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A Taste of Long Island 2014: An Event for Foodies and Restauranteurs Alike

We were recently invited to attend and take part in a wonderful local food, wine and gala fundraising event, A Taste of Long Island, held at Coindre Hall in Huntington, NY on March 27, 2014. This year's event was to honor the Boccia family, who lost their son Captain Joseph J. Boccia Jr. (USMC) in Beirut in 1983.

Organized and hosted by the East Northport Chamber of Commerce, along with Visiting Nurse Service & Hospice of Suffolk and the Rotary Club of East Northport, this 14th annual event brought together hundreds of Long Islanders together for food and wine tastings, entertainment, fundraising and a little friendly competition.

The beautiful Coindre Hall was set up with tables for each of the Restaurants, Wineries, Breweries and Spirits taking part in this year's event. Guests were able to walk around to each table, sampling some or all of the delicious food offerings while talking to restaurant owners and fellow Long Islanders.

We had the pleasure of working alongside some top people in the culinary world as judges for some friendly competition between the restaurants. Along with Luca Manfe, the winner of Top Chef Season 4, Chef Barret Beyer of Hells Kitchen Season 11, Chef Rob Burmeister who has appeared on Food Network's Chopped and Cutthroat Kitchen, and culinary competitor Craig Moulton, we tasted each of the 30+ restaurants to decide who deserved the titles of Most Creative, Best Tasting, and Best Presentation.

After tasting all of the food and desserts, it was such a close race between the winners! It came down to minor details that set them apart. If only we could have awarded the Top 3 in each category! Guests also placed their votes for People's Choice, and we couldn't have been happier with the results.

The winners were....

Most Creative: Waterside Caterers

Waterside Caterer's caught our attention with their Duck confit and Braised Apple Ravioli with cheese fondue, spanish olive oil, truffled artichoke pesto and soy caivar pearls. It was sophisticated, rich and beautifully presented.

Best Tasting: Kerber's Farm

Kerber's Farm was hidden in the dessert room and we probably would not have even known about them had they not walked around with a basket passing around mini chicken pot pies. Their little pies were the perfect bite size treat that we could all eat over and over. Perfectly baked, buttery, flaky crust, with delicious chicken, gravy and vegetables was nostalgic, comforting and absolutely delicious!

Best Table Presentation: J. Michaels Tuscan Steakhouse

J. Michaels had a gorgeous presentation of breads, flowers and a beautiful ice sculpture you couldn't miss. Not only was their presentation a step above the rest, their food was creative and delicious. We were talking about their lobster meatballs throughout the night!

People's Choice:  The Bristal

We loved the Bristal's presentation of Shrimp and Grits, and it came as a surprise to all of us that food like this could come from an Assisted Living facility. We were hoping they would get some sort of honorable mention, so when it was revealed they were People's Choice, the night couldn't have ended any better.

The food was absolutely spectacular from all of the participating restaurants! It was great being able to talk to the owners and chefs and seeing their passion come to life. We look forward to visiting many of the restaurants in the near future and can't wait until next year's event!

Special thanks to Sharon Moulton and the East Northport Chamber of Commerce for allowing us to be a part of such a great event!

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