Hats off to the donors, sponsors, chefs, guests and volunteers who made Le Nichoir’s A Taste of Hudson a night to remember.
With the tickets selling out in four and a half days, it was a lucky 120 guests who had the chance to attend A Taste of Hudson this past Saturday evening. St James’ Hall was packed with fabulous food, wine, auction items and raffle prizes as supporters of Canada’s largest and Hudson’s own, wild bird rehabilitation Centre came out to raise money for Le Nichoir.
The auction table has always been a key feature of Le Nichoir’s annual fundraiser and donors from far and wide ensured the auction tables were full with over 120 eclectic and often unique items. Susan Wylie, Executive Director of Le Nichoir muses “where else could you bid on a basket of local veggies, a Beswick bowl, a Ben comic, an electric toothbrush and an antique school desk?”
Nine generous chefs from the region created an extraordinary meal that could really only be described as a feast. Tuna tartar, carrot cheddar soup, garlic bread, roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, an enormous seafood paella, a small mountain of smoked ribs and salmon, mushroom risotto, vegetarian curry, salads and more was awaiting guests inside. The team from Auberge Willow even brought their BBQ and were busy grilling garlic bread to perfection outside.
The feast ended on a sweet note with plates full of cakes, squares and Hudson’s famous ice cream. The chefs including Stuart LeBaron- LeBaron Bites, Mindy Stenberg – Everyday Gourmet, Scott Geiring – Carambola, Thomas Spriet – L’artisan de la mer, Jason Sandeman – Auberge Willow, Keith Wells- Mackoli, Lee Michaelson – Restaurant Rube, Dawn Hodes – Daboom Desserts and Jean-Pierre Martel – Crème glacée du Terroir Hudson all received a resounding standing ovation from the room full of happy diners.
As dessert was being served the team of auctioneers extraordinaire Michael Lawrence and Tania Ellerbeck began the live auction. A round of applause was given to special guests including MNA Jamie Nicholls and Hudson Mayor Ed Prévost. Marcel Braitstein received an enthusiastic ovation when his steel sculpture of an owl was sold for $5,000. Guests were in a generous frame of mind when Daboom Desserts pecan pie sold for $105 and Frank Royle purchased Frank Hick’s tie.
“It takes a huge amount of work and organization to put on an event like this,” explains Susan Wylie. “None of it would be possible without the amazing group of volunteers Le Nichoir counts on. Our volunteers came from far and wide and are really the heart of the organization”.
So, just how much money was raised? “A record $41,000! A heartfelt thank you to the donors, sponsors, chefs, guests and volunteers that came together to support the organization “The barn doors will open in mid-May and we hope people will drop by to see the work they are supporting” says Susan.
A very big thank you to the evening’s sponsors whose generosity ensured all the costs of the event were covered so every penny spent by guests went directly to Le Nichoir.