Durham and Chapel Hill to Host the Fourth Annual TASTE: A Celebration of Food and Drink

by Sarah Mausert


This year’s TASTE 2017 is the largest yet with four days of events in Durham starting on April 20, 2017.  Taste is a celebration of the Triangle food scene with more than 50 food and beverage professionals participating, including chefs, brew masters and mixologists.  A portion of the proceeds will benefit the East Durham Children’s Initiative.

The event kicks off on Thursday, April 20th, with the Grand Taste Experience at the Durham Armory.  Thirty chefs alongside wine, beer, and spirit purveyors will offer drinks and dishes for guests to try.  Sidecar Social Club will be providing music for a fun evening of food and drink.

There are several events on Friday, April 21st, including a whole hog barbeque demonstration at Green Button Farm by “Barbeque Man” Wyatt Dickson and hog farmer Ryan Butler.  Included is a sampling of barbeque from Picnic.


Photo courtesy of WRAL

Later that afternoon, Mattie Beason will host a cider class and tasting at his Black Twig Cider House.  Enjoy learning about the history cider and cider making while tasting four ciders.


Photo courtesy of Durham Magazine

Friday’s events will be completed with The Ultimate Gluten-Free Dinner presented by Tim Lyons of Primal and Blu Seafood.  Three courses will be paired with ciders courtesy of Mattie Beason.  Breads will be prepared by Kaley Laird of Rhubarb in Asheville and dessert by Joe Parker of JP Pastry.

Kaley Laird

Photo of Kaley Laird courtesy of Mountain Xpress

Saturday, April 22nd kicks off at the Art Institute, Durham, with John May of the 4-star Piedmont teaching a class on seasonal cooking. Chef May will prepare a four-course meal while discussing how to make the most of seasonal ingredients.

At noon, TASTE goes back to the Durham Armory for the regional Grand Taste Experience.  Regional chefs and beverage purveyors will provide offerings of southern cuisine.  The bluegrass group Counterclockwise String Band of Durham will be performing at the event.

Later that afternoon at the PNC VIP club at the Durham Bulls Stadium, there’s a fight going on!  It’s wine vs. beer with small plates made by local chefs.  North Carolina’s Tea Cup Gin will be playing as well.

If you prefer tequila over wine and beer, that evening you can head over to Dos Perros in downtown Durham where Charlie Deal will create six different tacos to pair with six different flavors of tequila in a fun, cocktail-buffet style dinner.

On Sunday at NanaSteak enjoy live jazz with your brunch.  Chef Scott Howell will be there while you enjoy mimosas and Bellinis.  There will also be a buffet of sweet goodies from local bakers to finish the meal.  There are multiple seatings for this event starting at noon.


Photo courtesy of Triangle Wine Experience

Sunday afternoon, Taste winds down with Salt and Smoke at the Rickhouse in Durham, by honoring the originator of the event, chef Kevin Callaghan of Carrboro’s Acme.  Guests will enjoy music courtesy of Big Fat Gap, beer, oysters, and barbeque.

Tickets and ticket packages for all of these events can be purchased here.  Taste is presented by Durham Magazine and Chapel Hill Magazine.  A portion of the proceeds will be given to the East Durham Children’s Initiative, a nonprofit organization located in east Durham which provides early childhood intervention, parent and family support, summer and afterschool programs, health and nutrition programs, and community outreach.

Sarah was born a yankee, but has been a Durhamite for ten years now.  She enjoys red wine, bourbon, her dogs, Captain and Morgan, and her cats, Johnny and Walker.

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