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Win Two Tickets to A Taste of Talent

Join celebrated chefs in support of Project Self-Sufficiency at A Taste of Talent on April 30th at Perona Farms. Credits: Rob Yaskovic

Northwestern New Jersey’s premier culinary fundraising event, A Taste of Talent, will be held at Perona Farms on behalf of Project Self-Sufficiency on Monday, April 30th, beginning at 6:00 p.m.  In addition to feasting on samples of appetizers, entrees and desserts from more than 45 area restaurants, patrons will be invited to bid on table arrangements featuring valuable items from Tiffany’s.  Created by several local designers, each table may contain place settings for eight, art objects, and decorative items.  The highest bidder will take home the contents of the entire table.  The theme of this year’s event is “Dinner at Tiffany’s.”  Organizers are inviting area residents to submit a brief essay of 200 words or less, describing with whom they would like to share an imaginary dinner at Tiffany’s; the dining companion can be real, fictitious, historical, or known to the contestant.  The winner will receive two tickets to A Taste of Talent.  Essays should be submitted to Project Self-Sufficiency, 127 Mill Street, Newton, New Jersey, 07860 or sent by email to  Entries must be received by April 23rd in order to be eligible for consideration. 


“A Taste of Talent” benefits Project Self-Sufficiency, a local non-profit agency specializing in services for low-income families in Sussex, Morris, Hunterdon and Warren.  Sponsorships for the event range from $500 - $30,000, and a limited number of individual tickets are available at a cost of $200.  Stations from more than 40 of the area’s finest restaurants will be placed throughout Perona Farms, allowing patrons to meet and mingle with the chefs while sampling some of their most renowned dishes.  Guests will be invited to stroll through the Perona Farms greenhouse, newly renovated rooms and the facility’s cavernous kitchen.  A cooking demonstration will be given by President and Executive Chef of Caffe NaVona, Marco De Felippis, who is serving as the Culinary Chairperson of this year’s event.   “It’s important to support A Taste of Talent because it benefits a great cause,” remarked De Filippis, “Helping women and families in need is a cause close to my heart.”


 “A Taste of Talent is a unique forum for those in attendance to be introduced to a variety of talented people and businesses in a relaxing yet energized environment,” commented Project Self-Sufficiency Board member Dolores Fernandez, co-chairperson of the event along with her husband, Jim.  “We are grateful for the generous donations of the chefs, the tabletop designers, musicians and all those who have invested their time and efforts into this worthwhile and delectable event.  It's a fun evening for all!”

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“Since moving to Sussex County four years ago and learning about Project Self Sufficiency, we've become increasingly impressed with the efforts of the agency's staff and volunteers.  PSS is all about opening doors and empowering individuals and families who have found themselves, for a variety of reasons, in need of a hand up with the support and guidance that can help get their lives back on track,” explained Jim Fernandez.  “We see our involvement with Taste of Talent as an opportunity to add value to this wonderful event which brings a significant amount of funding to support the organization's programs that assist so many of our wonderful neighbors. 


Participating restaurants will include Alice’s; Andre’s Lakeside Dining; Barrel House; Between The Bread; Black Forest Inn; Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse; Chef Anthony Bucco; Café Pierrot; Caffe NaVona; Crawdaddy’s; Cliff’s Ice Cream; DeBragga, New York’s Butcher; Ellias; Fossil Farms; Front Porch Organics; George Mandakas,  BeeBee’s Kitchen; George’s Wine & Spirits Gallery; Gourmet Gallery; Hayek’s Market; The Inn at Millrace Pond; Jesse Jones; Krave Café & Caterers; Chef Anthony LoPinto; Chef Brian Loiacono; Milk Street Distillery; Pattycakes; Pasta Shop; Perona Farms; Pies on Wheels; Pig & Prince; Ristorante il Porto; Salt Gastropub; South + Pine; Spring Street Pub; Springhouse Creamery; St. Moritz; Stone Water; Tanti Baci; Tap House 15; Texas Smokehouse BBQ; The Carriage House; The Chatterbox Drive In; The Chocolate Goat Gift Shop; Chef Ken Salmon; Chef Tim Schafer, The Brew Chef; Town Bar & Kitchen; wheelHouse Craft Kitchen + Bar; and others.

Esteemed local designers who will be participating in A Taste of Talent include Patricia Bruterri, Sweet P.E.A.’s; Alicia Shearer, Alicia Shearer Interior Design; Holly George, Holly George Interior Design; and Jacky Murphey, Victory Frame Shop. 


“A Taste of Talent is our signature fundraising event and the cornerstone of our annual campaign,” noted Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director of Project Self-Sufficiency.  “Funds raised by A Taste of Talent make it possible for Project Self-Sufficiency to provide the programs and services necessary for families in northwestern New Jersey to attain economic self-sufficiency.  We continue to be humbled by the support we receive from the restaurateurs and designers in our area.  A Taste of Talent presents a unique opportunity for people to reach out and help their neighbors as they navigate the road to a better life for themselves and for their families.”


As usual, music will be an integral part of A Taste of Talent, with ensembles and soloists set up in every room at Perona Farms.  The Meant to be Jazz trio will be joined by select members of the Colofonia Ensemble; harpist Merinda Maresca; cellist Aimee Nishimura and her student; the North Warren Jazz Ensemble; Katie Pachnos; the Pro Tempos; the Skylands Dulcimer String Band; piano students of Elisa Schaffer; two string ensembles from the Sparta High School; the Skylands Dulcimer String Band; and the Sussex Brass Quintet.


Project Self-Sufficiency is a private non-profit community-based organization dedicated to improving the lives of low-income families residing in northwestern New Jersey.  The agency’s mission is to provide a broad spectrum of holistic, respectful, and comprehensive services enabling low-income single parents, teen parents, two-parent families, and displaced homemakers to improve their lives and the lives of their children while achieving personal and economic self-sufficiency and family stability.  Since 1986 Project Self-Sufficiency has served more than 25,000 families.


Select donation categories are available for A Taste of Talent, ranging from $500 - $30,000.  A limited number of tickets for individual donations are available at a cost of $200.  Perona Farms is located at 350 Andover-Sparta Road in Andover.  To make a contribution to Project Self-Sufficiency, to obtain tickets to A Taste of Talent, or to find out more information about the programs and services available at the agency, visit or call 973-940-3500 or 844-807-3500.  Essays must be submitted by April 23rd to or mailed to Project Self-Sufficiency, 127 Mill Street, Newton, NJ  07860.

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