Around 450 people spent Monday evening enjoying culinary delights from around Shawano County. The 10th annual Taste of Shawano was held at Shawano Community High School.
The event that you can’t leave hungry from featured different food selections from all around Shawano County. Some have been mainstays for the event, like Charlie’s County Market. Charlie Harvey said they change their food menu for the event each year, but one thing returns every year.
“I think in a year’s time you could have the same thing again and no one would remember,” said Havey. “We know what we had last year, but we always have to have shrimp. If we have shrimp, it doesn’t make any difference what else we have.”
Those in attendance got to vote for “Best of Show”, and this year, the winner was a well-known restaurant, who was a first-time attendee, Luigi’s.
Chard Kary of Luigi’s said the decision was made to participate this year, for a couple of reasons.
“We started asking the question, ‘are people going to notice if we’re there’ and it was brought to our attention that people notice when you’re not here,” Kary said of the popular event. “I think that really says something. We want to make sure we’re out in front of the public, letting them know that we like being a part of this community, not just as a business, but as a place or entity that likes to get involved.”
As far as the food that won “Best of Show”, it was not the restaurant’s most popular menu selection that they presented, but rather a Ham and Pea Alfredo.
“Everybody knows us for our pizza, which is great, but we do have a lot more,” Kary said of the restaurant’s menu variety. “We want to make sure people are aware of some of the other offerings that we have.”
Like many well-known events in Shawano, the Taste of Shawano started as an idea from a group in Leadership Shawano County. Wendy Crawford of Leadership Shawano County said it was grown to a staple.
“Ten years ago, Leadership Shawano County came up with a concept and it was called the Food and Culture Fest,” explained Crawford. “What better way to celebrate diversity in your community through art, music, and food. The second year, Junior Achievement adopted it as a fundraiser and they have improved it every year to make it bigger and better.”
The money raised went towards Junior Achievement.