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Taste Buds: Chefs' Auction

Bud Shaunna dishes out round two

May 16, 2013
By SHAUNNA DUNDER HERSHBERGER - Taste Bud , Times Leader

Last week, you were served your first course of dishes featured at the 20th annual Chefs' Auction. The Chefs' Auction, Wheeling Health Right's biggest fundraiser of the year, took place on Friday, May 3 at WesBanco Arena. The theme this year was "The Roaring Twenties," and the joint was jumping with folks ready for a good time.

Many of the area's best restaurants served up their best dishes, and Bud Shaunna and guest Bud, Bud Hubby, had a swell time! And so, here is your second helping of dishes from the Chefs' Auction.

Camelot:

This long-time favorite of delicious hometown cooking took the 1920s theme to heart with their stylishly decorated booth and even tastier-looking dishes. Some of the goodies Camelot had in tow were stuffed peppers with sausage, stuffed mushrooms with crabmeat and alfredo and a seafood dish called hot coquille, featuring scallops, shrimp, crabmeat, mushrooms and onions in a cream-based sauce with dry sherry. Holy cow!

While the Buds enjoyed the mushrooms and stuffed peppers, the coquille was definitely the shining star of this table. Not only was it loaded with tender bits of seafood, but the sweet and buttery creaminess also took the dish up into decadent levels. Definitely the cat's meow!

Ye Olde Alpha:

As the Buds circled WesBanco Arena visiting the food vendors, extremely large shrimp on the plates of patrons caught our eyes. We are talking LARGE - at least four inches in diameter. Turns out these big boys belonged to none other than the folks at Ye Olde Alpha.

Known for its delicious grilled shrimp flavors at these type of events, the Alpha cranked it up a notch with these ginormous crustaceans, grilled with fresh herbs and champagne. Heavenly!

In addition to the shrimp, the Alpha also brought along some creamy lobster mac and cheese and tender, juicy roast beef. Another all-star line up from the Alpha!

Cabela's Powder Horn Grille:

While most times, Cabela's brings along one or two unique wild meats for patrons to explore (think buffalo, elk or moose), the folks at the Powder Horn Grille served up a variety of treats to tickle your sweet tooth, including chocolate and peanut butter fudge, and a variety of assorted retro candies, like Bit-O-Honey and Mary Janes. We love matching the foods to the theme!

The big draw at this display, however, were the candied nuts. Cashews, pecans and almonds were deliciously coated in sugary, syrupy goodness and sat atop the table in all their glory. Chefs' Auction goers snatched up the sample-sized white cups with blazing speed, and this was a very popular place all evening long.

Bud Shaunna has always been a sucker for praline pecans, and Bud Hubby loved these treats so much, he went back to get a to-go bag full of various candied nuts. He wasn't the only person with that idea - we saw several people walking away from Cabela's table carrying small white bags. Guess everyone knows a good thing when they taste it!

WesBanco Arena:

A Chefs' Auction mainstay, WesBanco Arena always serves up something creative. This year was no different, as they brought out a lovely chocolate fountain. Alongside this three-tiered chocolate lover's dream were strawberries, marshmallows and pretzels for dipping. There were also trays featuring a variety of raw fruits and veggies.

Bud Hubby's sweet tooth seemed to be on high alert this evening, and he continued to satisfy it with a milk chocolate dipped marshmallow and strawberry. Judging by the smile on his face and his response of "Mmmm" when asked how it tasted, the chocolate fountain was a swingin' success!

Parkhurst Dining Services:

Up next was Parkhurst Dining Services. A division of Eat 'N Park and meal provider for Wheeling Jesuit University, Parkhurst brought along some unique and flavorful dishes. On the menu was beef wellington, ratatouille and Waldorf salad. For dessert, they offered Shirley Temples and mini cocktail cupcakes.

Bud Shaunna was immediately intrigued by the beef wellington, as she's seen it made numerous times on the reality TV show "Hell's Kitchen" (and it's usually not made to Chef Gordon Ramsay's liking either). The flaky puff pastry surrounding the meat was quite tasty, and the meat was also tender. Chef Ramsay would be proud!

In addition, the Waldorf salad, which the chefs assembled at the table, was TO DIE FOR. If the Buds hadn't already visited 13 other vendors, we'd have definitely helped ourselves to seconds at Parkhurst!

Ruttenbucks:

Ruttenbucks is always a familiar - and unique - restaurant at the Chefs' Auction events. This year, they offered homemade chips, peanuts and famous pulled pork, which was served in a sample cup with a chip and their sweet and tangy coleslaw. The Buds can't get enough of the combination of the spicy pork with the tangy coleslaw - divine!

In addition, Ruttenbucks served a specialty drink called a Redneck Runner, which was a nice fruity compliment to the savory dishes.

Oglebay:

One of the area's largest resorts, Oglebay brought their A-game with a host of unique menu items. Included were potato and cheddar perogies, lamb strudel, basil gnocchi and wild mushroom cream soup. In addition, they also offered two unique sauces to dress the dishes - rosemary thyme demi and smoked tomato marinara.

The Buds devoured the perfectly cooked perogies - but what's not to love about a perogie? Bud Shaunna also enjoyed the gnocchi. Bursting with fresh basil flavor, the gnocchi were tender and quite delicious topped with the smoked tomato marinara sauce. Spiffy!

Kirke's Homemade Ice Cream:

The Buds were ready for dessert, and we can't think of any other way to wind down a meal than with ice cream. Luckily for us, Kirke's Homemade Ice Cream was our next stop!

Along with some favorite flavors like black raspberry and cookies and cream, Kirke's, known for bringing unique flavors to these events, didn't disappoint with additional offerings of gummy worm, margarita, mango tango, salty caramel, midnight caramel and red velvet.

Bud Hubby and Bud Shaunna shared a scoop of the margarita, which had a sherbet-like consistency and really tasted like a refreshing lime margarita. Who would have thought we'd find happiness at the bottom of a bowl of ice cream? Oh yeah - the Buds!

Wheeling Coffee & Spice:

This coffee shop, located in the heart of downtown Wheeling, has been a wholesale distributor since 1895. More than 100 years later, Wheeling Coffee & Spice offers a variety of flavored coffees and teas, including a house brew, as well as desserts and seasonal drinks.

For the Chefs' Auction, they brought along various coffees including a Highlander Grogg, decaf, breakfast and special gourmet. With different syrups on hand, patrons could dress up their coffee however they wished as a wonderful wrap up to some delicious dishes.

The awards presentation and breakfast will take place tomorrow morning at Stratford Springs. Next week, the Buds will announce the winners of the 20th annual Chefs' Auction.

The Buds may be reached at tastebuds@timesleaderonline.com

 
 

 

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