Affrilachian Dinner at Langston Center with Chef T of Union 41

The Heritage Alliance is excited to host Chef Torrece Gregoire (Chef T) of Union 41 restaurant at the Langston Centre on Tuesday, September 19th for a special Affrilachian Dinner as a part of the Taste of Tennessee Festival. The Taste of Tennessee is a weeklong event throughout northeast Tennessee that will highlight Appalachian foodways. Tickets for the Affrilachian Dinner can be purchased through the Town of Jonesborough’s ticketing website at You can also call 423-753-1010 to reserve tickets.


Chef T is a private chef, culinary artist, entrepreneur, and TV personality. In addition to always cooking up a storm, she has appeared on Hell’s Kitchen twice and Food Network’s Big Restaurant Bet. She is currently a chef at Union 41 restaurant in Bristol, VA. At a special dinner catered by Taste Budz at the Langston Centre in Johnson City, she will talk about the connections between African cuisine and Appalachian cuisine as well as her personal journey through the food world. Funds from the Affrilachian Dinner will help support the educational programs of the Heritage Alliance, like the Oak Hill School Heritage Education program, local history tours, and much more.



The Taste of Tennessee Festival takes place from September 17th – 24th with events occurring throughout the region. It is the recipient of an Arts Project Support Grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission. The term “Affrilachia” is attributed to author Frank X Walker who began using the term in the 1990s to combat the stereotype that Appalachia was not a diverse region. The Taste of Tennessee celebrates the melting pot that is Appalachian cuisine and culture. We are excited to host Chef T at the Langston Centre. Get your tickets for this unique experience now.



Become a TN4Arts Advocate

You don’t have to spend a lot of time or money to become an advocate for the arts. Here’s a simple and direct way to show your love if you’re a Tennessee resident: purchase a specialized license plate.

The process is easy:

  • Visit your local County Clerk’s Office.
  • Ask for a Tennessee Arts Commission License Plate.
  • Exchange your old plate for a shiny new one. (Don’t forget your screwdriver!)
  • Show off your love for the arts as you drive around town.


Speaker Series Line Up Taste of Tennessee

We have a great Speaker Series set for the Taste of Tennessee Appalachian Foodways festival on Saturday, June 18th. You can purchase listening tickets for $5.00 at or bring five, non-perishable food items to donate to the JAMA Food Pantry. All speakers will be at the Jonesborough Visitor’s Center at 117 Boone Street.





Entries Open for “Take the Cake Competition” at the Taste of Tennessee Festival

Strap on those aprons and heat up those ovens, folks, because it’s time to get baking! The Taste of Tennessee, the region’s premiere Appalachian food festival, is coming to downtown Jonesborough this summer. On Saturday, June 18th, the Heritage Alliance will host the first-ever in-person version of the festival from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, welcoming vendors, speakers, musicians, and more. One of the festival’s featured events is a community-wide cake-baking competition with categories for home cooks, professionals, and children. The “Take the Cake” contest welcomes participants of all culinary backgrounds and levels of expertise that have a favorite cake recipe to share!



Entries will be judged by a distinguished panel at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, including local luminaries such as Jonesborough Mayor Chuck Vest, and the public will be able to purchase samples of the entries after the competition. Winners will receive prizes, as well as the distinction of being a “Take the Cake” champion!


Think you’ve got enough flour power to cream the competition? You butter register today at Entries cost $5.00, and funds are used to benefit the Heritage Alliance’s historical and educational programs. Contact the Heritage Alliance with questions or for more information!

A Taste of Tennessee Community Curated Cookbook on Sale Now!

Everyone knows that the best part of any potluck is sampling the crockpot creations and pie tin productions of friends and neighbors. But, the absence of cookouts, fish fries, and dinner parties has generally left us alone in our kitchens with our own cooking. Fortunately, there is still a way this holiday season to try the tasty and beloved recipes of others!


The Heritage Alliance is looking to reunite people through food with the release of their first-ever community curated cookbook, A Taste Tennessee. Consisting of contributions by local community members, as well as reprints of historical recipes, A Taste of Tennessee contains more than just food. It also provides historical anecdotes, archival photos, newspaper clippings, artwork, and songs/myths all related to Appalachian foodways, making it feel like a potluck in print. “Because of the current health crisis, the Heritage Alliance has had to limit our in-person programming,” says Anne G’Fellers-Mason, the organization’s Executive Director. “But this cookbook offers us a great opportunity to interact with, and serve, the community in a way that’s central to our mission—and that’s fun!”



A Taste of Tennessee is currently for sale at the Jonesborough Visitors’ Center on Boone Street and through the Heritage Alliance on East Sabin Drive. Printed, black and white copies can be purchased for $12 or you can download a digital color version for $8 (through the Heritage Alliance exclusively). To purchase through the Heritage Alliance, call us at 423-753-9580 or reach out to us via email at These cookbooks are a limited release and would make an excellent holiday gift for folks interested in food, Appalachia, and local history.


Learn more about the cookbook at and like the organization on Facebook for more information. The Heritage Alliance is dedicated to the preservation of the architectural, historical, and cultural heritage of our region and to providing educational experiences related to history and heritage for a wide range of audiences.

Taste of Tennessee Official Program

Our program for the inaugural Taste of Tennessee includes Timber! restaurant in Johnson City, Serenity Knolls Farm, River Creek Farm, the North Carolina Craft and Beverage Museum in Asheville, Boone Street Market, the Exchange Place in Kingsport, the Pakalachian Food Truck in Abingdon, and the Chester Inn Museum! The day will be full of virtual events from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.


Click HERE to access the full program.


Don’t forget to purchase tickets to the Farm to Table Tour and Food at River Creek Farm, the Use of Smoke as an Ingredient in Appalachian Cooking with Nathan Brand of Timber!, and the Seasonal Cooking: Tomato Pie Class with Serenity Knoll.

Taste of Tennessee: Virtual Appalachian Food Celebration

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 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!