Middlesex County College Hosts Benefit Restaurant Tasting

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EDISON — Middlesex County College was transformed into a cornucopia of fine dining as 25 local restaurants offered samples of their best dishes at the second Alumni Association food tasting event April 21. The program, called “An Evening of Good Taste for the Educated Palate,” was a benefit for the association’s scholarship fund; the evening raised $3900.

McDonagh’s Pub, in Keyport, served homeland favorites Dublin Irish stew, chicken murphy and Irish soda bread.

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“These dishes are staples of our name that can be seen every day,” said owner Kenny Lawlor. “There’s some great food here. It’s for a great cause and I see it growing each year.”

Pat Kotsonis, owner of P.K.’s Café in Woodbridge, said, “I enjoy the way MCC embraced us. “They made us feel very comfortable and were there helping us unload the car. They made things run much smoother. This is a great county affair.”

The college’s own Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management Department also participated.

“It’s a great opportunity to get our program out there,” said Chef Nicolette Stevenson. The department chairperson Mary Pat Maciolek agreed it was a great experience for the students.

“The chef and students did a fabulous job,” she said. “They represented the college and the department beautifully.”

Joseph Mastrella, chef of Luciano’s Ristorante in Rahway, said, “We always like participating with the community. It’s good to get around the town to show off our food.”

Casa Giuseppe Fine Italian Dining, in Iselin, served Penne alla Vodka and Filettio di Maiale Arrostito. “It’s an unbelievable experience here today and it’s such a pleasure to be a part of it,” said owner Pasquale Parascandolo. “We can’t wait to come back.”

Those attending the event included faculty, staff and members of the general public.

“All the food is great,” said MCC student Mauro Cantatore. “There are foods here I never would of thought to try. I’m intrigued by what I’ve had and I want more.”

Stu Hengber of Woodbridge enjoys the mashed potato bar as Lisa Truesdale of the Rosewood in Edison looks on.


Pamela Adames (Edison) enjoys a soft taco from Brad Strong of Chipotle Mexian Grill in New Brunswick.


Chef Pasquale Presa of Pasquales in Edison serves roasted eggplant ravioli to Middlesex County College student Hazel Leyesa (Metuchen).


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