Natalie Garder, left, supervises at the Crazy Russian Girls bakery on Bennington’s Main Street, one of many restaurants contributing to Taste of
Natalie Garder, left, supervises at the Crazy Russian Girls bakery on Bennington’s Main Street, one of many restaurants contributing to Taste of Vermont. Tracey Madeiros, author of ‘Dish Up Vermont,’ a book of locally inspired recipes, including the apple tart shown above, will give a cooking demonstration. (Courtesy of Storey Publshing)

STRATTON -- For good food and a good cause, try a Taste of Vermont at Stratton Mountain. On Saturday, the mountain will give a sample of 50 restaurants from 20 towns in Southern Vermont, said Tammy Mosher, executive director of the Stratton Foundation, which is hosting the benefit.

The event grew out of the foundation's "Men Who Cook" community event, she said.

"We would have volunteer community members who would bring food," she said. "We started incorporating local restaurants to make it more appealing to a tourist or Stratton visitor."

Last year the event was so popular, Mosher said, they decided to cap the attendance to make the crowd more manageable. There are only 500 to 600 tickets available.

Mosher said the inns, farms, restaurants and amateur chefs represent some of Vermont's highlights in the food world. This year, a secret panel of judges will celebrate the different chefs and their skills. The panel will judge professional chefs and restaurants in three categories: Best mouthwatering crowd pleaser, best cooking demonstration and best table presentation. The top three amateurs, she said, will be awarded a Wustof kitchen knife and an engraved cutting board from JK Adams.

The proceeds from the event will benefit the Stratton Foundation and the work it does in the community.

"The Stratton Foundation provides financial support for youth efforts ... like kids that can't take advantage of school opportunities or may just need a coat," Mosher said.


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This year, Tracey Madeiros, chef and cookbook author, will give a cooking demonstration at the event. Madeiros has written two cookbooks about food and Vermont, "Dishing up Vermont" and "The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook."

"I wrote my first cookbook, ‘Dishing up Vermont,' because I was so impressed with the unique bond between Vermont farmers, chefs and food producer's and their strong commitment to preserving [the state's] agricultural way of life," she said.

Madeiros said she will cook sautéed sea scallops in smoked bacon and maple cream sauce, a recipe from "The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook," at the event.

Attendees can try different dishes from restaurants and amateur chefs. The Reluctant Panther in the Manchester Village is one of the participants. Karen Sloan, the general manager, said it was easy to say yes to a "fun, foodie" event that helps out a great cause.

"Our chef and his team will be preparing both savory and sweet bites to send to the event -- our restaurant is open that evening so we will unfortunately be unable to participate in any of the live cooking demonstrations," she said.

Sloan said she and some of the staff members are looking forward to Madeiros demonstration; some of their recipes appeared in her "Vermont Farm Table Cookbook."

If you go ...

What: Taste of Vermont

Where: Stratton Mountain Resort Base Lodge, 5 Village Lodge Road, South Londonderry

When: 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday

Admission: $50 for adults,
$20 for children younger than 13

For a $100 premier pass, guests can come to an early tasting, watch Tracey Madeiros' cooking demonstration and receive one
of her cookbooks.

Information: (802) 297-2096, strattonfoundation.org

Restaurants taking part:

Asta's Swiss Restaurant

Baba-A-Louis Bakery

Bistro Henry

Bentley's of Black Bear Lodge Stratton

Bromley Market

Bryant House

Cabot Cheese

Crackers Crepes & Crisps

Crazy Russian Girls Bakery

Downtown Grocery

Drew's All Natural Dressings

Earth Sky Time

Fire Tower Restaurant of Stratton

Flower Girl Bakeshop

Grandma Miller's Heart to Hearth Vermont Lasagna

H.N. Williams Deli

JJ Hapgood General Store & Eatery

Luna of Stratton Mountain Club

The Little Rooster Cafe

The Inn at Weston

New American Grill

Pantry of South Londonderry

The Perfect Wife

Rachel's Gourmet Deli

Stratton Mountain Market & Deli

Strong Roots Catering

Thai Basil

The Gourmet Deli & Café

The Reluctant Panther

Thyme Tables Catering

Tony's NY Style Pizza

TreeTap

Vermont Bean Crafters

Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery

Vermont Chevon

Whiskey Dicks Saloon

Whistlepig Whiskey

Whetstone Station

Wilcox Ice Cream

Windham Hill Inn

Winhall Market

Zoey's Double Hex Restaurant

Information: www.strattonfoundation.org/taste-of-vermont.php