The Tasting was a delicious and festive affair that raised money for the Zimmerman-Horowitz Independent Living Program on Thursday night, May 18. This nonsectarian program of Jewish Family & Career Services serves individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities — as well as their families and caregivers — so they can work, live and thrive in their communities.

In its 19th year, the event raised more than $210,000 in its return to where it started: the Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead. The room was spacious enough to fit more than 700 people without long lines.

Most vendors served fabulous, creative fish dishes. I have never seen salmon and tuna prepared in so many ways. C&S Seafood, for example, had tuna tartar on crispy shallots with soy mirin sauce.

Tabla’s Indian vegetarian dish rocked with some kick and spice.

One of the largest displays belonged to Sage Woodfire Grill, with several choices, including a hot tomato olive bruschetta atop huge salmon fillets with balsamic reduction.

No one left hungry: The desserts were poised and oozing in the pre-function area.

The participating restaurants and catering companies were 1KEPT, 5 Church, 10 Degrees South, Added Touch Catering, Amara, Aria, Avenue Catering Concepts, C&S Seafood & Oyster Bar, Cheesecake Factory, Cibo E Beve, Davio’s, Ecco, Food 101, Frosty Caboose, Haven, Grand Hyatt, il Giallo, La Grotta, Nan Thai Fine Dining, Pricci, Sage, Saltyard, Serpas, Shake Shack and Tabla.

The crowd conveyed good wishes to participants in the Independent Living Program, who mingled in their coolest outfits.

Ellen Lindemann introduced daughter Carla, who had been in a day-only program and recently moved into independent living. Ellen said, “Carla is able to now live among friends without being dependent on us, and it has given us a measure of independence.”

Todd, 31, and Alan Schatten, 33, recognized by many for their work at Publix and Kroger, respectively, brightened up the cocktail hour. Alan said he is happy because he can walk to work from his home.

The Tasting event chairs were Amy and Evan Rosen and Arin and Lorne Tritt, while Pearlann, Jerry and Michelle Horowitz and Scott and Michelle L. Horowitz were honorary chairs.

Libations chair Mark Brown ensured an ample assortment of wines, beers, tequilas and bourbons.

Amy Fingerhut and Scott Horowitz were the restaurant chairs. Marla Shainberg and Marci Silverman were the sponsorship chairs. The silent auction chairs were Robin Feldman and Sharon Wolf, and the logistics chairs were Zane Blechner, Sherry Habif and Betsy Levy. Habif was one of the last people to leave after breaking down the decorations used for the auction items.