“THE TASTE” 2022 HELPS FEED THE COMMUNITY
APRIL 6, 2022 | RANDOLPH, MA: For over 20 years, the South Shore YMCA has gathered over 700 guests in Lombardo’s grand ballroom to enjoy food and beverage tastings from over 25 local restaurants, wineries, and breweries for the Y’s signature fundraiser, The Taste of the South Shore.
With the uncertainty of COVID over the past two years, the Y was forced to reimagine its popular fundraiser once again for 2022 and on Wednesday, April 6, the Taste of the South Shore was held virtually. Guests tuned in via computer or mobile device to watch the action at home while enjoying a gourmet “heat and eat” Taste Dinner Box, which included four-course meals prepared by different area restaurants, paired with local craft beers or wines.
Thanks to the generosity of the event’s sponsors, partners, and donors, the event raised over $250,000 to support the South Shore YMCA food pantry and its mission to ensure that no one on the South Shore goes hungry, while also supporting local restaurants, food, and beverage companies.
“Due to the rise of inflation, our South Shore YMCA Germantown Neighborhood Center food pantry is seeing much longer lines recently,” said Paul Gorman, South Shore YMCA President & CEO, “and it’s mostly local seniors who are scared about the increasing cost of food. Funds raised through the Taste of the South Shore support the Y’s food pantry to serve our community year-round.”
For over 25 years, the South Shore YMCA has partnered with the city of Quincy to operate the SSYMCA Germantown Neighborhood Center and food pantry. Thanks to donations and grants, the center has provided this multi-cultural community and its many lower-income families with life-changing programs and services, such as after-school programs, women and family support groups, language interpretation services, music programs, career preparation programs, nutritious cooking classes, cultural appreciation dinners, neighborhood celebrations, and more.
The Taste 2022 also benefits the South Shore YMCA community and teaching farms in Hanover, Quincy, and at the South Shore YMCA Camp Burgess & Hayward overnight camps.
“Farming has become a foundational component of our overnight camp experience,” said Bruce Netherwood, Vice President of Camping Services at the South Shore YMCA. “Here, kids can unplug from their devices, appreciate the joy of getting their hands dirty, and understand the true meaning of giving back, as the fresh produce they grow is donated to the food pantry.”
“This season, we expect to harvest thousands of pounds of food this year for our food pantry,” said Dan Berry, Executive Director of the Emilson YMCA branch and South Shore YMCA Family Farm in Hanover. “It is all thanks to the support of our donors, volunteers, family members, early learning students, and Y campers, who come out here to enjoy the farm together and learn about sustainable farming. It is truly a community-led farm that, in return, helps feed the community.”
2022 Taste of the South Shore Program GuideSee a full list of our supporters, sponsors, participating restaurants and more in the 2022 Taste of the South Shore Program Guide! View Program Guide
Billy Costa of KISS 108 FM and NESN’s Dining Playbook joined Gorman as emcees for this year’s virtual Taste broadcast, which was headlined by a “Best Dish Award” competition where top local chefs prepared, plated, and paired their signature dishes with local craft beer and wine selections before an intimate audience of Y supporters and partners.
David Lombardo of Lombardo’s in Randolph hosted the Best Dish competition between chefs Mark Ellis, Executive Chef and owner of The Chef’s Table catering, Fuji Group’s Executive Chef and Owner, Jimmy Liang, along with Executive Sushi Chef, Ming Cao, Robin King, Executive Chef and Owner of Restaurant ORO, and Paul Wahlberg, Executive Chef and Owner of Alma Nove.
“We are a Y family,” said Chef Robin King of ORO, “and this year my son is beside me cooking for guests at The Taste, which is a thrill. We are so excited that all of our children will have the opportunity to experience the Y’s Camp Burgess this summer, and we are honored to support the Y and its mission by being here today.”
The winner of this year’s Best Dish Award went to Mark Ellis of The Chef’s Table, a catering business he owns along with his wife, Julie Ellis. Ellis prepared a truffle “explosion” ravioli with spring vegetables and bacon lardon, paired with a chardonnay from Taste partner, Bin Ends. The dishes were judged by participants based on presentation, taste, and creativity.
“I’m shocked,” said Ellis of the win. “It is an honor to participate in The Taste along with these amazing chefs, who have become close friends,” said Ellis. “This event is so important to all of us, to our businesses and to our community. We are proud to be a part of it.”
“Restaurants and hospitality businesses are still struggling, but we are making a comeback,” said David Lombardo. “We always do what we can to support the Y and its mission, and it is exciting to see these talented chefs do what they do best at The Taste.”
The Taste 2022 Videos
25 YEARS OF VOLUNTEER LEADERSHIP: BOB BIZAK
At the Taste of the South Shore 2022, we recognized long-time South Shore YMCA volunteer, executive board member and supporter, Bob Bizak, for his 25 years of leadership.learn more
Member Spotlight: Mark Garrity
In 1995, Mark Garrity was struck by a distracted driver while crossing the street. He experienced traumatic brain injuries and after a 3-month coma had to relearn almost everything. Today, Mark works out two times a week with his trainer, Pete, helping Mark to regain his strength and mobility, and live more independently.
South Shore YMCA Community Farms
Through our community farms and gardens in Hanover, Quincy, and at the SSYMCA Camp Burgess & Hayward in Sandwich, the South Shore YMCA is fighting food insecurity and teaching sustainable farming to our children and community.learn more
Y Food Pantry Helps Feed our Neighbors
The Taste of the South Shore is the Y's signature fundraiser to support the South Shore YMCA Food Pantry at the Germantown Neighborhood Center. Learn more about how this vibrant, volunteer-driven center helps feed our neighbors and supports our community all year long. Visit ssymca.org/foodpantry to get involved.