Wednesday night's Taste of the Nation event uptown -- raising funds for hunger-relief group Share Our Strength -- featured Dining blog correspondent (and Observer food editor) Kathleen Purvis as one of the judges. Her report:
2. Mez, lobster and shrimp cake on red pepper sauce.
1. Firebirds, shrimp martini on strawberry salad.
2. Gallery at Ballantyne Resort, cold appetizers including plum tomatoes stuffed with local fresh goat cheese and topped with pine nut/peppercorn brittle.
1. Central Piedmont Community College, for the Aztec chocolate fountain (assembled on-site that afternoon by pastry instructor Geoff Blount and his students) and a student-made chocolate/sugar sculpture.
2. Gallery at Ballantyne Resort, for the cold appetizer presentations.