SAAC celebrates successful Forks & Corks 2017

Bin 612 presented patrons with butternut squash raviolis, with a sage brown butter sauce and finished with toasted pine nuts. (Photo by Ryan Phillips, SDN)

The Mill Conference Center played host to the primary fundraiser for the Starkville Area Arts Council (SAAC) on Saturday night, which featured the tastes and personalities responsible for Starkville’s vibrant culinary scene.

The theme for this year’s event was “A Taste For The Arts.”

Event chair Angella Baker said the official fundraising tally has not been done yet, but the organization is anticipating at least $10,000 raised to support the arts in Starkville.

Apart from the local food options, patrons were also treated to a range of Mississippi beer and wine, along with musical entertainment by Bill Cooke.

At the close of the evening, Baker said the event was “hugely successful.”

“The chef's creations, along with the outstanding slate of judges, and the packed venue made it one to remember,” Baker said. “No major issues were reported. That's what I'm most proud of along with the fact that all of the feedback as everyone was leaving was very positive.”

Judges presented awards in several categories at the end of the evening to honor the standouts among the talented selection.

Central Station Grill received the most honors, winning for taste, originality and presentation. The eatery also finished second for Best of Forks and Corks.

The CampHouse took the top spot for Best of Forks & Corks, while Harveys finished third.

The list of judges ranged from chefs to notable culinary writers, including: Mark Coblentz, Chef Alexei Harrison, J.J. Carney, Chef Erich Ogle and Patty Roper.

The culinary event also featured tapas-style dishes from Aramark, The CampHouse, City Bagel Cafe, The Veranda, Central Station Grill, Bin 612, Restaurant Tyler, Lion Hills, Harveys, Two Brother Smoked Meats and Bulldog Burger.

Sponsors for the event included MaxxSouth, Courtyard Marriot, The Flower Company and The Mill Conference Center.