What’s cooking at the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia? The organization is serving local residents a new event that highlights the history and culture of Appalachian foodways. “Taste of Tennessee” is a new virtual program that promises to bring people together to explore and celebrate Appalachian cuisine from the comfort of their homes. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, the event is completely online and is scheduled for Saturday, August 22nd from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. This day-long digital celebration is full of education and entertainment, and also serves as a fundraiser for The Heritage Alliance. As part of the event, The Heritage Alliance will present a variety of offerings via Facebook and Zoom, including lectures, demonstrations, cooking classes, and more.
“When we first conceived of the idea of Taste of Tennessee, it was envisioned as an in-person Appalachian food fair,” says Executive Director Anne Mason. “Unfortunately, COVID-19 has forced us to re-conceptualize the event, but we still wanted to keep the intended spirit of the event alive.”
“Our goal is to get people excited about Appalachian cuisine, past and present,” adds Programming Coordinator Megan Tewell. “That’s our main objective with this event—to connect people to food and to each other.”
A complete program for “Taste of Tennessee” will be released shortly, although confirmed speakers include prominent chefs, “foodies,” farmers, historians, interpreters, to name a few. Tickets for special Zoom events are available on the Town of Jonesborough’s website. Featuring historic recipes, techniques, and ingredients, as well as modern spins on Appalachian classics, the Heritage Alliance hopes that “Taste of Tennessee” helps the public to come together around a virtual “table” and enjoy a sense of community once more.
The Heritage Alliance is also continuing to collect recipes for their community-curated cookbook, as part of “Taste of Tennessee.” Do you have a favorite recipe that you would like to contribute? Please contact programming coordinator Megan Cullen Tewell at email@example.com in order to share. And don’t miss this exciting opportunity to learn more about our local food heritage on August 22nd— bring your appetite for Appalachia!