originality, preparation, taste, texture and overall execution. The judges included Jessica Whitmire, the Food Sciences teacher at Brevard High School who also has a background in Hospitality and Tourism Management, Caroline Kerchner who is the pastry chef at the Admiral in Asheville and a Brevard High School graduate, and Lynne Foster, the market assistant at the Transylvania County Farmer’s Market and a volunteer with the Chamber of Commerce Visitor’s Center.
This year, the best h’ors d’ouevre was awarded to the Schenck Job Corps Culinary Arts program for their Thai Beef Wonton. Blue Smoke BBQ, a local food truck returned this year to again win the best entrée with their Smoked Roast Beef. Finally, for the fifth year, Blue Ridge Bakery won best dessert with a Banana Foster Bread Pudding. Guests were still given an opportunity to vote for their favorite and the Taster’s Choice award went to Dugan’s Pub, who prepared a Thai Shrimp entrée.
With over 15 grant awarded teachers in attendance, guests were given a glimpse of how funds are being given back to Transylvania County Schools. The TCSEF Mini-Grant program awarded $18,000 across 32 grants to TCS teachers in January 2017 to support innovative programs that included Health Models, a 3D Printer, a Portable PA System, Raised Geographic Maps as well as many others.
Funds raised at the 2017 Taste of Transylvania will be used to support grants issued in 2018. The support for Taste of Transylvania has grown each year and TCSEF would like to thank the sponsors, participating restaurants, attendees and those businesses and individuals who donated auction items.
The 2018 Taste of Transylvania is tentatively scheduled for the first Tuesday in May. For more information or to become an annual member with the Transylvania County Schools Education Foundation, please visit TCSEF.org.