Fun and Fabulous Tasting Event

Foodie Fun—In mid-October Russ and I attended a tasting event hosted by Mercer County Community College’s Culinary Arts program that featured more than a dozen of the region’s finest restaurants. In addition, current MCCC culinary students and alumni staffed tables with some of their own edibles. And tasty they were! In total, at least 200 attended/worked the sold out affair which included 136 paying guests.

agricola
The staff from Agricola pose behind their organic pastry display.

PalaceOfAsia
Palace of Asia dishes out their offerings. 

My first stop was at Stone Terrace where I chose a sampling of their divine Lobster Mac N Cheese, and a fall salad with mixed greens, sliced apples, walnuts, cranberries drizzled with a light dressing. Next I made a beeline for Toscano’s whose display of a variety of Italian meats, cheeses, breads and a mouth-watering Gnocchi Osso Buco was to die for! I made sure to tell everyone I encountered to try it.

I can’t even begin to describe all of the offerings, but here’s a few more: Pumpkin Soup with Cranberry Crouton and Microgreens, Mini Jalapeño Quesadillas, Tuna Tartar, Italian Meatballs with Mozzarella Cheese, Prosciutto Di Parma, Gnocchi with Brussels Sprout Leaves, Seared Scallop Spoons, Poached Salmon, all kinds of meats, cheeses, olives and spreads.

salmon platter5   platter2 platter1   gnocchi.brusselsprouts   ChickenSalad bites.plate

Desserts were aplenty with Organic Pumpkin Spice Donuts with Maple Icing from Agricola–a huge hit at our table! Other offerings included an assortment of mini-cupcakes, fruit pastries, crumb cake, parfaits, scones and meringues. While a coffee barista made sure you enjoyed a fresh brewed cup of coffee to go with dessert.

pastries dessert.plate1

Participating restaurants included Jersey Girl Café, Blue Bottle Café, Palace of Asia, Agricola (fabulous restaurant in Princeton that I blogged on this past summer), Jammin’ Crepes, Nassau Inn, Pure, Small World Coffee, Sadie Cakes, Stone Terrace by John Henry’s, and Terra Momo Bread Company, among others.

Scholarship1
Student Natalie Russano receives the first scholarship award.

bacon.egg.shoes
Chef/Professor Frank Benowitz models his “bacon and egg” shoes.

The evening also featured a silent auction, with many restaurant certificates and food-related items available. All proceeds from the event benefited the Chef Anne Lumberger and Chef Sari Widmayer Pastry Arts Memorial Scholarship Fund. And the first scholarship was awarded to an unsuspecting student, Natalie Russano, at the end of the event. Yours truly, bid on, and actually won two silent auction items: gift certificates to Stone Terrace and Karla’s of New Hope!

What a fabulous way to experience a large variety of delectable food options and donate to a worthy cause at the same time! So get it on your calendar for next year (more to come next Fall.)

Thanks to Wendy Humphrey for the addition of the “people” photos!

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