The food tasting soiree
was held on May 7 on the ground of Forest Park's golf course. The second annual event featured delicious dishes from more than 25 black men based in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area. Traditional soul food, authentic Caribbean cuisine, gourmet delights, and nutritious vegetarian dishes were served to sounds of live jazz and soul music. The lovely Rawlings-Fulton Clubhouse and tented grounds of the golf course provided an ideal location for an event that combined elegance, culture, and cookery. This second annual installment of the event was a unique evening of class with a menu of down-home cooking set to a soulful soundtrack, and a fundraiser to addresses the ills that affect the urban landscape--this year choosing a local shelter that houses homeless women and children. It brought together local and nationally recognized culinary pros as well as men in other professions who have the skills to tickle taste buds. Celebrity chefs included chef
, the Food Network's
winner, and the
, who was featured in
magazine. Unlikely gentlemen on the chefs' rooster included former New York Jets wide-receiver
, serving a dish he coined the "Couldn't B'more Sweet Potatoes." Chef Mookie's sensational shrimp and grits was a huge crowd pleaser, while Derrol "Mr. Jamaica" McLaren's curry chicken was tender and perfectly seasoned. And fellow foodies with a sweet tooth loved the delectable banana pudding cheesecake created by chef Chris of Chef Selections. Once bellies were full, guest had the chance to fill their closets and jewelry boxes with merchandise from several local vendors. Some people chose to burn a few calories by walking the clubhouse while catching the evening breeze. The lounge/bar room became a hangout for sports lovers to enjoy the basketball games on the flat screens with a mimosa in hand. The venue's main ballroom was the event's central area, equipped with comfy chairs and clothed tables for VIP guests, who had perfect seats to watch bands and a central location between the lounge room and the food tasting tents. The evening's live entertainment lineup included
, the Reggie Love Jazz Quartet, and host Carter Anderson II. And like the variety of food served, there was an atmosphere to suit any guests.