Food & Drink

'Taste of the Season' kicks off the holidays with top chefs, good food

FILE: Patrons enjoy the 2013 Taste of the Season. Here, Brad Blake, executive chef at the Skull Creek Boathouse, serves up some fare.
FILE: Patrons enjoy the 2013 Taste of the Season. Here, Brad Blake, executive chef at the Skull Creek Boathouse, serves up some fare. Rob Kaufman Photography

Chef Chaun Bescos has been working on a special sea bass dish he's planning to roll out at this year's "Taste of the Season."

Served with an oxtail and wild mushroom ragu, the dish is something he's considering adding to the menu at Hilton Head Island's Red Fish where he is executive chef.

"This is my favorite time of the year to cook with flavors," said Bescos, adding that it's also the perfect time for chefs to experiment with new dishes since they aren't as busy as they would be during the tourism season.

"It's just a great time of the year to see the public and get face to face. We don't always get a lot of face time."

Hosted by the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, the annual "Taste of the Season" event -- now in its 26th year -- has attracted nearly 1,000 attendees in years past.

This year's event will feature more than 25 chefs serving up a variety of dishes from award-winning local and regional restaurants.

"It's really become a popular way to kick off the holidays," said chamber communications manager Anne Feldman.

In fact, many of the event's return participants are from outside the area and plan their holidays around the event.

"We have long-standing restaurants and chefs as well as people who attend every year," she said.

In addition to delectable foods and new dishes to sample, the event will feature live entertainment and a silent auction.

Items up for grabs include gift baskets, private dinners and vacation packages to area resorts and in Colorado and California.

For chefs like Bescos who enjoy experimenting with ingredients and interacting with people, it's all part of the fun.

"People ask really good questions," he said. "The people (who attend) are really into the food."

If you go

"Taste of the Season" is from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, at the Country Club of Hilton Head, 70 Skull Creek Drive.

Tickets are $65 and are limited.

For more information call 843-341-8379 or visit www.hiltonheadblufftonchamber.org.

Follow reporter Mindy Lucas at twitter.com/MindyatIPBG.

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