This Feb. 29, foodies are invited to vote for the Top Chef Honors at the “Chefs’ Feast” to benefit the Mercy Center food pantry, located in Asbury Park. This inaugural culinary showcase will see six of the area’s top restaurants and chefs vying for the title of “Top Chef.”
“Mercy Center is thrilled to introduce this exciting feast for good,” said Executive Director Kim Guadagno. “It’s an opportunity to come together to rally support to ensure that no child goes to bed hungry.”
The event will be held from 6 to 9 pm at the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel in Asbury Park with highly regarded chef Joe Leone Introna of Joe Leone’s Italian Specialties serving as the master of ceremonies.
The evening begins with a cocktail hour with passed hors d’oeuvres from Frungillo’s and a Tuscan display of meats and cheese from Buona Sera and live music. Then it’s time for the guests to get to work as they sample the signature dishes and vote for their favorite dish from one of the competitors:
- Chef David Morales, Frungillo’s Hospitality Group, Asbury Park, Spring Lake, Verona
- Chef Mike Tsarnas, Gabriella’s Italian Steakhouse, Middletown
- Chef Ryan Bush, La Mondina, Brielle
- Chef Ulises Nova, Metropolitan Cafe, Freehold
- Chef Rob DiBlasi, The Robinson Ale House, Asbury Park
- Chef Lisa Baker, Whitechapel Projects, Long Branch
Following the judging, the food event concludes with desserts from Nothing Bundt Cakes, Shrewsbury; River Street Sweets, Booskerdoo Coffee & Baking Co.; Confections of a Rockstar Bakery, Lola’s European Café, all of Asbury Park; and Buona Sera, Red Bank. There will also be live and silent auctions and the 50/50 cash raffle.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will help Mercy Center nourish the growing number of vulnerable families in the Asbury Park area and surrounding communities. “In 2022, we fed 35,000 people and in 2023 that number climbed to a staggering nearly 100,000,” Guadagno said.
Mercy Center, founded by the Sisters of Mercy, is a nonprofit charitable organization working to break the cycle of generational poverty in the greater Asbury Park area. In addition to the food pantry, Mercy Center offers extensive programs and services including the Sisters Academy provides a quality education to put an end to the cycle of poverty, one child, one family at a time.
Tickets are $250 with young professionals (age 21 to 35) tickets priced at $150 and include an open bar.
To donate, buy tickets and get involved visit MercyCenterNJ.org or call 908-378-8502.
Photos courtesy of Mercy Center