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Community harvest dinner draws record crowd

September 30, 2012
By JOHN BORGOLINI , The Leader Herald

GLOVERSVILLE - The Mohawk Harvest Cooperative Market hosted its third annual Community Harvest Dinner on Saturday at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, drawing more people than ever before.

The co-op exceeded its projected attendance for the event, with 84 people at the dinner, paying $50 per person or $90 per couple, all of which serves as a fundraiser for local food pantries. Co-op members were happy with the turnout.

"The very first year was extremely successful. The second year we thought we could do some improvements for the third year, and so in the third year we've actually oversold - sold out and sold some more," co-op manager Chris Curro said.

Article Photos

Bowls stand ready to be filled with tomato basil soup on Saturday night in the kitchen at the church as chefs including Jim Rose, Megan Saltsman and Jason Knapp talk before the guests were seated. (The Leader-Herald/John Borgolini)

He also said the co-op is already talking about expanding the event and shooting for 120 people next year.

Heather Mattioni and Samantha Gendron of 391 South Main Restaurant prepared the arugula and fennel salad for the meal, which featured locally produced foods prepared by local chefs. This was their first year involved with the event. They said they felt it was necessary for them to be involved.

"Being a small, local business, we want to help out the community and give back to those helping us out," Gendron said. "And we are a firm believer of cooking foods with fresh items from local farms. So serving salads here is pretty much what we do at the restaurant every day anyway."

The dinner entrees were: beef brisket with vegetable ragout, prepared by Scott Luey of the Downtowner; breast of chicken with farm fresh ricotta and seasonal eggplant with garden fresh tomato sauce prepared by John Lomanto of Chef Lomanto's Kitchen; and autumnal stuffed butternut squash, prepared by Megan Saltsman of Union Hall Inn in Johnstown. Hors d'ouvres were prepared by Jim Rose of Wine and Roses in Broadalbin, the soup was done by Nita Preddice of the co-op's deli, and dessert was prepared by Deena Sisco of Chick and Hen Baking Company of Bleecker.

Lomanto said the dinner started as a way to further feature the work of local chefs and farmers.

"We're here to help support and raise money for the food banks around the city," he said. "They need help, and we're sharing our talent."

John Borgolini can be reached at



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