WEST ORANGE, NJ — More than 450 people sampled main courses, appetizers, breads, condiments and desserts from more than 40 vendors at this year’s annual West Orange Rotary’s “Taste of the World,” which raised more than $25,000 to benefit local and international organizations as well as scholarships for area students.

Elected officials, business owners and community members plus administrators, board members, faculty and staff from the West Orange Public Schools district showed up in force to support the event and enjoy an extravagant evening of food and beverage tasting.

Megan Brill, executive director of the Downtown West Orange Alliance (DWOA), chaired this year’s event along with a team of dedicated Rotarians that included Michael Karu, Cynthia Hadley-Bailey and Joseph Vena.

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“Our whole club worked together to make this year’s Taste of the World a success,” said Brill. “We had many new restaurants and beverage vendors and attendees seemed to enjoy the offerings very much. Taste of the World is a great example of the Rotary slogan 'Service above Self.’

"Our Rotary members volunteered hundreds of hours to make this event a great success. Add to that the selfless participation and donations from our vendors and sponsors, and the commitment to our community will help to raise money to provide scholarships for graduating high school seniors, fund international health initiatives, and benefit local organizations."

Cuisines represented at the event included Italian, Mediterranean, Japanese, Indian, Mexican, French, fusion, Chinese and American. Also featured were Asian, Italian, American and Mediterranean dessert, cigars, juice and alcohol specialties including wine, beer, cider, vodka, gin, tequila and whiskey. 

New to the event this year was a tricky tray that featured 60 baskets and added to the annual 50-50 annual Silent Auction, which offered 35 memorabilia, sports and vacation packages. Music was presented by the Howling Poets.

This year’s vendor list was compendium of new and local businesses, popular chains and unique eateries. These included the following:

·      Ah Pizz

·      Aldez Tequila

·      Bella Italia

·      Benji's Tex-Mex Grill

·      Bill and Harry's Chinese

·      Bond's Tavern

·      Bonefish Grill

·      Bottle Hill Tavern

·      Cambria Hotel

·      CSW Catering

·      Frutta Bowls

·      Grill 350

·      Harper’s Café

·      How Delish Vegan Bakery

·      Ios Naturals

·      Jimenez Tobacco

·      La Celeste

·      La Famiglia

·      Maschio’s Caterers

·      Lily Tea Company

·      Mayfair Farms

·      McLoone’s Boathouse

·      Mesob Ethiopian

·      Oak Barrel Pub

·      Organic Vintages

·      Papillon 25

·      Patsy’s Seafood & Pizza House

·      Philly Pretzel Factory

·      Romilly Cidre

·      Sandwiches Unlimited

·      Save the Crumbs Bakery

·      Spice Key Spiced Whiskey

·      Sunrise Shoprite Liquors

·      Supreme Bakery

·      Tito's Vodka

·      Total Wine

·      Tropical Smoothie Café

·      Turano’s Pizza Kitchen

·      Warwick Valley Winery

Brill said she hopes that these vendors “will become a mainstay of the event,” stating that “they were fabulous.”

This year's sponsors included:

·      Levine, Jacobs & Company

·      Regal Bank

·      Christos Alevras of State Farm Insurance

·      Arkitecture Plus

·      Glen Rock Savings Bank

·      O’Hara Electric

·      Advantage Pest Control

·      Beacon Wealth Management

·      Brach Eichler

·      Cass Realtors

·      Columbia Bank

·      Community Chiropractic

·      The Hearing Group

·      KB Electric

·      Llewellyn Dental

·      Mayfair Farms

·      McManimon Scotland & Baumann

·      Prospect Ridge Veterinary Hospital

For more information, visit WestOrangeNJRotary.org.