Monday, April 26, 2010

Taste of The Nation- Princeton

Join us for an unforgettable evening. Remember 100% of the ticket sales benefit:
  • Mercer Street Friends
  • Isles
  • HomeFront
  • Food Bank of South Jersey
Who would pass up a great night of Food ~ Wine ~ Fun! one that supports great local charities (one of whom I work for)? Most food enthusiasts do not mind the $75 (early bird)/$85 price tag, because it does go to charity. New York City's Taste of The Nation is a far bigger and more expensive event, but think of all that food and wine you might have to pass on. Sometimes a small event like TOTN hosted by The Westin, Princeton at Forrestal Village is just the right amount of good food, wine, and friends.

100% of the ticket sales of this fine dining and tasting event helps ensure no child in Mercer County will go hungry- Chef Stephen Pyles, of Dallas, Texas were I am from helped instrument this organization's beginnings, TOTN & Share Our Strength, and we have enjoyed attending most all of them for the past 20 years (most of them in Dallas).

My open mic/musician friend Rich, Chef of The Blue Rooster put on a big smile as he helped plate up and pass out his tasty Mushroom Julian with local artisan cheese. We have not gotten over to the restaurant yet, but the menu looks great. Another colleague Chef Even Bromglen of  Rocky Hill Inn Eatery & Tavern had three lovely bites for the crowd- One being a few of our friends favorites- a crab and corn tuile. Tre Piani, Jim Weaver, my landlord and rental source, Alchemist & Barrister, On The Bone (great steak for a hotel restaurant), The Westin (also has been good) and so many more I cannot name, at least forty in total.

McCaffrey's display of Masa boats and Edible Spoons (1st photo) was a fun distraction from a few of last years bites. They are a fun things to make for parties, and you can fill them with ingredients like black bean salsa, mango mixers like you see in the photo, and also a favorite of my clients- Cheese Polenta with tomato confit. A great tropical beach theme menu. Elements, Chef Scott Anderson made a grand entrance with an egg shell/crate presentation- Carbonara "in shell", local asparagus, and "our bacon" Parmesan (A custard like mixture with bits of crispiness).

There was much much more, and even with the mingle plates we have on hand and bring, juggling the camera, wine and food in tow, can be a task. Seems like much of the fun was taking place in a corner, on the left as you entered- Wine Toss. Yes, you could take your best 'carnival' toss and land a white ring onto any bottle and walk away with a pretty decent wine.They say its all in the wrist. The line was not as long before the crowd began to arrive, but it was hard to get a good 'shot' at the actual toss, so you will see a little animation added to the photo.

All in all, it is a worthy experience, and a few food blogs were roaming around as well, so I am sure you will hear more about this event from their view points.

WINE: There was a Bonterra Merlot and CA Ferrari-Carono, CA Chardonnay at one table in addition to other things I didn't try. At another table a great Geyser Peak Cabernet, and a Spanish wine we would buy, but cannot remember the details. New Jersey wines were served as well, but I am partial to Amalthea Winery in south Jersey, but Louis was not there.