New Restaurants and Old Favorites Add Exciting Tastes and Flavors To The 12th Annual “Taste of Coastal Carolina”
The 12th annual Taste of Coastal Carolina was held on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at the Riverfront Convention Center in New Bern, to benefit the Neuse RIVERKEEPER Foundation. Thirty-one of the area’s dining establishments participated, giving the more than 650 attendees a wonderful evening.
Peppermill Trophy Winner – Best Overall – Annabelle’s
The restaurants, caterers, food trucks and bakeries competed for votes to be named the Overall
Favorite and winner of the coveted, traveling “Peppermill” trophy.
The Overall Favorite Restaurant and winner of the Peppermill Trophy was long time New Bern favorite, Annabelle’s of New Bern, and its new chef Josh Storts. Chef Storts joined Annabelle’s just three months ago after working at another local restaurant.
A new twist this year was professional judging of the various food categories by an esteemed panel of judges including: Jeff Schenk (restaurant owner from Raleigh), Andy Hopper (Owner of two restaurants in Atlantic Beach – Idle Hour Biergarten and Pescara and previous Peppermill Trophy winner), Jeff Yourdon (culinary advisor at Lenoir Community College, Kinston), Anna Bulszewicz- WCTI 12 celebrity judge, and Sherrie Starr (local gourmet cook and 5 time chair of the Taste of Coastal Carolina). They judged 5 food categories: Best Appetizer, Best Soup, Best Light Fare, Best Entrée and Best Dessert.
1st Place – Persimmons for their Crab Cake with Asian Slaw 2nd Place – Carolina Bagel with a Cheese-stuffed Meatball
1st- The Perfect Bite – Red Pepper Soup with Meyer Lemon and Mango
2nd Christoph’s on the Water with a White Chicken Chili
Best Light Fare
2nd- The Village Butcher – Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Grits
In addition to the winners recognized above, this year’s event featured signature dishes from several restaurants and food establishments who joined the Taste for the first time including the highly acclaimed Ginger 108, an eclectic Southern/Asian fusion from Kinston, the new Wave Bar and Grill here in New Bern, the Galley Stores along with Skipjack Landing Events and Catering, Big Apple Pizzeria, Passanante’s Home Food Service and KD’s Fresh Garden Market. Lots of New Bern favorites who have participated in past Tastes were also there: álarita’s Gourmet Foods, Bengal Hospitality Group (owner of Aperitivo, Baker’s Kitchen, Lawson’s Landing, and Ribeyes), Craven Coffeehouse and Cafe, the Flame, Friday’s 1890 Seafood, Kitchen on Trent, Midtown Olive Oil, Strange and Sons Catering, TaTa’s Takeout Cafe, Trent River Coffee, and Who’s Hungry Mobile Gourmet Catering. Desserts from Kreative Cakez, Soo’s Chocolate & Bakery, and Tickled Pink Bakery.
Proceeds from the Taste benefit the Neuse RIVERKEEPER Foundation. The mission of the NRF is to protect, restore and preserve the Neuse River basin through education, advocacy and enforcement, in order to provide clean water for drinking, recreation and enjoyment to the communities that it serves. The Neuse and Trent Rivers are threatened by coal ash spills, illegal discharges, polluted runoff, and lax enforcement of environmental rules. The NRF needs the community’s support and help to continue to advocate, educate and protect our precious local resources. Travis Graves was recently hired as the new Lower Neuse RIVERKEEPER® and works here in New Bern.
Restaurants support The Taste, according to Tom Pristash, Executive Chef at Christoph’s on the Water at the Hilton, because “The NRF is about the Neuse River and the river is important to the tourism and restaurants in our area. If the River is fouled, nobody wants to sit on my deck and eat. We have lots of great restaurants in town and we all believe in supporting the future growth of New Bern. We’re all tied to the health of the river.”
Our Sponsors Make the Taste Possible
The 2015 Taste sponsors were Coastal Carolina Health Care, P.A., Fisher Fuel Markets, Lynne Davenport – Darlene Boyd/Century 21 Zaytoun Raines, Sherrie and Jim Starr, Comfort Air of New Bern, A Dog’s Dream, Kiddie Kollege Learning Centers, SweetWater Brewing Company, RA Jeffreys Distributing Company, Minges Bottling, Galley Stores/Skipjack Landing Events & Catering and WRNS Country 95.1. Without the support of these generous businesses and individuals, the Taste would not have been possible.