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Mardi Gras Gala. Photo by Matthew Lomanno Photography.




Catholic Charities NH Mardi Gras Gala

When: Saturday, Feb. 4, 6 p.m. 
Where: Grappone Conference Center, 70 Constitution Ave., Concord
Cost: Tickets are $100 per person. Contact Hannah at 663-0213 for more information and ticket availability. 
Visit: cc-nh.org/mardigras




Southern flavors
Mardi Gras Gala features Cajun-, Creole-inspired cuisine

02/02/17
By Angie Sykeny asykeny@hippopress.com



 Experience a taste of New Orleans with Cajun- and Creole-inspired food at the Mardi Gras Gala, a black-tie-optional event happening Saturday, Feb. 4, that will feature a cash bar, hors d’oeuvres, salad and breads, three plated entrees and dessert. 

“Generally speaking, at the restaurants that I have been to over the years, I’ve never seen any Cajun-inspired dishes on their menus other than blackened chicken or fish,” said Rosemary Hendrickx, director of development operations for Catholic Charities New Hampshire, which is hosting the event. “This event is really inspired by what they have in New Orleans. The food is very unique for this area, and especially unique for a gala.” 
The event will be held at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord. 
The evening will begin with a cocktail hour and hors d’oeuvres, including beer-poached Creole shrimp with orange mustard horseradish; fried oysters with Cajun mustard aioli; blue crab a la Remick in a puff pastry; and spinach artichoke dip in a phyllo cup. 
Dinner will start with a salade nicoise, which has butter lettuce, tomato, French green beans, cooked egg and olives with lemon mustard vinaigrette; and breads like warm sweet potato biscuits and corn muffins, served with honey butter. 
Hendrickx said the Grappone Conference Center and many other function venues don’t typically deviate from their standard catering menus for large events, but the Grappone makes an exception for the Mardi Gras Gala and contributes its own ingredients to the dinner; the lettuce for the salad is sourced from the center’s onsite hydroponic garden, and the honey butter for the bread is made from honey produced at the center’s onsite bee hives. 
“The Grappone has been extremely generous and is always excited to go off of their standard menu for this event,” Hendrickx said. “Very often, they incorporate some [of the Mardi Gras dishes] into their standard menu because they really like what we come up with.” 
Following the salade nicoise and bread course will be the main entree. Guests can choose (in advance at the time of their ticket purchase) from three options: an 8-ounce filet mignon with Madeira mushroom sauce, potato gratin and green beans or roasted winter squash; bourbon-molasses glazed salmon filet served on garlic herb risotto with green beans; and mushroom ravioli and spinach-ricotta ravioli with creamy Parmesan sauce, sun-dried tomato pesto garnish, green beans and roasted winter squash. 
After dinner, a dessert of caramel-filled chocolate gato (cake) with a whipped cream rosette will be served. 
The Mardi Gras Gala has a different menu every year, developed by committee chairman Richard Bunker, whom Hendrickx said “has an educated palate” and is perfectly suited for the job.
“He’s very well-traveled. He’s been to New Orleans several times,” she said, “and he himself is an excellent cook. He really knows how to put food together.” 
In addition to dinner, the event will have a silent auction with dining packages, overnight stays and more, and a live auction with trips to Hawaii, Santa Fe and New Orleans, and a chance to create and name an ice cream flavor that will be featured at The Puritan Backroom restaurant in Manchester for 30 days. 
There will be a “spin the wheel” game with prizes like gift cards and items donated by local businesses; raffles, live jazz music, and a DJ and dancing after dinner. 





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