A Taste of the Trust goes downtown
Two new developments transformed this year’s Taste of the Trust, as organizers and vendors wined and dined Brookhaven’s finest well into the night.
The first development concerned the location of Thursday night’s Taste. Previously held in the Brookhaven Recreation Department on Highway 51, the event move to downtown this year in a more centralized location. The newly opened “The Crossing” event venue, at 107 Railroad Ave., had just enough room to accommodate the overflowing crowd.
“The Crossing turned out to be an excellent place to hold the Taste,” said Anna Smith, president of the Brookhaven Trust, which puts on the event each year as a fundraiser for the Trust’s projects. “It also represents the Trust’s desire to revitalize our downtown area. This was certainly one of the reasons we held it there.”
According to the event organizers, more than 300 people attended this year’s Taste, close to double the amount from last year.
More than 20 vendors, some from as far away as Jackson, provided attendees small portions of an ever-revolving menu that included pork tenderloin stuffed with blue cheese, lobster risotto, spinach and artichoke brushetta, pasta salad, homemade
ice cream and crafted beer.
Vendor Clif Brumfield of Rolling River Roasters, a specialty catering business out of Natchez, was looking to win the coveted People’s Choice Award for the second consecutive year.
“We won it last year and want to win it again. Given the high standards and quality of the other vendors involved here, it’s a prestigious award to win,” Brumfield explained.
By night’s end, Joane’s Simply Southern Catering, located in Jayess, and Top It Off Events Catering, located in Jackson, ended up sharing the title, acquiring the exact number of attendee votes.
While the vendors lined the inside of the building, Brookhaven’s own Tyler Bridge and Friends performed some favorite jazz renditions from a second floor balcony at the Taste, letting the musical notes drop and settle in on the crowd from above.
Another new development to this year’s taste was the addition of wine to the menu. The recently opened Newman’s Package store on Highway 51 North donated five crates of the vino to the gala. Organizers and volunteers of the Brookhaven Trust kept a steady stream of it flowing on the back patio concourse of the Crossing, also where the silent auction was being held.
“This is the first year we have been able to do this. We’ve had beer in the past, but wine seems to be a better pairing at an event like this,” said Smith.
While a final tally on the proceeds has yet to be calculated, Smith says the Trust expects to see over $15,000. Money that is raised from the Taste will be donated to Trust organizations such as the art guild, the little theater and other local projects.
While it will be difficult to imagine, some of the vendors are already envisioning making next year’s Taste even better.
“We are already thinking about what to prepare for next year,” said Michael Mascagni of Pasta Junction. “This was an exciting event. We hope to raise awareness about our restaurant, but also enjoy meeting like-minded colleagues and friends.”
Attendees of last night’s gala, seemed to concur.
Finishing off a sampling of pasta salad, Jimmy Perkins declared, “I’m already looking forward to next year.”