23 www.BlountPartnership.com Dining INBLOUNT TASTE THE DIFFERENCE ‘LOCAL’ MAKES By Sherri Gardner Howell Cities, counties and regions are often known for their food favor- ites: the gumbo of Louisiana, lobster rolls of New England and porter- house steaks in Chicago. In Blount County, Southern staples make the list of favorites for many locals. Lo- cal eateries that make magic serving down-home recipes are abundant. There are surprises, however, when you look at local flavors in Blount. Thanks in no small part to the culinary passion of late Black- berry Farm proprietor Sam Beall, a parade of chefs, brewmasters and vintners have grown up learning in and loving this East Tennessee re- gion. It shouldn’t be a surprise then to find both ends of the spectrum when it comes to eating and drink- ing in Blount County. READYTOEAT