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Features Local restaurant wins ‘triple crown’

Cajun Connection staff sporting trophies (L-R) Ernie Pignona, owner, Lisa Morris, general manager, Mike Rowland, staff, and Bea Pignona, owner.The Cajun Connection Cafe took top honors at Taste of Southern Highlands held in Hiawassee, Ga., last week at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds.

Approximately 200 guests braved the afternoon weather to enjoy this annual event which serves as a fund raiser for the Towns County Schools Family Connections program. Area restaurants, wineries and other food vendors are invited to participate and bring samples of their fare for a “taste” and to compete for various awards, recognition, and trophies.

The Cajun Connection won in the Southern category, taking awards for Best Entrée, Best Overall Presentation, and Best Use of Theme. The judges for this event are selected for their culinary expertise and must taste a bit of everything from every vendor. The Cajun Connection served three dishes they are known for; New Orleans barbecue shrimp, seafood gumbo, and bread pudding with whiskey sauce. With their Mardi Gras purple shirts, beads, and hats, this staff was ready for action and they got it!

The sponsor announced these awards by saying they “knocked it out of the park!” The owners, Bea and Ernie Pignona, were excited to be a part of this event and especially pleased to be a the big winner. Cajun Connection is located at 594 Highlands Road in Franklin and can be followed on facebook at


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