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A crowd of supporters came out to enjoy the first annual Branford Gets Fresh 'A Fresh Taste of the Branford Shoreline' benefit on Nov. 6. (Photo by Courtney Rosenberg/BGF )
Delicious dishes offered by 14 chefs and restaurants filled plates of supporters attending 'A Fresh Taste of the Branford Shoreline.' Branford Gets Fresh organized the first annual event to benefit efforts of Community Dining Room, Branford Food Pantry and Feed Branford Kids. (Photo by Courtney Rosenberg/BGF )
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With delicious food and a great cause, volunteers of recently-launched Branford Gets Fresh (BGF) enticed a sell-out crowd to the BGF's first annual "A Fresh Taste of the Branford Shoreline" on November 6. Proceeds benefited Branford-based non-profit organizations which help to feed those in need, including Community Dining Room, Branford Food Pantry and Feed Branford Kids, said BGF founder Frank Carrano.
"A Fresh Taste" packed the Celebration Room at Stony Creek Brewery with no less than 14 different serving stations filled with creations made with fresh ingredients. Many chefs provided more than one offering. From soup -- such as Branford celebrity chef Betty Ann Donegan's mango gazpacho -- to salad, including sweet potato salad by Chartwell's executive chef John Turenne, to main meals ranging from Reverie Kitchen's umami veggie rolls to Eli's on the Hill's cauliflower risotto; to several desserts including apple crisp whipped up by the culinary students of Branford High School (BHS) Class Act, plates overflowed with food filled with fresh ingredients.
Participating chefs and restaurants donating their talent and all of the ingredients to make up the remarkable buffet were Crostini, La Cucina, Eli's on the Hill, Home Restaurant, chef Betty Ann Donegan, Branford Stop & Shop, Pine Orchard Yacht & Country Club, Tommy Sullivan's Cafe, Parthenon Diner, Reverie Kitchen, Venice Bakery, Chartwell's (Branford Public School's meal service provider), BHS Class Act and Petonito's Pastry Shoppe.
The night's floral arrangements were donated by Flowers On The Green, Cynthia's Flower Shop, Myers Flower Shop and Stop & Shop In addition, Mosaic Marketing, Printing & Signage provided event signage and cookbook printing.
Launched in the summer of 2019, BGF is focused on providing opportunities for residents of Branford to learn more about healthier foods and how to cook them. Through the Branford Gets Fresh page on Facebook, the group shares healthy recipes crafted by home cooks and local chefs, easy ways to bring more fresh food and produce into your family's diet, healthy eating tips and nutrition updates.
Carrano said the local initiative is focused on providing opportunities for residents of Branford to learn more about healthier foods and how to cook them.
The BGF all-volunteer coalition of representatives from local groups include Carrano, representing Branford Arts & Cultural Alliance; Malaine Trecoske, Branford Community Garden; Courtney Rosenberg, Community Dining Room; Mindy Baker, Branford High School Culinary Arts; Betty Ann Donegan, CT celebrity chef and Branford-based cooking teacher; Barbara Naclerio, East Shore District Health Dept.; Melissa Gillon, Branford Stop & Shop Store Manager, Cheryl Kaiden, Branford Food Pantry, Bernadette Digulian, Branford Elder Care Alliance; John Turenne, Chartwells and Michael Castaldi, Soundview YMCA Health and Wellness Coordinator.