Guests sampled food from around the world at the ninth annual Melting Pot — A Taste of Many Nations.
The event held at St. George’s Family Center on Thursday evening benefited Mature Services. Linda Valentine, president and CEO, said Mature Services offers programs for adults including home-care services, employment and training, nutrition services and volunteer programs.
Madeline Bozzelli, honorary chair, said the committee searched out ethnic cuisine from area restaurants for guests to sample. Richard Vernon was honorary culinary chair, and also judged the contest along with fellow judges Lisa Abraham and Mark Kent.
Bernie Hovey recommended the sliders from St. George’s Family Center served by Maria Gmerek, her son Jason and her brother Joe Catalano, manager of the center. Augie Szempruch sampled the variety of cheese from West Point Market served by Christine Lusk; while Michelle Davis and Brittney Hurst served artichoke hearts in a lemon butter sauce from D’Agnese’s Trattoria, recommended by Emily and Andy Steranka.
“Generations on Parade” was the theme, with vintage records filled with herbs as table centerpieces. Allan Fee of WQAL (104-FM) was master of ceremonies, and the Just Friends Quartet offered background music as guests bid on silent auction items. Kathleen Hovey was credited with gathering a variety of gifts and services for the auction, where Mark Ingram and Jim Kessen placed bids.
Chef Mohammed Soloman prepared Mango Chicken from the Saffron Patch; Joshua Trillet and LaVerne Smith served Majadora, hummus and Lebanese Salata from Aladdin’s Eatery; and Al Lopez offered Chicken Satay from Siamone’s.
Paula Edmunds liked the stuffed banana peppers from Nicoletti’s Park Place, also enjoyed by Hailey Gomes, Demithrius Hill and Clarence Hunt. Jim King served coffee and tiramisu from Angel Falls for dessert.
Enjoying the event were Deborah and John Diehl, Heidi and Mike Steranka, Jackie Silas Butler, Harvey Stearns, Nick Valentine, Natalie Stemple, Sue Henige and Ginny Able.
It was a tough decision for the judges, but the winners were West Point Market for presentation, Saffron Patch for best taste and Aladdin’s for most original. The peoples choice was a tie between Saffron Parch and St. George’s Family Center, but audience applause determined St. George’s as the winner.