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May 15, 2007 > Taster's Showcase a big success

Taster's Showcase a big success

Submitted By Camille Llanes

Kidango, a local children's charity, announced that their annual food and wine tasting benefit event -Taster's Showcase on Sunday, April 29 - raised a grand total of $73,386. The proceeds from this event will benefit Kidango's nutrition services that provide over 1.25 million meals to 3,300 children annually in their child development centers in Alameda, Santa Clara, and San Francisco counties.

Over 330 community members attended the event at the Newark/Fremont Hilton Hotel to enjoy fine food and beverages and support the work of Kidango. Fourteen restaurants and food vendors, two beverage companies and eight wineries came together to serve up Kidango's tastiest food and wine extravaganza to date.

The event featured food from local favorites such as Burrito Loco Taqueria, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Essanay Cafˇ, Fellini O, Gateway Fundraising, Massimo's, Papillon, Pizzeria SFO Bar & Grill, Spin A Yarn Restaurant, Super Suppers, Sushi Tango, The Pampered Chef, Trader Joe's and Tyme for Tea.

A panel of food professionals judged the participants food and beverage offerings. The judges included: Mary Chamberlin, Food and Catering Consultant, Chair of American Institute for Food and Wine for Monterey County, and a member of the James Beard Foundation; Gay Winterringer, Instructor at Mission College and Food Products Developer; Nolan Bourgeois, Chef, caterer, food and menu consultant and Certified SERVSAFE Instructor; Michelle Noseworthy, R & D developer for Monterey Gourmet Foods; Deborah Carpenter, Caterer and former food instructor at Ohlone College and Steve Waterhouse, The Argus/ ANG Newspapers Editor

Prizes for the "best" of this year's showcase were as follows:

Best Appetizer- Essanay Cafˇ (Coconut Shrimp & Stuffed Endive)
Best Salad - Spin-a-Yarn (Tomato Bruchetta)
Best Special Food - Pizzeria SFO Bar & Grill (Chicken & Portobello Pizza)
Chipotle Mexican Grill (Carnitas Canapˇ)
Best Homemade Dish- Massimo's (Rock Shrimp Risotto)
Best Pasta - Fellini O (Penne Alfredo)
Best Meat Entrˇe - Papillon (Fillet Mignon & Baguette with Gorgonzola, garlic & herb butter sauce)
Best Seafood Entrˇe - Sushi Tango (Citrus Salmon Sushi Roll)
Best Poultry Entrˇe - Burrito Loco (Pollo Nachos with black & refried beans & Pico de Gallo)
Best Soup- Super Suppers (Minestrone)
Best Dessert - Gateway Fundraising (Rocky Road Brownies & chocolate Chip Cookies)
Best Presentation and Table Decoration - Papillon

Wineries and beverage companies competed for awards voted on by the attendees. Those pouring wine and special beverages on Sunday were Chouinard Vineyards, Crystal Basin Cellars, Elliston Vineyards, Jack's Brewing Co., Little Valley Winery, Red Skye Winery, Seven-Up Bottling Company, Thomas Coyne Winery, Ventana Vineyards, and Westover Vineyards Winery.

This year the results of the People's Choice Wine Awards were:

White Wine
Gold Ribbon- Ventana Vineyards
Silver Ribbon- Red Skye Winery
Bronze Ribbon- Westover Vineyards Winery

Red Wine
Gold Ribbon- Crystal Basin Cellars
Silver Ribbon- Ventana Vineyards
Bronze Ribbon- Little Valley Winery

Special Beverages (champagnes, ports, ales, sodas and teas)
Best Special Beverage- Little Valley Winery
2nd Place - Westover Vineyards Winery
3rd Place - Elliston Vineyards

Event costs were underwritten by our generous diamond, sapphire and platinum sponsors: Fremont Bank, Children's Fund of the Bay Area, Hobson Homes LLC, Cargill Salt Co., Celebrate Fremont, Bay East Association of Realtors Foundation, J. Coite Construction, Fremont Firefighters Local 1689, Ron & Chris Rebello, Kaiser Permanente, Kidango Board of Directors, New United Motor Mfg., Inc., Pete Stark Foundation, and Sybase. There were an additional 50 cash sponsors who contributed to the event's success. Our media sponsors included Tri-City Voice, KICU Action 36/Cable 6 and Penny Saver.

Live auction items, including seven days at the Datura Villa in Jamaica, a dream vacation to any RCI resort, and Oakland A's Sky Box plaza level tickets over $8,000 alone. An array of silent auction packages also brought great fun to the event and contributed to the money raised for Bay Area children.

Although this event is over, you can still help support the Kidango education and support programs. A donation of any amount will be greatly appreciated. Please visit the Taster's Showcase web site at for more information or mail a check to Kidango, 4533 Mattos Drive, Fremont, CA 94536, Attention: Marc Baker.

About Kidango
Kidango began as Tri-Cities Children's Centers in 1979. At inception there were only 90 children and families being served at one center in Fremont. Today more than 3,300 children and their families benefit from the Kidango programs in Alameda, Santa Clara, and San Francisco Counties. As a leader in early education and child care, this public benefit organization has a long history of working closely with the California Department of Education Child Development Division, State Preschool and Head Start programs to provide quality services for children ages 0-10.

For further information about the agency contact Kidango at 510-744-9280 x 13 or visit us on the web at

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