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Nosh Your Way Through NJ

October 11, 2010

By Pat Tanner

Wherever you live in New Jersey – North, Central, South – ‘tis the season for dining and drinking while helping out with charitable causes. Here are three delicious choices happening within the next two weeks. Of course, you don’t have to choose among them; you can work your way from south to north, starting with cookies and ending with beer.

My Cookies Are Better Than Your Cookies. You can compete if you wish, but you can also just munch your way through this fundraiser that benefits the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen and the Sarah Seidel Sisterhood of Temple B’nai Abraham in Bordentown. For the second year in a row, home bakers who enter ($20 for adult contestants; $10 for children) can win $500 in cash prizes and more, not to mention bragging rights. Last year there were almost 80 entries. I will be one of the judges determining best of show in three categories – general, kids’ creations, and special diet – after which there’s a $5 all-you-can-eat cookie party.

Sunday, October 17, at the Rutgers EcoComplex in Bordentown. Cookie drop off is between 8 and 10 a.m.; cookie party takes place from 3 to 5 p.m. For details and to sign up visit


Autumn Culinaire, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mercer County. This annual gourmet dining gala, which benefits the oldest and most respected youth mentoring organization in the country, features more than twenty of Central New Jersey’s most popular eateries, more than 150 fine wines and beers, live entertainment, and a silent auction that this year includes the chance to accompany yours truly on a restaurant review. Just a taste of what’s in store: tastings from Elements in Princeton, beers from Triumph Brewery, and Must Chocolate’s line of confections created to accompany wines, such as Wasabi Milk Chocolate, which enhances Riesling, viognier, and sake.

Thursday, October 21, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at the Trenton Country Club in West Trenton. Tickets are $85. Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.


Oktoberfest 2010 Charity Fundraiser at Amanti Vino. Plenty of beer will be had at this event, which celebrates the fifth anniversary of this Montclair wine shop, but there’s so much more. For starters, it’s really an all-you-can-eat-drink-and-dance celebration held inside The Wellmont Theatre. And it features 40-plus wines (including a table of German Rieslings), 50 beers (including those from the new NJ Beer Co.), and a line-up of fare from the talented chefs at Restaurant Passionne, Fascino, Raymond’s, Market, and Della Terra Catering. Two bands will keep the theatre rocking all night. Best of all, proceeds benefit Intensive Therapeutics, a Fanwood non-profit that provides occupational therapy services to children with special needs.

Saturday, October 23, starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair. Regular admission is $75; VIP admission (starting at 6:30 p.m.) is $150. For details and tickets, visit


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