Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Valentine To The Market

Michael Schulson of Sampan was among the local
celebrity chefs demonstrating skills with mystery
ingredients at market party.
An event that's been among the missing for 15 years was renewed Saturday night, the Valentine to the Market gala. About 400 guests attended the festivities, which raised cash for the Reading Terminal Market Preservation Fund.

Tasty tidbits were supplied by many of the market's merchants. Martin's Quality Meats & Sausage doled out juicy portions from a whole roast pig. Tommy DiNic's offered pulled pork with an exceptionally garlicky broccoli rabe. Mini-reubens could be had at Hershel's East Side Deli.

One of my fav offerings came from Iovine Brothers Produce, which put together a beautiful colorful display of produce-based treats. Chef Bobby Fisher, who will handle the kitchen duties when the Iovines reopen the Beer Garden as Molly Molloy's, had a hit with his almond gazpacho; he also made a fruit terrine by gelatinizing prosecco, the slightly sweet bubbly from Italy.

Among the many other vendors supplying tastes were Old City Coffee. Pennsylvania General Store, Beck's Cajun Cafe, Pearl's Oyster Bar, Tootsie's Salad Bar, Bassetts Ice Cream, The Original Turkey, Shanghai Gourmet, Famous 4th Street Cookie, Franks-a-Lot, Tokyo Sushi, and Metropolitan Bakery.

Early in the evening, at the VIP pre-party held in La Cucina, four local chefs, paired with amateur assistants, tried their best to concoct edible food utilizing two mystery ingredients: cocoa puffs and marshmallows. Joe Poon and Delilah Winder took the prices. "Also rans" were Michael Schulson and Daniel Stern.

At the pre-party, Reading Terminal Market General Manager Paul Steinke announced that the new multi-purpose room to be built near center court, will be named after Rick Nichols, who is retiring from his columnist duties at the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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