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April 26, 2011 > Taster's Showcase 2011

Taster's Showcase 2011

By Denny Stein

Kidango's Taster's Showcase is one of the best attended fundraisers in the Tri-City area. Those in attendance this year appreciated why it is so popular. For those who didn't make it, next year's event should not be missed.

A brightly decorated room at the Fremont Marriott was lined with tables serving samples of our local restaurant and catering entrepreneurs' wares. It was impossible to taste everything, but kudos should definitely go to Massimo's Tiramisu (moist and creamy with a delicate coffee undertone), the Prolific Oven's Mocha Cake, and Gelato Classico's Pumpkin flavor, "Thanksgiving in a cup."

Federico's table was the most fun, with loud cheers erupting every few minutes, led by their 10-foot-tall Mardi Gras mascot. Kinder's Meats Deli & BBQ had the most appropriate name, and DasBrew, Inc., a local wholesale brewery, should be noted for dubbing its beer (available at Bosco's in Sunol) Monkey's Fist.

Restaurants were joined by wineries and grocery stores; Trader Joe's served giant strawberries stuffed with cream cheese. A judging panel of culinary professionals awarded honors to local restaurants, wineries and food distributors. People were clearly having a wonderful time, both socially and gastronomically. Although not always visible, it is worth noting that special events of this caliber are the result of hard-working volunteers and generous sponsors.

Food honors:
Best Appetizer - Saki's Spin-a-Yarn (Bruschetta)
Best Meat Entree - Supper Suppers (Cranberry BBQ Meatballs)
Best Seafood Entree - Papillon (Shrimp Tequila Burre Blanc)
Best Poultry Entree - Burrito Loco Express (Nachos de Pollo)
Best Vegetarian Entree - Falafel, Etc. (Baba Ghounoosh)
Best Specialty Food - Sushi Tango (Firecracker Sushi)
Best Rice/Pasta - Bawarchi (Hyderabadi Dim Byrani)
Best Salad - Karen's Kitchen (Spring Mix Salad with Strawberries and Walnuts)
Best Soup - Udupi Palace (Curry Vegetable Lentil Soup)
Best Dessert - Gelato Classico (Assorted Flavors)
Best Homemade Dish - The Pampered Chef (Nectarine Salad)
Best Presentation and Table Decoration - Papillon

Wine and Beverage awards (determined by votes of attendees):
Red Wine
1st Place - Fenestra Winery (True Red)
2nd Place - Thomas Coyne Winery (Grenache)
3rd Place - Vida y Vino Wine Bistro (Red Sangria)

White Wine
1st Place - Chouinard Vineyards (Viogner)
2nd Place - Thomas Coyne Winery (Viogner)
3rd Place - Fenestra Winery (Riesling)

Special Beverages (including coffee, beer and specialty wines)
1st Place - BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse (Jeremiah Red Beer)
2nd Place - Elliston Vineyards (Sparking White)
3rd Place - Chouinard Vineyards (Orange Muscat)

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