Sunday, March 11, 2012

9th ANNUAL "TASTE OF COASTAL CAROLINA"

Sherri Starr from Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation, asked me to post this information about Tuesday's fundraiser.  It should be a fun time and a great opportunity to taste food from the area restaurants.  

New Area Restaurants Add Exciting Tastes and Flavors
To The 9th Annual “Taste of Coastal Carolina”
An exciting opportunity for local residents to taste the fabulous food from local area restaurants is coming up next week at the 9th annual Taste of Coastal Carolina.  The event, on Tuesday, March 13th from 6:00- 8:30 p.m., will be held at the Riverfront Convention Center in New Bern, to benefit the Neuse RIVERKEEPER Foundation.  Included in the ticket price is food from 29 of the best area restaurants including ten new New Bern area establishments. These ten are: Le Bistro Fine Dining and Art Gallery, Antonio’s, Baker’s Kitchen, Rebecca’s , Sam and Jenn’s Bella Cucina, Taylor’s Texas style BBQ, the Bethlehem Shop and Deli, The Break Away Bistro, Savage’s Wood-Burning Pizzeria, and The Wild Cupcake.  Each establishment brings a unique approach to dining in this town.  These restaurants join returning New Bern favorites The Flame, TaTa’s, Carolina Bagel, Flounders, The Hurricane, Annabelle’s, Friday 1890 Seafood, MJ’s Raw Bar, Say It With Cake, Kitchen on Trent, Christoph’s on the Water, Tina’s Sweetshop, Trent River Coffee, Persimmons, Ribeyes, El Cerro Grande, Sea Glass Café, the Harvey Mansion and 247 Craven.
Taylor’s Texas Style BBQ opened last spring.  A father and son partnership, the two bring a combination of their North Carolina and Texas roots to barbecue.  Rebecca’s Gourmet Café and Bakery, on Metcalf Street near the Palace, is owned by award-winning candy and sweet maker, Rebecca Clayton.  Her credentials include publications in Esquire Magazine, Southern Distinction and Atlanta Bride. Le Bistro opened last September in the space of a Catered Affair on Trent Road.  Executive Chef Christopher Maravelas combines good food with the ability to view local artists’ work.  Chris is also very active in “Chefs Move to Schools” a program in conjunction with the American Culinary Federation to promote healthy eating among our youth.  Chef Valerie Morse studied Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI. A Boston native, she came to New Bern, NC with her family and young son, Antonio. She has worked in the restaurant industry for over 13 years now, and has worked at The Copley Marriott Hotel in downtown Boston, where she learned how to cook from people from all over the world. She now owns and manages Antonio's Restaurant, on Highway 70 East in James City, with her Sous Chef, Joshua Dunn. Becky Bengel, daughter of Alderman Sabrina Bengel, now manages the Baker’s Kitchen, formerly Baker’s Square, on Middle Street.  Where she is holding to their previous roots in great baked goods.   Bella Cucina, located on Trent Road in the former Pia’s features authentic Italian food.  Chef Sami, who is classically trained, hails from Milan, Italy, where he learned to make the cream sauces Milan is known for. He also spent time in Sicily learning to make their red sauce. After spending several years around the world working for hotel restaurants, Chef Sami went to New York and then came to New Bern.  The Bethlehem Shop and Deli is owned by Basma Hjouj. Since coming to the U.S. in 2004 from her native Palestine, she has introduced New Bern friends to Middle Eastern cuisine, especially food from Lebanon.  Last summer she opened her storefront where she offers food, featuring her baklava, as well as Mediterranean groceries and items. The BreakAway Bistro, housed in the former location of Nikola’s on Glenburnie Road, is the creation of owners  Amy Hayden and Ken Curtin. Savage’s Pizzeria, one of the newest restaurants to open on Trent Road offers New Bernians a taste of wood-fired New York pizza.  Doug and Pam Savage are the new owners.  The Wild Cupcake owned and operated by Nicole Costa.  Nicole has a home-based cupcakery with cupcakes in unique flavor combinations and has recently started branching out into party and wedding cakes.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.neuseriver.org or by calling Diane Baldwin at 252-637-7972.  Other ticket outlets include Harris Teeter, Mitchell Hardware and Cravin’ Wine.  Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door.
Proceeds from the Taste benefit the Neuse RIVERKEEPER Foundation. The mission of the NRF is to protect, restore and preserve the Neuse River basin through education, advocacy and enforcement, in order to provide clean water for drinking, recreation and enjoyment to the communities that it serves.   The Neuse RIVERKEEPER Foundation recently celebrated 30years of river research and protection. The Upper and Lower Neuse RIVERKEEPERS® work to advocate for and improve the water conditions for the citizens of North Carolina through investigation, education and public involvement. The Neuse River runs through eleven counties in North Carolina, encompassing over 6,000 square miles of watershed. The Neuse River Foundation maintains two offices, one at each end of the Neuse River: the Lower Neuse office is located in New Bern, NC and the Upper Neuse office is located in Raleigh, NC.