Old and new restaurants appear at Taste of the Seasons

Monday, Dec. 4, 2017 7:05 PM
Visitors stop by the Jack and Janelle’s Country Kitchen booth during A Taste of the Seasons on Thursday.
Darwin Reid, a regular performer at the Four Seasons winter farmers market, provides a festive soundtrack to A Taste of the Seasons on Thursday.
Dionicio Espinoza serves food at the Mi Mexico booth at A Taste of the Seasons.

The 19th annual Taste of the Seasons fundraiser at Four Seasons Greenhouse on Thursday offered guests a wide variety of tastes for a good cause.

About 20 local restaurants, breweries and chefs provided food and drinks at the gala and silent auction. Some had contributed to the fundraiser many times before, such as Dolores River Brewery and The Farm Bistro, but some were newcomers, like Loungin’ Lizard and Mi Mexico. Proceeds from the event went to support United Way of Southwest Colorado.

As always, the main focus of the night was the food. Booths manned by chefs from local restaurants gave out samples of everything from chocolate cake to sushi, while guests enjoyed glasses of wine from Montezuma County vineyards. At the Loungin’ Lizard booth, co-owner Amanda Puett dished out the restaurant’s white chicken chili, which she said is one of its most popular dishes. Although the restaurant’s other owner, Brian Puett, has contributed to A Taste of the Seasons before, this was the first year the restaurant itself had a booth there.

“I have always personally loved this event,” Amanda Puett said. “I knew what to expect, and I knew that a lot of our current customers are always here, and I knew that a lot of customers that we wish to reach and give a little taste are here. And it’s for a great cause.”

The Montezuma-Cortez High School culinary arts class made its third appearance at Taste of the Seasons, serving chicken bites, German chocolate cake and bacon-wrapped hashbrowns. For most of the students, it was their first time at the event, but it was the third time for senior Quentina Blueeyes. After she graduates, she hopes to turn her chef training into a career.

“I have a big passion for it,” she said. “Being able to serve people and make them smile and compliment it is a good feeling.”

Thursday night was somewhat bittersweet for her, she said, since it was the last year she would join her classmates at Taste of the Seasons.

Although the volunteers running the event did not have a complete tally of guests Thursday night, Kathryn Pettijohn said she believed the crowd was bigger than last year’s, when the weather was much colder. At least 200 people bought tickets in advance, and more purchased them at the door.

Proceeds from the fundraiser would go to support about 14 United Way partner organizations, including the Four Corners Child Advocacy Center, Tri-County Headstart, the Montezuma School to Farm Project and the Piñon Project Family Resource Center.