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Tennessee Flavors Reprises Popular Tasting Event

Updated: Mar 3

Fundraiser supports Nashville State Community College’s culinary program

By Chris Chamberlain

Clearly, the issue of hospitality industry staffing levels and training is a serious factor in the future of Nashville’s booming culinary scene. Perhaps no institution is doing more to help alleviate the problem than the Randy Rayburn School of Culinary Arts at Nashville State Community College. That’s a fine reason for anyone who supports good food in Nashville to participate in the school’s upcoming fundraising event, Tennessee Flavors. The grand tasting will take place at the NSCC campus at 120 White Bridge Road on Tuesday, March 10th, and will feature dozens of your favorite food and drink establishments offering up samples of their wares from tables spread around the building.

A few notes of advice: Since there will be plenty of beer, wine and spirits to sample, Tennessee Flavors is a 21-and-up event, so leave the kiddos with a sitter that evening. On the other hand, you won’t have to pay the babysitter for too long — the event is a quick one, running from 6 until 8 p.m. If you want to maximize your experience, plan your work and work your plan to ensure that you can get around to the three dozen tasting stations.

Among those establishments supporting the culinary program that evening are (alphabetically): Bacon & Caviar, Bang Candy Co., Beach Haven Vineyards, Blue Moon Waterfront Grille, Cabana, Chaatable, Corsair, Deacon’s New South, Ellington’s, etc., Frothy Monkey, H. Clark Distillery, Midtown Café, Nashville Craft, Natchez Hills Winery, Nomzilla, Noshville, Oak Steakhouse, Tenn South Distillery, Von Elrod’s, Vui’s Kitchen and others. If you can’t find something to love in that list, I’m afraid you’re broken.

“Tennessee Flavors is an annual tasting event that brings together Middle Tennessee’s top food and beverage artisans for a delicious evening in support of the Nashville State Community College Foundation,” said foundation executive director Lauren Bell. “The event offers a distinct experience to support scholarships and other programs aimed at removing barriers to student success, so we can continue to provide skilled graduates to fill the workforce needs in Middle Tennessee — especially the booming hospitality and culinary industries.”

An example of the sort of innovative initiatives that NSCC has been piloting to help fill the staffing gap in Nashville culinary talent, they have recently graduated their first cohort of trainees through a partnership with Oasis Center. The quintet of students went through an intensive five-week training program to prepare them for jobs in the hospitality field, and each of them should be ready to contribute in the kitchen of local restaurants right away.

Buy your tickets to Tennessee Flavors soon, because the event may well sell out. You can get yours at the event’s website.

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