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Bands and chefs battle for first
Josh Wanamaker was selected by judges to perform at Bluegrass Underground next year.

Saturday’s Taste of the Underground at Park Theater offered something for every palate.
The grand prize winner in Battle of the Bands was Josh Wanamaker, who received the winning nod from the panel of judges. Wanamaker will play Bluegrass Underground in January 2017.
Taking People’s Choice in Battle of the Bands was Mize and the Drive. Band members received a cash prize and event T-shirts.
Winner of Battle of the Chefs, as selected by a panel of judges, was Yard Birds with its Hillbilly BLT with pork belly, J Henry spiced turnip greens, and roasted tomatoes. The chef, Chris Batty, earned a cash prize.
Taking People’s Choice in Battle of the Chefs was TNT BBQ. The chef, Brent Nunley, prepared brisket sliders and pulled pork sliders. He was presented a cash prize.
“The event went extremely well,” said Mandy Eller, Warren County Chamber president. “We heard many enthusiastic compliments on the event from attendees. They were impressed with the level of local talent in the battle of the bands. They thought the food from battle of the chefs was great, and they thought the headliner, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, was an incredibly talented group of musicians.”
Other compliments included how well the event was organized and executed, the beauty of Park Theater, and the event concept.
Attendees purchasing tickets online, said Eller, were from 13 different states and as far away as Wyoming, and included purchasers from Brooklyn, N.Y., and Boston, Mass.
Taste of the Underground was in collaboration with Bluegrass Underground and its three-day taping for PBS at Cumberland Caverns with Emmy Award-winning producers Todd Mayor and Todd Jarrell.
While this year’s Taste of the Underground was the first of its kind, it won’t be the last. According to Eller, plans are to make the event bigger next year – from one night to three nights.
 “I saw Todd Mayo at Bluegrass Underground on Sunday,” said Eller. “He said he’d heard how well the event went and that we’ll do it again next year. We’re considering renting the Park Theater for the entire weekend to have the battle of the bands on Friday night, a possible Bluegrass Underground talent to play on Saturday night and feature food again, and possibly gospel on Sunday morning. This is an excellent first year, and we’ve only begun tapping into the potential this event can have for our community.”