Folks flock to the 25th Annual Taste of Chatham

Artful delicacies and entertainment make for a festive evening of fundraising


   All photos from the evening by Cheryl Kain.

By Cheryl Kain

Beneath a gloriously gigantic white tent, on the grounds of the Chatham Elementary School at 147 Depot Road, Chatham, this annual fundraising event benefited the non-profit Monomoy Community Services. Monomoy brings direct service, quality childcare, clinical counseling and family support services to more than 400 local families throughout the year.

Tickets were $125 for patrons or $50 for the stroll. The Patron’s Preview was the evening’s early entry with table seating at 5:30 pm. The Gourmet Stroll was the later entry with limited seating, from 6:30-8:30 pm. Every summer, the local eating and drinking establishments, caterers, artists, floral designers, and beverage businesses participate. Past attendance at this event has been approximately 450-500 patrons.

In addition to drinks and delectable bites, attendees were treated to music by the Bert Jackson Group. Photo by Cheryl Kain.White linens, wine glasses and twinkling white lights made a classic, magical setting for the delicious tasting affair. Grass underfoot acted as a soft carpet for the countless pairs of Docksiders trolling around, looking for their next Chardonnay or ceviche. I started with a nice Pinot Grigio from Harwich East Liquors, and delicious chicken salad cups at Monomoy Coffee. Everything was delicious, and there were some standouts.

Chatham Bars Inn made their usual elegant, spectacular showing with a butter-poached sirloin with Truffle and Foie Gras Sabayon. I was nervous to try their dessert served in a tomato, but was happy I did. The Grilled Strawberry Geleé with heirloom tomato water, peppered vodka spritz and red verjus foam was a tart/sweet freshness that had me and my neighbors breaking open the tomato to scoop out the rest! The Red Nun’s fish tacos saw people lining up again and again for a big bite of freshness. The Pampered Palate’s spicy noodles and vegetable salad were outstanding, as was Hangar B’s tuna ceviche with cumin popcorn. Chatham Candy Manor and Wequassett displayed their usual excellence, as did Celestino’s, and one of my personal favorites, Buffy’s ice cream, never disappoints. I had a wonderful Caesar salad at Pate’s, and there were raw bars, beers & ales, jams & jellies elsewhere.

The music was lush and added just the right ambiance with Bert Jackson Group, featuring Lars Johnson on vibraphone. Guitarist Bert Jackson, bassist Roe Osborn and drummer Kareem Sanjaghi were a tight ensemble, playing everything from Latin Groove to The American Songbook. Vibe player Johnson used two mallets in each hand for soloing, which was fascinating to watch.

The atmosphere was lively and exciting. Some people ate standing up, some seated at tables, and most people went back for seconds, even thirds of the diverse offerings. According to patron Debbie Barnes, “This year’s a good showing. We come every few years, and this year seems to have even more people.” Women dressed in everything from long dresses to Lily Pulitzer minis to shorts; men in suits to jean cut-offs. Many were Chatham locals, but I met Laurie and Wayne, a couple from Ottawa, who saw the event advertised on the Internet. They came to sample the local cuisine, music and culture.

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