A cocktail party-style event featuring samples of food, wine and spirits from about 20 local restaurants and beverage vendors, the 29th annual Gourmet Festival will be held on Sunday, March 19, at Nashua Country Club.
The event is a fundraiser for the Front Door Agency and will include games, raffles and silent and live auctions.
“The feedback we get year after year from people who go to multiple events like this is that they love the flow of it,” Media Relations Manager Lucie Bryar said. “You aren’t sitting down the whole time like the typical rubber-chicken dinner.”
This year’s tasting welcomes longtime participants like MT’s Local Kitchen & Wine Bar of Nashua and Frederick’s Pastries of Amherst and Bedford, plus some newcomers like Big Kahunas Cafe and Grill of Merrimack.
Most restaurants offer dishes that are “not everyday fare,” Bryar said, and are either new or specially prepared for the Gourmet Festival.
“The fun of the festival is that we never know quite what to expect, but we have never been disappointed,” Bryar said. “We had a tuna tartare last year, steak tartare on crostini, some gourmet meatballs with specialty sauces that were amazing, tasty risotto and lamb and a chocolate mousse dessert.”
The beverage vendors will also offer signature drinks created for the event. For example, Bryar said, Southern Wine & Spirits of New England will be offering a special martini, a “Cowardly Lion’s Courage” Manhattan and an infusion drink using the new Baileys Almande, an almond milk-based Baileys.
Attendees will have the opportunity to talk directly with some of the chefs and beverage producers as they make their way around the tasting.
“That’s one of the unique appeals that’s really kind of cool,” Bryar said. “The chefs are right there for people to engage them in conversation and ask about where they source their ingredients or ask about a new menu item.”
While the tasting is going on, there will be opportunities to bid on silent auction items, and later that evening there will be a live auction and a brief program about The Front Door Agency’s mission. Proceeds from the event will benefit families in the greater Nashua area that are facing homelessness.