The Tasting for the Zimmerman Horowitz Independent Living Program May 16 welcomed an energetic crowd at the first-time venue The Stave Room. The Tasting event raises funds for a nonsectarian program of Jewish Family & Career Services, serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as their families and caregivers, so they can work, live and thrive in their communities.
This is the 20th year of The Tasting heralding back to where it all started at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta, where Joan and Donald Brown began with a low-key wine tasting for 130. Son Mark Brown, libations chair, worked with distributors and vendors to provide a vast array of beverages to enhance all the culinary delights and many of the auction gifts.
“We are delighted with this new venue with returning and new merchants, and actually had tickets sales around 900 … with over 700 attending, said Caryn Kroll, JF&CS events and special events coordinator. “We are especially proud of our HAMSA (Helping Atlantans Manage Substance Abuse) bar, which appeared last year for the first time, and serves innovative non-alcoholic mocktails.”
She also noted that the wine pull was donated by the board, and the ILP residents had an entire art wall of original works available for bidding.
Honorary chair Pearlann Horowitz, alongside daughter Michelle, thanked the crowd for the show of support and caring by “showing up” for this 20th year. “We need to learn from each other. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. As our program’s needs become even greater, we want you to mingle and bid, buy and give!”
Amy Fingerhut, restaurant chair, did a bang-up job putting together a top-flight line up.
Not coincidentally, favorite serving tables were the Jewish purveyors. Experienced Aria chef Gerry Klaskala artistically offered innovative gravlox on pumpernickel with scallions, shallots, cucumber, and dill mustard sauce.
Les Retter and Hilly Blondheim of High Roller Sushi graciously laid out torched sugar encrusted salmon nigiri alongside a cowboy caviar with black bean and corn relish roll. Wildly popular! “We are proud to be a Jewish owned company supporting such a good cause,” Retter said.
Top encomiums for presentation went to cucumber gazpacho centered with cured salmon by Todd Mussman of Local Three Kitchen & Bar. Stuart Fierman of the Fifth Group served a cubed raw tuna atop spicy orange sauce.