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THE FRONT BURNER

FLS reporter Katie Thisdell serves up news on local food finds, tales from home cooks and inspiration to help you have fun in your own kitchen.

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Can’t decide where to go out to eat? Try 13 places in one night at the 13th annual Taste of Fredericksburg.

The Bavarian Chef is among the restaurants participating in this year’s Taste of Fredericksburg.

If “local” is a priority for you when buying food or dining out, consider adding another angle to that approach–supporting local charities that help at-risk children in our community.

That’s one of the aspects that Rappahannock Big Brothers Big Sisters Executive Director Michelle Hedrich loves about the Taste of Fredericksburg, a fundraiser in its 13th year that benefits RBBBS, a group that provides adult mentors for local at-risk youth.

“The bottom line is it’s local restaurants and local businesses supporting the local impact for children,” Hedrich said.  “It really is a buy-local event.”

This year’s event will take place Oct. 4, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. at Stevenson Ridge, an inn and event venue off Courthouse Road in Spotsylvania County.

More than 13 area restaurants and food vendors will offer tastings at the event.

Attendees will get a sneak peek at the Southern-style food planned for The Chimneys, a restaurant that the owners of F.W. Sullivan’s are working to open in downtown Fredericksburg. (You can read more about those plans here.)

Other participating restaurants are:

  • The Bavarian Chef
  • Caroline Street Catering
  • Country Cookin’ Catering
  • Courtyard by Marriott
  • F.W. Sullivan’s
  • Lee’s Retreat
  • Panera Bread
  • Splitsville
  • Sweet Reasons cupcakes
  • Tarheel Pigpickers
  • The Icing Bakery
  • Try My Nuts

Tickets to the event are $50 a person, and can be purchased by calling RBBBS at 540/371-7444 or online at rbbbs.org. Each admission includes two beverage tickets. Both J.F. Fick and Premium Distributors of Virginia will be at the event, along with Lake Anna Winery of Spotsylvania.

A complimentary shuttle provided by L.W. Transportation Inc. and Parrish Body Shop will take attendees from the group’s Fredericksburg offices out to Stevenson Ridge and back, for those who don’t want to make the drive. Ask about the shuttle when you call to buy your tickets.

“It’s just a really fun, social night,” Hedrich said. “It’s a see-and-be-seen kind of place. It’s a great excuse to get out and have a date.”

Amid all the socializing, Fredericksburg Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw, Thunder 104.5 on-air host Denny Moore and Big Brother of the Year Chip Waldrop will rate the food in categories of sweet, savory and best presentation. Attendees will also cast votes for the People’s Choice awards in these categories.

The night will include an auction with a range of gifts donated by area businesses. They include restaurant gift certificates, spa packages, a dinner with the Fredericksburg Fire Department, a Potomac River cruise and $1,800 worth of items from Fink’s Jewelers.

All the fun is for a serious cause. RBBBS’ mentors serve as role models for children in our area, trying to help them avoid risky behaviors.

“It’s all about local impact,” Hedrich said. “Kids need to have a little guidance, support and encouragement.”

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