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4/20/2012 5:08:00 AM
Chamber's fifth annual 'Taste of the North' approaches
Restaurants, businesses prepare cuisine samples for guests, judges
Participants of a past Taste of the North event prepare for the guests and judges. Contributed photograph
Participants of a past Taste of the North event prepare for the guests and judges.

Contributed photograph

Sarah Hirsch
Features editor

For the fifth year running, the Minocqua Chamber Ambassadors presents the Taste of the North, sponsored by Trig's, Thursday, April 26, 6-9 p.m., at The Waters of Minocqua.

The Taste of the North showcases area restaurants and businesses, which will provide samples of a signature dish for guests and judges. The five categories for which contestants can qualify are fine dining, family dining, appetizers, ethnic and desserts. The appetizers and ethnic categories are new this year.

Two panels consisting of three celebrity judges will determine the winners of each category. In addition, there is the People's Choice for each category, and will be judged by the guests of the event.

Held on two levels at The Waters, the event can host a limit of 300 individuals, and the tickets sell fast.

"We used to put in our ad literature and posters that tickets would be available at the door. We did drop that this year because we have not had tickets available for the last couple of years at the door. They've sold out in advance," Barb Wagoner, chamber ambassador and customer relations representative for the Minocqua Chamber of Commerce, said.

Five years ago, Sandy Kilkenny had the idea to host an event where people could sample dishes from area restaurants, showcasing what they had to offer. Since then, it has grown in popularity every year, and requests for tickets come from as far as Milwaukee and Illinois.

A portion of the proceeds from Taste of the North will benefit scholarship funds and local organizations.

"We just want to promote the area and promote the businesses in the area, and help the younger people get a start," Wagoner said. "It's important for us to give back to the community, because that's what brings people here."

Trig's is sponsoring this year's Taste of the North, both the upstairs and downstairs levels at The Waters.

"Trig's likes to get their arms in the community," Tom Chandler, store director of Trig's, said. "We already sponsor Beef-A-Rama, and then this came open."

As northern Wisconsin chefs prepare for the fifth annual Taste of the North, which restaurant or business will walk away with the title as best in fine dining, family dining, appetizers, ethnic and desserts?

Sarah Hirsch may be reached at shirsch@lakelandtimes.com

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