Editor’s note: For those perplexed by last year’s The Taste of Rappahannock letter to the editor being published recently, we are now forwarded the correct 2018 version. The Taste regrets the error.
The most frequent comment we heard from the guests was: best food ever. So first: to the “Chefs of Rappahannock County” and foremost in our hearts, Chef Rachel of Griffin Tavern who coordinated all of the food served and prepared two dishes (and thank you and a shout out to Debbie Donehey who “loans” Chef Rachel to us for weeks of work).
Beginning with the appetizers, served by members of the Honor Society, Chef Kurt Streu and the student chefs in training of the RCHS Culinary class really hit it out of the park. Chef Patrick of the Inn at Little Washington not only contributed a main dish but also donated a dinner for four for the raffle. Chef Terri Lehman of the Corner Store prepared two dishes, Chef Nick of Thornton River Grille made the grilled-on-the-spot chicken, and Chef Brian contributed for Foster-Harris House, also donating a dinner for two for the silent auction.
Last year, Before and After asked why we did not ask each restaurant to prepare one of their specialties (instead of being assigned a dish, we followed that advice and Chef Jess of Before & After showed the wisdom of that decision). The Skyward Café prepared Waterpenny Farm tomatoes, and Chef Abdon of Tula’s dish was a hit. You can’t forget dessert and the coconut cake from the Country Café, brownies from Sylvie Rowland’s Laughing Duck Gardens and the Culinary Class apple crisp (thank you Williams Orchard). Coffee was supplied by Maggie Rogers of Rappahannock Roasters.
The “Artists of Rappahannock County” were on display at the Silent Auction and thanks to them all and to Rosabel Goodman Everard who solicited wonderful works of art from her fellow artists: Ruth Anna Stolk, Anita “Zykmoka” Ahrhein, Michael Dennis, Maggie Rogers, Scott Schlosser, Rosabel Everard Goodman, Gary Anthes, Susan Raines, Hans Gerhard, Martin Woodard, Barney O’Meara, Nol Putnam, Nedra Smith, Benita Rauda Gowen, Robert Bouquet, Carolyn Roth, J. Farro, Ray Boc, Matthew Black, Rich Hogan, the students of Rappahannock High School Career and Technical Education class, Patricia Underwood. Susan Dienelt, Alejandra Gonzalez, Jennifer Heverly and Richard Lyke’s photograph donated by Barbara Adolph.
The artwork for the invitation was donated by Susie MacNelly from her late husband’s Pulitzer Prize winning works. Ten giclees of the work were also available for purchase. The MacNelly artwork has been an enduring part of the 20 years of the Taste and sets the tone for the entire event and the generosity of our artists.
The business community of this county once again donated items, volunteered the night of the event and contributed to the success of the fundraiser, including: Rachel Bynum and Waterpenny Farm, The Blue Door, Kat Habib, Jen Perrot, Patti Want/RAWL, The Inn at Little Washington, Candace Clough, Red Truck Bakery, Xpress Copy & Graphics, Williams Tree and Landscaping Service, Little Washington Spa, Pen Druid, Happy Camper, Ducard Vineyards, Triple Oak Bakery, Wild Roots Apothecary, Laughing Duck Gardens, De’Danann Glassworks, Thornton River Grille, Foster Harris House, Tula’s, Wendy Aichele, Schoolhouse Nine, Hair Gallery with Cara Cutro and April Taylor, Ruthie Windsor-Mann, Little Washington Winery, Stonewall Abbey Wellness, Mountainside Physical Therapy, Clover Hill Farm, Goulet Pen Company, Paula and Kevin Brosch and Ballards.
It absolutely would not happen without the teachers led by both principals and the superintendent. We are honored to join with them in “fostering excellence in the RCPS.” And we especially thank them on rainy nights when parking behind a barn is difficult! A shout out to Jason Guira and the band who direct the parking, the Honor Society who helped serve, and, again, Kurt Streu and the Culinary Class. It takes a week to transform the barn and a special thank you to Rick Lessard and Barney O’Meara (directed by the indomitable Dot Lessard). In the meantime Kathy Grove and Amanda Stephens spend weeks making the auctions happen and finding a seat for everyone.
Then there is the committee who begin their work months earlier: Dot and Rick Lessard, Judy DeSarno, Kathy Grove , Rachel Rowland, Tanya Paull, Amanda Stephens, Rosabel Goodman-Everard, Steve Carroll, Kathi Dutilh and Executive Director Kevin Brandriff and Executive Assistant Brooke Lange (who made this happen in so many ways).
Finally, but hardly least, our donors, and, especially the Heads of the Class: Dee and Chuck Akre and Jennifer Manly and the Honor Roll: Paul Smith and Michael Dennis, Kathleen and Larry Grove, Dot and Rick Lessard, Judith DeSarno, Bill Dant and Daniel Wilson, Steph Ridder and John Beardsley, Barbara and Matthew Black, Charles MacDonald, Delma and Jack Bagley, Judith Hope, Rosabell Goodman-Everard, Ronald Goodman and John Jacquemin. All of the work would go for naught without you. Thank you for your generous support and all the other wonderful donors and supporters.
Thank you all. On to next year.