Taste of Shelby County adds VIP experience

HOOVER – The 10th Taste of Shelby County event will feature the great food patrons have come to expect plus a new VIP experience.

The event, which is hosted by and benefits the Shelby County Schools Education Foundation, will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 14, at Jefferson State Community College’s Shelby-Hoover Campus.

In addition to unlimited samples of specialty dishes from vendors across Shelby County, the event will feature a silent auction with more items for guests to bid on, SCS Education Foundation Director Kendall Williams said.

“We’ve expanded the silent auction to generate more funds,” Williams said. “It was a new addition last year, but it has definitely grown.”

Silent auction items will include Disney World Park Hopper passes, a football signed by University of Alabama coach Nick Saban, an authors basket with autographed books written by authors with connections to Shelby County, handmade jewelry, a table and doghouse built by the carpentry class at Calera High School, a date night basket with restaurant gift cards and movie passes, spa packages, photography sessions and “spirit packs” put together by various school zones.

“Those were some of our most popular packages last year,” Williams said about the spirit packs.

Food vendors confirmed so far—with more to be added—include Bellini’s, Revolve Kitchen and Brew, NOLA Provisions, Joe’s Italian, Newk’s, K&J’s Elegant Pastries, Simply Infused , Chick-Fil-A , Bernie’s on Main, Catering by Bellini’s, Coca-Cola, Taziki’s, Papa Murphy’s, Craft Burger, Cowboy Chicken, Shelby County Schools Child Nutrition Prgram, JaWanda’s Sweet Potato Pies, Dreamland, Vincent Gardens, Osaka Sushi & Japanese, and Panoptic Catering.

New to this year’s event is a VIP experience, which includes the benefits of a general admission ticket plus more.

VIP ticket holders will attend a pre-event reception, from 5-6 p.m., at Jefferson State’s Bistro proVare, where award-winning Chef Jason Bierley and culinary arts students will demonstrate a specialty dish preparation.

VIP benefits will also include a souvenir Taste of Shelby County wine or pint glass and a swag bag full of goodies from event sponsors and donors.

General admission tickets cost $25 in advance or $30 at the door.

Visit ShelbyEdFoundation.org to purchase tickets. Discover, MasterCard, Visa and American Express are accepted forms of payment.

VIP tickets cost $50, and a limited number are available.

Last year’s Taste of Shelby County generated a record $18,000 for the Foundation, Williams said.

“We hope to surpass that and would love to hit that $20,000 mark,” she said. “We average about 300 people, and we’re on pace to sell about the same number of tickets. It’s a great way to help support schools, and it brings all of our stakeholders together in one room.”

For more information, contact Williams at 682-5255 or foundation@shelbyed.org.