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February 13, 2013

Taste of Troy serves up food and fun to benefit kids

By Terry Oparka
C & G Staff Writer

» click to enlarge «
Nicole Anderson serves Troy resident Marty Bernstein a taste of India from Priya Indian Cuisine at the Taste of Troy last year.

If you think the Taste of Troy will be the same old thing this year, think again.

The popular annual fundraiser to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Troy will feature many restaurants new to the event simply because there are so many new restaurants in Troy, said Cindy Stewart, who in addition to her duties as community affairs director for the city of Troy serves on the board of the Boys & Girls Club of Troy and chairs the event. She’s chaired the fundraiser for the past 12 years.

The Boys & Girls Club of Troy is a nonprofit youth development organization that aims to provide educational and recreational activities and counseling programs to more than 1,200 children ages 6 to 18 in Oakland and Macomb counties. The club aims to provide a positive environment to enable members to become responsible, self reliant, caring adults.

Of the 30 restaurants and eateries participating this year, Ingram’s Candies, Just Baked, La Feast, Muses Taverna, El Charro, Smashburger and Granite City are first-timers.

Executive chef Steven Chapman, formerly of Embassy Suites in Troy who now heads nutritional services at Beaumont Hospital, Troy, will bring a red quinoa and black bean salad he developed for a nutrition program for those undergoing cancer treatment. He oversees the food served to patients, in the hospital café and in the outpatient services building across Dequindre in Sterling Heights.

He explained that the dish brings great tastes together, and delivers high protein and low fat. 

“There’s a certain perception about hospital food,” he said. “I’m trying to change that.”

“I’m a Troy resident. This is my community,” he said. “This is fun for me. It’s what I love to do. I and the hospital want the community to be proud we’re here.”

The theme of this year’s event is “Motor City Flavors.”

Stewart explained that the San Marino Club donates the facilities for the event free of charge, and the restaurants donate the food and staff on site to the event.

“All the proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Club,” Stewart said.

Restaurants returning to the event include Achatz Handmade Pie Co., Brio Tuscan Grill, Cedar Grille, Dickey’s Barbeque Pit, Edible Arrangements, El Charro, Grand Traverse Pie Co., Kona Grill, La Marsa, Maggiano’s Little Italy, The Melting Pot, Noodles & Co., Ocean Prime, Orchid Café, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Papa Vino’s Italian Kitchen, Priya Indian Cuisine, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Ridley’s Bakery Café, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Salsarita’s of Troy, Shield’s of Troy, Slab ‘N Slice, TGI Friday’s Troy, Tim Hortons and Tre Monti Ristorante.

“Every year, the restaurants go out of their way to do different food,” Stewart said.

On average, the yearly event raises more than $55,000, which accounts for about 10 percent of the budget for the Troy Boys & Girls Club.

The event will feature a live auction, a silent auction and a raffle. Attendees can bid on gift baskets, and spa, hotel and restaurant gift certificates in the silent auction. People can enjoy Motown music and be a part of the live auction with WDIV TV 4 meteorologist Andrew Humphrey. Attendees and newspaper, magazine, TV and radio reporters judge both the food and the décor of each booth for the People’s Choice and Critic’s Choice awards.

PNC Bank is the major sponsor of the event. Health Alliance Plan, Flagstar Bank, Genisys Credit Union, Hartland Insurance, HMS Manufacturing, Kiwanis Club of Troy, Meritor and Mike Savoie Chevrolet also sponsor the event.

Call (248) 689-1687 to purchase tickets in advance at a cost of $40 per person. Tickets are available at the door for $50 per person. The 21st annual Taste of Troy will be held 1-4 p.m. March 3 at the San Marino Club, 1685 E. Big Beaver. For more information, tickets or sponsorship opportunities, contact the Boys & Girls Club of Troy at (248) 689-1687.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Terry Oparka at toparka@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1054.