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Taste Buds: 19th Annual Chef Auction, Part 2

May 17, 2012

Last week, the Buds gave you the "first course" review of our evening at Wheeling Health Right's 19th Annual Chefs' Auction themed "Western Glitz."

The yearly culinary extravaganza is huge fund-raiser that allows the Wheeing Health Right to provide comprehensive medical care and pharmaceuticals to the uninsured. The Buds just love a worthy cause!

Fourteen local eateries showed up with a wagon train of good eats to wow the attendees.

Here is a second helping of food vendors at the Chefs' Auction.

Oglebay Park was on hand serving up plenty of Western goodness including pork carnitas, baked beans and plenty of cornbread. The pork was perfectly seasoned and deliciously succulent. We'll have more, por favor!

The next stop was the Mountaineer Race Track who prepared a beef tenderloin atop a bed of creamy risotto and topped with baked cactus and portabello mushrooms. The lovely presentation made it almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

For dessert they offered a tequila custard topped with fresh berries. These little tarts were as tasty as they were pretty.

The Wild Wild West rustled up a hearty spread of wings, barbecue ribs and baked beans topped with bacon.

The Buds loved the smokey flavor of the wings and ribs that were deliciously tender and falling off the bone. The sweet and smokey baked beans were the perfect compliment to them. Mouth watering goodness!

The folks at Stratford Springs wowed the Buds with their delicious assortment of foods which included prime rib, pulled pork sandwiches, crab cakes, corn bread and a bean salad.

Everything was fabulous! The Buds especially enjoyed the tasty bean salad loaded with corn, chic peas, beans and colorful peppers. A summery delight that went well with the pulled pork.

Ye Olde Alpha offered quite a selection from the Western range including bison burgers, buffalo prime rib, rattlesnake beans, collard greens with onion and bacon and, the boldest dish of the whole show - rocky mountain oysters. These rocky mountain oysters (a specific part of a bull's anatomy of which one typically does not care to indulge) were on display at the table and anyone brave enough to try them would have been in for a fried treat, at least according to the Alpha folks. The Buds didn't have the nerve, but we did manage to round up a taste of the bison burger, which was juicy and nicely flavored, and the crunchy, delicious collard greens.

After a long evening of sampling the most fantastic Western-inspired creations they could have asked for, it was time for the Buds to wind down with coffee and dessert.

Wheeling Coffee & Spice brought along their special gourmet coffee as well as a full-bodied highlander grogg. With a variety of flavored syrups on hand, attendees could dress it up any way they liked.

The delicious coffee was the perfect compliment to the tiny pies offered by Oliver's Pies. The Centre Market pie shop certainly didn't disappoint with a variety including lemon meringue, chocolate, coconut cream and cherry. The adorable little pastries were just the perfect size, allowing attendees to try all four flavors, if they so desired. The pies were the perfect ending to the perfect evening.

Sponsors for this year's Chefs' Auction include: Title Sponsor, The Christian Fellowship Foundation; Chefs' Circle Sponsors: CompCon Systems, Lamar, Pat's Hallmark, WTRF; Diamond Sponsors: Dr. Peter Bala, Obstetrics & Gynecology; Bordas & Bordas, PLLC; Dr. Jim & Lynn Comerci; Dr. Steven Corder; Chesapeake Energy; The Kroger Company; Mr. & Mrs. Jack Pennybacker; Project Best; Rain CII; Howard Shackelford, MD; Spilman, Thomas & Battle, PLLC; Valley Physical & Aquatic Therapy Valley Fitness Center/ Roland Chalifoux, DO; Wheeling Island Hotel, Casino & Racetrack.

On Tuesday, Wheeling Health Rite announced the restaurant award winners, who were chosen by a panel of anonymous judges in three categories: fine dining, casual dining and specialty dining. The winners were:

Fine Dining

Best Food: Wheeling Island Hotel Casino & Racetrack

Best Presentation: Mountaineer Casino & Racetrack

Best Decoration: Mountaineer Casino & Racetrack

Best Appetizer: Stratford Springs

Best Dessert: Wheeling Island Hotel Casino & Racetrack

Casual Dining

Best Food: TIE, Mehlman's Cafeteria & Ruttenbucks Grille

Best Presentation: Wild Wild West

Best Decoration: Ye Olde Alpha

Best Appetizer: Wild Wild West

Best Dessert: Mehlman's Cafeteria

Specialty Dining

Best Food: Kirk's Homemade Ice Cream

Best Presentation: Wheeling Coffee & Spice

Best Decoration: Wheeling Coffee & Spice

Best Appetizer: Silver Chopsticks

Best Dessert: Oliver's Pies

Overall People's Choice Award: Mehlman's Cafeteria

The Buds may be reached at tastebuds@



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