Food Festival kicks off Friday

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 19, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; The best dishes Natchez chefs can provide will be the menu at the food gala beginning at 7 p.m. Friday at the Natchez Convention Center.

Chefs are preparing their specialties &8212; and some surprises &8212; for the popular &8220;Taste of Natchez&8221; event, which kicks off the two-day 2006 Great River Road Food Festival.

Chef Doug Hosford of High Cotton Catering, winner of last year&8217;s People&8217;s Choice Award, said the &8220;Taste&8221; event is a great way for chefs to show what they can do and to show off what Natchez has to offer.

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&8220;It&8217;s a competition, but the people who eat our food are the ones who win out,&8221; he said.

&8220;It doesn&8217;t matter whether we win or lose, but just that we put out a good product, something we&8217;re proud to serve,&8221; he said.

Hundreds of tickets have been sold, said Regina Charboneau, one of the food festival organizers.

&8220;We&8217;re thrilled at the number of tickets, but there are still some available,&8221; Charboneau said.

&8220;We&8217;re recommending that people buy their tickets in advance because we can&8217;t guarantee there will be any left for sale at the door.&8221;

The Saturday progressive luncheon and Saturday evening &8220;Great Chefs in Great Houses&8221; are sold out, she said.

Tickets are available for &8220;Brews on the Bluff&8221; at Bowie&8217;s Tavern. Tickets are available for that event and for the Friday night event by calling the Natchez-Adams Chamber of Commerce, 601-445-4611 or going to the Chamber at 211 Main Street.

Saturday morning activities begin at 8 a.m. at The Main Street Marketplace with the Great River Road Martha White Biscuit Cook-Off.

&8220;I really want to urge people to come on down with a couple of dozens biscuits and enter the contest,&8221; Charboneau said. &8220;It&8217;s fun. And we need lots of participation in this.&8221;

Charboneau will conduct a biscuit-making demonstration following the contest.

All the activities at The Main Street Marketplace are free and open to everyone, she said.

Other food and cooking demonstrations will continue during the morning, and cookbook authors will be on hand to sign their cookbooks, including Courtney Taylor of Natchez, food writer and columnist for The Clarion Ledger.