From barbecue to smoked fish tacos, the food and beverages were flowing by the plateful Thursday evening at A Taste of Richmond, the food showcase put on by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
More than 500 people packed the Omni Richmond Hotel in search of their favorite nibbles and bites from nearly 40 restaurants, bakeries, wineries and more. Part of the proceeds from the event benefited FeedMore.
Among those in attendance were Sharon Bunger, Miriam Gavin and Gavin’s mother, Sila Grier, all from Mechanicsville. The women were celebrating Grier’s 86th birthday in high style, hoping to taste foods from a few of their favorite local restaurants, including East Coast Provisions and The Hard Shell, as well as Buz and Ned’s Real Barbecue.
Bunger said she and Gavin have been friends since high school and referred to Grier, who’s from Cuba, as one of the best cooks she knows. Because of that, “we wanted to treat her to this,” Bunger said.
Midlothian resident Liz Pain held a container filled with smoked barbecue brisket and apple-jicama slaw from Kreggers Tap and Table while Bonnie Flynn nibbled on smoked gouda pimento cheese toasts from Mosaic, which she called “fabulous.”
“The samples are almost too big,” she said, “if you want to try everything.”
Throughout the night, attendees were treated to cooking demonstrations from “Chopped Junior” winner Claire Hollingsworth; Buz Grossberg of Buz and Ned’s; Nicole Jessee of Shyndigz; and Mike Ledesma, executive corporate chef of Richmond Restaurant Group, which oversees The Hard Shell, East Coast Provisions, The Hill Café and more.
Matt Dougherty, manager of Kreggers in Hanover County, watched as folks picked up barbecue and slaw samples or slices of Cuban sandwiches.
“We’re trying to get our name out there, (and) everything’s going well so far,” he said, noting that Grier, the birthday girl, had already been by to sample their Cuban sandwich.
“She said it was great, don’t change a thing,” Dougherty said with a grin. “If a Cuban person tells you it’s a good sandwich, you must be doing something right.”