The 12th annual Taste of the Towns will feature culinary fare from local restaurants and wineries across southern New Hampshire, including Nashua and Manchester eateries.
“The best way to describe the Taste of the Towns is that it’s a moving activity,” Nashua Center Executive Director Brian Young said.
More than 20 restaurants will be participating in the tasting benefit this year. Participating restaurants reflect the culinary variety found in southern New Hampshire and a demographic area larger than just Nashua. There’s Margaritas, You You Japanese Bistro, Kurry Masala and newcomers to the annual event like Mr. Mac’s of Manchester and Joe’s American Bar & Grill of Nashua.
“We’re located in Nashua and we like to get our name out there, let our guests know that we’re willing to be in the town and be active in the community,” Joe’s American Bar and Grill General Manager Jim Peretti said.
Peretti said Joe’s will serve its award-winning clam chowder and signature burgers during Taste of the Towns.
Like Joe’s, Mr. Mac’s hopes to interact with new customers at the event. Mr. Mac’s manager Robert Sideman said that Mr. Mac’s will likely bring its three top-selling mac & cheese recipes to Taste of the Towns: Classic American (with Cabot cheddar and American cheeses), the cheeseburger mac (made with ground beef with Cabot cheddar and American cheeses) and the Blazing Buffalo Chicken (mac & cheese with Cabot cheddar and Cabot pepper jack cheeses, grilled chicken and buffalo sauce).
Deb and Dave Mansor, owners of Creative Cakes by Debby in Nashua, are returning to the event for the third year. This year, Debby Mansor said she will bring chocolate mousse and a raspberry cream torte made with fresh whipped cream.
“We’re kind of new to the event and were asked to participate a few years ago. Our experience has been great,” she said. “It is a great cause. … We know a lot of the chefs that participate, so it’s nice for us all to get together and mingle.”
Guests can quench their thirst with beverages from Bellavance Beverage Company, Pine State Trading Co., Zorvino Vineyards, Prestige Wine Group, Moonlight Meadery and Candia Vineyards.
“The last five years of the Taste of the Towns has been increasingly more successful,” Young said. “It also tells me that people are getting educated about who we are.”
Last year, the Nashua Center celebrated its 40th anniversary since it began offering services in 1973. The organization offers support programs for individuals of all ages with disabilities.
“What we realized by accident is that we’re very close to reaching the $1,000,000 mark just from the Taste of the Towns on our 12th anniversary,” Young said. “We’re using that as a milestone.”
Once guests have had time to walk around and sample the fare of local restaurants or stop by the silent auction, organizers will pull everyone together for the formal presentation and live auction, Young said. This year, a video presentation has been prepared to introduce this year’s honorary chairperson, Donald Deschenes, who has received services from the Nashua Center since 1994.
“He’s thrived in his community for the last 20 years,” Young said. “In a lot of ways I look at him as a pioneer. ... He has such an infectious personality.”
This year will also include a special presentation from former board member Michael Boyle, who will be presenting a special gift to the Nashua Center, Young said.
“Essentially, he’s becoming an ambassador for our cause,” Young said. “He’s a professional business person who understands it’s important to help a human services agency whose mission he buys into and wants to be a part of that culture.”
The popular benefit for the Nashua Center typically sells out, but Young said a limited number of tickets should be available still and recommends buying them online.
As seen in the March 27, 2014 issue of the Hippo.