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Taste of Black Chattanooga Celebrates Local Cuisine and Culture

Southern food festival celebration.

Taste of Black Chattanooga Celebrates Local Cuisine and Culture

The city of Chattanooga celebrated its local cuisine and culture through the third annual Taste of Black Chattanooga event on February 22, 2024. Organized in the esteemed University Center Tennessee Room at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC), the event featured signature dishes from five local vendors.

Connecting People Through Food

Crystal Edenfield, director of Student Success Programs at UTC, initiated the Taste of Black Chattanooga three years ago. Sharing her views, Edenfield said, “I think it’s important to feature businesses of color and businesses of color that are locally owned. Food is something that always connects people and it’s something every culture has. We wanted to connect people with food, educate people with food and help them understand differences through food.”

Promoting Inclusivity on Campus

Laurenz Howard, UTC’s Coordinator of Student Success Programs, emphasized the significance of events like the Taste of Black Chattanooga for Black students, who must feel represented while on campus. Howard suggested that students often don’t have the opportunity to visit various local eateries. “Here, they can get the same food, the same experience, but a little more intimate,” stated Howard. This event allowed students to interact with some of the restaurant owners directly, providing a valuable connection to the wider community.

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