I really enjoyed attending the 7th Annual Cocktails and Cuisine, as a celebrity foodie judge, benefiting Crisis Center North, a nonprofit counseling and educational resource center, serving victims of domestic violence, their children, and teens in the northern, and western communities of Allegheny County. All monies raised from cocktails, and cuisine goes toward providing victims of domestic violence the advocacy and support needed to chart a path towards safety and self-sufficiency.
The event was held at the beautifully scenic Bradford Woods, in North Hills. The evening showcased fabulous food, and libations from several participating restaurants and companies from the area, all hoping to take home the “People’s choice award” or the coveted, “Judge’s Choice Award.” KDKA’s funny morning man, Jon Burnett, kept the atmosphere energetic as the night’s emcee.
Now for the food; let’s start with honorable mentions. Shout out to The Clubhouse, and executive chef, Michelle Mcgrane, for their delicious Jumbo Lump Crab cake with tangy remoulade. Also, Sweet House bakeshop, and executive chef, Brittney Harvey, for their unbelievable assortment of mouthwatering assorted mini desserts.
Best Overall went to Bella Frutteto, and executive chef, Dan McQuiston, for their absolutely amazing, Apple Fig Ravioli, a house specialty, made with granny smith apples, and golden raisins sautéed in Amaretto, Balsamic roasted Figs, with a cheese ravioli in a sage butter. I couldn’t get enough of this dish. I had at least four. Clearly, a standout in the crowd, the flavors were harmonious in an interesting and unique way.
Judges Choice was unanimous, with their Mahi fish taco, with fresh avocado, and cabbage slaw, shout out to John Marshall Catering and executive chef, John Marshall. The fish was flaky and perfectly seasoned and cooked. The acidity of the slaw was very complimentary to the fish and perfectly paired with the creaminess of the avocado. I enjoyed mine without the shell, and went back for seconds.
Overall, this was a sparkling, well organized event. It seems that Debra Dion Krischke, has a knack for organizing beautiful foodie events, as I also judged at her previous event, The Glass Slipper Ball, also which raised money for women, and domestic violence. That event too, was very prestigious, full of amazing food and wine, and the winner, Café Notte, stood head and shoulders above the competition. Her events are easily some of the best in Pittsburgh and for a great cause.
Food is fun, so make it your own! Follow me on Instagram @divachef412 to stay up to date on my next national television appearance. For delicious recipes check out my website, http://www.elisethedivachef.com
D.eliciousness I.n V.arious A.ssortments!