Greg Saunders, the country club’s director of food and beverage, has been cooking for decades now, and he always enjoys whipping up new recipes for events such as these. He said the annual event offers his team a chance to try something new every year. This year, his chicken and waffles were a big hit with the crowd.
“We do something new every year — we just kind of have fun with it,” he said. “We get a lot of ‘foodies,’ so we get a chance to put together new flavors that you might not get to try every day.”
One of this year’s new participants included Cakebuds Bakery. Owner Timmy Norman said the event offered his establishment a unique chance to showcase his pastries to new potential customers. Within minutes, dozens lined up to get a taste of what Cakebuds had to offer.
“We just want to catch everybody we can and let them know we’re downtown,” Norman said. “Most so far have been new people.”
Johnson City Chamber of Commerce Director of Operations Barbara Mentgen said she always enjoys getting the chance to try out new things at the event she organizes each year.
“The chicken and waffles from the Country Club was excellent,” she said. “And Wellington’s deconstructed lamb tamale was really something different.”
But not everybody was looking for something different. Sometimes, it’s all about the classics. Shortly after the event began, the different flavors of wings from East Coast Wings and Grill were attracting many attendees.
“In 30 minutes, we’ve probably had 50 new customers,” Tianna Story, director of catering, said.
This year’s participants included Blackthorn Club at The Ridges, Bonefish Grill, Bronco Wine Company, Burger Bar at DoubleTree, Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop, Cakebuds Bakery, Cherokee Distributing, East Coat Wings and Grill, ETSU Dining Services by Sodexo, Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, Holston Distributing/JRH Brewing Company, Johnson City Brewing Company, Universal Wine and Spirits, Wellington’s at The Carnegie and Yee-Haw Brewing Company among others.