Story & Photos By Hannah Neville – Seaside, Florida
On Friday February 26th, 2016, Seaside hosted their second annual Taste of the Race. The Friday prior to Seaside’s 14th annual 5K & half marathon race, top chefs from all over the region were invited to come and share a taste of their signature dishes.
The event kicked off at 5:30 PM, with Chef Emeril Lagasse who hosted a press conference for individuals to ask questions and take pictures. Emeril mentioned how the Florida Panhandle is perfect, as there is an abundance of fresh Gulf seafood from fishermen, and vegetables readily available from local farmers. When asked about his favorite part of working with Seaside in collaboration for the event, he said, “I’m so impressed with how many students have come together with their teachers and community volunteers to create such a wonderful evening.” At 6:00 PM, the VIP party with Emeril was hosted in the Seaside town hall for those with VIP passes. Champagne and hors d’oeuvres were served while individuals mingled with Emeril and danced to music.
At 7:00 PM, the ticketed general public was welcomed inside to sample the delectable bites from a handful of the South’s best restaurants. The tent where all of the festivities took place was nestled between Seaside Neighborhood School and Seaside Academic Villages. The ambiance was one full of energy, and the live music was by the band, Masterpiece. The scent of the delicious culinary creations wafted through the air as attendees made their way around to each table, making sure not to miss what each chef had to offer.
One of my personal favorite dishes of the night was the Louisiana crawfish maque choux with creamy cracked pepper grits from Stinky’s Fish Camp. The grits paired perfectly together with the crawfish, and had just enough kick with the spices used. Bud and Alley’s Pizza Bar crafted a simple, yet tasty avocado toast on sourdough bread that was garnished with radishes and fresh herbs for a refreshing bite. Sweet Henrietta’s provided a multitude of desserts (cupcakes, bars and cookies), that were the perfect finish to a fun and food filled evening.
For more information on Seaside School Half Marathon & 5K Run, and Taste Of The Race, visit runseasidefl.com.