Taste of the Upstate

Taste of the Upstate is our largest fundraiser of the year, and this year's theme is "Food Rescue Challenge!" Back by popular demand, the event will be held Sunday, April 16th, from 11:30am-2pm at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Each dish (small bite or taste) will feature a commonly rescued food as an ingredient, with local restaurants competing for top honors! Taste of the Upstate's "Food Rescue Challenge" will also feature a silent auction, meet and greet with local artists, live music and more! Come join the fun while supporting a worthy cause!


Proceeds from this event directly support our rescue fleet, year-round. In 2022 our fleet rescued more food than ever before: 2.7MM pounds of food. Without this event, our fleet wouldn't be as nimble, deployable, or reliable as it is today. Your support makes a tremendous difference!

Follow along with our social media pages for information about ticket giveaways, silent auction bidding, participating restaurants and more!

Our silent auction is open virtually via Auctria, which can be accessed on a desktop or on your mobile device. Register now so you are ready to start bidding.

Interested in supporting the event in other ways? Click here to view our 2023 Taste of the Upstate Media Kit. There you'll find more information about Chef Cagalanan (cah- GAL- uh- nan), find resources to help you promote and sell tickets, and links to all the news and media resources. Share our graphics on Facebook and Instagram too.

Participating Restaurants

Twisted Umami restaurant logo

Get Involved

Are you a restaurant that has the "chops" to compete?

Are you a local business hungry to participate in Greenville's food rescue space?

Download a welcome packet below and consider joining us as a participating restaurant or sponsor. SPACE IS LIMITED BUT STILL AVAILABLE! Read more below or contact us today.

2023 Sponsors - Thank you!

Last Year's Restaurant Awards

Best Presentation

Camp Modern American Eatery

Most Original

Northhampton Wine + Dine

Best Sweet


John DeJong Excellence Award

Northhampton Wine + Dine

People's Choice

Salome's Philippine Cuisine


2023 Restaurant Awards Judges

Nikko Cagalanan

Nikko Cagalanan wasn’t much of a chef while growing up in the Philippines. His grandmother, Mansueta, was the only cook in the kitchen. But after moving to the United States to continue his nursing career, Nikko was disappointed to see the lack of authentic Filipino cuisine and was missing the flavors of home. So, he began watching YouTube videos and reading cookbooks devoted to Filipino cuisine. Seven years and numerous kitchen jobs later, Cagalanan settled in South Carolina and entered Charleston’s culinary scene. It was this same year that he launched a pop-up series named Mansueta’s Filipino Food where he serves new takes on his grandma’s old recipes. Very quickly Mansueta’s grew a massive following in the Charleston scene and Nikko began traveling to cities all over the country to share the love that was his grandmother’s cooking. This past year, Nikko’s pop ups took him all the way to Chopped’s Bizzare Foods Competition, and now, he can be known as Chef Nikko Cagalanan, Chopped Champion. What is coming next for the Chopped Champion? A new restaurant at 73 Spring Street in Charleston, and maybe participation in a few more food competition shows!

Tony Keely

Raised in Simpsonville, SC, Tony Keely began his culinary career at the age of 17 as a dishwasher and dancing server at the old Country Earl’s Chompin’ and Stompin’.  After serving his country as a US Marine, he found himself back in the restaurant business. It was at Keowee Key Country Club, however, when a line cook didn’t show up, and Tony filled in for the night, that he discovered his passion.  Finding a love for and fulfilment from being in the kitchen, he spent July 1999 at the Culinary Institute of America taking classes. Chef Keely’s experience includes Cliffs Country Club, Fluor, Culinary Capers and 33 Liberty with Chef John Malik, Restaurant O with Table 301, as well as a year at New Orleans’ famed Commander’s Palace under Chef Tory McPhail. He spent a total of ten years at Greenville’s Northampton Wines + Dine, serving as Executive Chef and General Manager. Today Tony runs his own Private Chef Business. He is inspired by his travels, relationships with local farmers, and evenings spent around the table with family and friends.

Help Us Eliminate Hunger and Food Waste in the Upstate!

We hope to see you soon!

However, if you are unable to attend Taste of the Upstate 2023, please consider making a donation to support food rescue in our community. Follow along with our social media pages for information about additional Loaves & Fishes' fundraising events and campaigns!