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Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation; Whatever your taste, there will be a dish with your name on it.

Byline: Barbara M. Houle

Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation has attracted a large audience to the Worcester Crowne Plaza for 19 years to share a menu that not only benefits the Worcester County Food Bank in Shrewsbury and Rachel's Table in Worcester, but also anti-hunger organizations nationwide.

Taste of the Nation will take place from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Monday in the Crowne Plaza ballroom, 10 Lincoln Square. Tickets: $65 per person in advance, $75 at the door. Tickets also are available at the Worcester County Food Bank and Bay State Savings Bank locations. Go to www.strength.org for more information.

Trying new restaurants is a culinary adventure. Taste of the Nation has more than 45 food businesses under one roof. Participating chefs and restaurateurs will dazzle you not only with their signature dishes, but also with vibrant, new creations.

Coordinator Audrey Kurlan-Marcy recommends people buy tickets online. More than 600 people are expected to attend, she said. "We don't want to turn any one away, but we want people to be comfortable and enjoy themselves. We will cut off at 600."

New this year will be an outside tent shared by the owners and staff of Block Five and Bocado Tapas Wine Bar, both in Worcester, and Polar Beverages. Sears Outlet in Shrewsbury will provide a state-of-the art grill for chefs to cook on. Block Five plans to fire up the grill and dish out a taste of summer flavor. Hope you like burgers. We hear the grill can accommodate 35 burgers at a time.

Polar will offer samples of its new no-cal HyDrive Energy drink (from spring water) in pomegranate, casaba lime, dragon fruit and acai berry flavors. The company also will hand out beverages in the ballroom.

Yankee Spirits in Sturbridge and Austin Liquors, with locations in Worcester and Shrewsbury, will host the wine cellar. Wine distributors plan to bring in some great new wines for sipping. Champagne will be poured in the wine cellar. Guests will be able to bid on special vintages included in a silent auction.

Refrigerator magnets with the names and telephone numbers of participating businesses will be given out, courtesy of Bay State Savings Bank.

Expect innovative food from these participants:

From Worcester: One Eleven Chop House, 86 Winter American Bistro, the Beechwood Hotel, Block Five Bistro and Bar, Blue Hydrangea Bake Shop, Bocado Tapas Wine Bar, Cafe Dolce, Caravan Coffee, Coral Seafood Restaurant, Dino's Restaurant, Flying Rhino Cafe, Good as Gold Coffee, On the Rise Baking, Palma's Bakery, Piccolo's Restaurant, Polar Beverages, Rovezzi's Restaurant, Seven Hills Gourmet Bistro, The Sole Proprietor, Something Sweet by Michelle, Struck Dining and Drinks, Struck Catering, The Boynton Restaurant, TriBeCa, Viva Bene Italian Ristorante and the Webster House Restaurant.

Also, A Basket Case of West Boylston; Amici's Trattoria and Willy's Steakhouse, both in Shrewsbury; Arturo's Ristorante, Canyon Cafe Mexican Bar and Grill and the Willows of Westboro, all in Westboro; Black Diamond Restaurant and Sonoma Restaurant, both in Princeton; the Castle Restaurant in Leicester; Coldstone Creamery in Millbury; Crystal Brook Farm in Sterling; Cyprian Keyes Golf Club in Boylston; Parlor Restaurant and Lounge in Upton; Relish in Barre; Romaine's in Northboro; Sturbridge Baking Company in Sturbridge; Tandoori Grill and Sherwood Forest Brewery, both in Marlboro; Upton Tea Imports in Hopkinton, and Wachusett Brewing Company in Westminster.

ART: PHOTO

CUTLINE: From left, Audrey Kurlan-Marcy, executive chef Ian A. Hickey of TriBeCa in Worcester and Tamara L. Colpack prepare for the local Taste of the Nation event Monday. Kurlan-Marcy is coordinator with Colpack, who is catering director at the Worcester Crowne Plaza, where the fundraiser will take place. The goal is to raise $50,000 for anti-hunger organizations.

PHOTOG: T&G Staff/BETTY JENEWIN
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Apr 18, 2007
Words:621
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