Taste of success

Published 9:50 pm Wednesday, August 25, 2004

By By Arthur McLean
The figures aren't final yet, but the organizers of Atmore's innaugural Taste of the South event say it was a success.
"We're still trying to determine how much we made, but we're very excited with what we're seeing so far," said Sharon Smith, one of the event's organizers.
Organized and hosted by the Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Atmore class, Taste of the South featured local restaurants, cooks and chefs in a food fest held at Heritage Park Saturday night.
Tents were set up in the park, with the food vendors lining out the semi-circlular walkway, their tents decorated and pots of steaming food ready. Tikki torches lined the walkways and local musicians and singers provided entertainment from the porch of the log cabin.
Several hundred spectators showed up to try out the offerings that ranged from gumbo, to barbecue.
Some of the proceeds from the event will go to fund the activities of the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce.
The event's success means Atmore will likely see Taste of the South again next year. "We're probably going to double the number of vendors next time," Smith said. "Everyone was very happy with the event."
Top sellers for the event were Pepsi Cola, Atmore's Community Cup, and Chris McElhaney.
The winners of best taste were Chris McElhaney, Walt Butler, and Atmore's Community Cup.
"We couldn't have gotten a better response," said McElhaney. McElhaney has purchased the former Gerlach's restaurant on Main Street in downtown Atmore and expects to have it open in about a month.
Taste of the South was his coming out party. "Things went very well," he said. "We had our menu displayed, we had people telling us what they planned to order first."
McElhaney and his wife Beth, are both from Bratt, and most recently worked at one of Emeril Lagasse's restaurants in New Orleans, Emeril's Delmonico.
"People were kind of treating us like we were celebrities," he said.

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