"Taste of Newport" a High Energy Smörgasbord

Gorgeous treats from It's My Party

Child & Family’s "Taste of Newport," a teeming, high-energy affair now  in its 27th year, treated guests to culinary wonders from some of the best restaurants and caterers in Newport and beyond. From what we’ve seen and heard, this event typically draws a huge turnout; certainly 2010 was no exception!

The Hyatt Hotel on Goat Island provided the setting for a true smorgasbord of dishes. It was impossible not to find palate satisfaction among the tables of chef creations, which featured appetizers from: Blackstone Caterers, @ the Deck, 22 Bowen’s, Brick Alley Pub, Café Zelda, Castle Hill Inn, Christie’s, La Forge, Matunuck Oyster Bar, McGrath Clambakes, Perro Salado, Pier 49, Salvation Café, Soul Brazilian Premium Cachaca, Spark, Sushi-go!, Tallulah, The Canfield House, The Mooring, The Pier, The Safari Room, Tucker’s Bistro, Wicked Good, and Windward Restaurant.

Co-chair Mary C. Johnstone & husband

Groups of sampling guests were interspersed by bustling chefs in white or black jackets. Tables of silent auction items provided the chance to stop for a moment, take it in, and bid on some really fun prizes.

After a time, the lights flashed on and off, and guests were called to dinner in a large, adjacent ballroom. The Hyatt had laid out salads on gold and white tables, along with baskets of exquisite breads from Provencal and the Village Hearth bakeries. Event Co-Chairs Erica Gregg and Mary C. Johnstone stepped up to a podium at one end of the room to thank supporters and sponsors, noting that they had succeeded this year in finding the largest number of table sponsors ever: 21. They then presented a short movie created by ABC 6 news, represented by John de Luca, Steve Cascione, and Allison Alexander, which showcased the hands-on programs that Child & Family has developed to assist mothers and children in need.


Sharon Rust-Bottone with gift bags

Next, the work of the organization truly hit home as Kristen, a single mother and survivor of drug and domestic abuse, took the podium to share her story. Hearing first the pain in her voice as she spoke about her heartbreaking experiences, and then her strong inner resolve and gratitude as she described how Child & Family’s supportive housing program started her on a new life, was a strikingly poignant moment in the event, drawing a hushed focus from an otherwise boisterous crowd.

After Kristen, the tone and tempo shifted as Steve Cascione, ABC 6’s Meteorologist, took the podium as live auctioneer. Although some of his jokes failed to strike a chord with guests, he was very successful in encouraging generous bidding on nine major items, featuring private dinners with chefs at home, vacations to Tuscan Villas and Kiawah Island, two nights in a New York City Penthouse, and the opportunity for a child to be a ball boy or girl for the Boston Celtics and the Boston Red Sox.
By the time the auction ended, guests were ready for the next eating-oriented segment of the night, which consisted of a generous choice of entrees served at buffet tables. Fare ranged from seafood to steak, to duck, to short ribs, to pasta and more, and was provided by Boat House, 15 Point Road, Belle Mer, Billy Goode’s, Clarke Cooke House, Fluke, One Bellevue, POP, Pranzi Catering, Russell Morin Catering, Sambar, Sardella’s, the Black Pearl, and Winward Restaurant.

Mark Knight & Jessica Moreland of

the Clarke Cooke House

Although it was easy to walk away from dinner completely stuffed, the event surely would not have been complete without an equally lavish dessert sampling. Treats were donated by Bay Voyage Inn, Sweet Berry Farm, Custom House Coffee, Destination Chocolate, Goodies by the Sea, It’s My Party, June Loves English Cakes, Lucia Italian Restaurant, Moondust Macaroons, Newport Chocolates, Rhody Fresh Milk, The Cookie Jar, and Trattoria Simpatico.

It is rare to find a Newport  event attracting so many generous sponsors, donors, and supporters after nearly three decades. The 2010 "Taste of Newport" raised over $115,000 to support Child & Family’s Supportive Housing Program for Homeless Women with Children, and sold out at 505 guests.

"Taste of Newport", the agency's successful cookbook based on the event, is now available at $25, and can be ordered on the website  www.cfsnewport.org


             --Amanda M. Grosvenor


ABC6's Steve Campagna, Diana DeBari & John Purviance

Tasties from Spark Restaurant

State Representatives Peter Martin & Amy Rice

Checking in hundreds of guests!

Michael & Terry Lange with Joe Tambutini & Co-chair

Erica Gregg

Keith Tavares smiles with Leith Adams

Celebrating the work of Child & Family

Bart Dunbar & Lisa Lewis


Savories from Salvation Café


Robert Power Former Asst. of Newport Schools

& Deborah Velasco


Billy Rose, Jeannie Kite Sullivan & Ginny Purviance


April Williams & Ned McCrory


Michael Fleuette & Vivian Spencer


John DeLuca of ABC6 News and friend


The very crowded cocktail hour


Neil Manacle & Joel Reynolds of Fluke Restaurant


Newport Seen's Linda Phillips chats with

Salvation Cafe


Ed Lavalle, Newport City Manager


Fun display from Cafe Zela


Perro Salado's appetizer booth


Helen Harris & Dick Ernst


Kelly Arabia & Rachel Johnstone


Silent Auction artwork


So many choices!


Get your bid in!


Tallulah on Thames


It was a popular event!


Elegant dinner setting


The salad course, served before the live auction


Karen Weinreb, Sharon Rust, Trudy Coxe of the

Preservation Society


June Gibbs & friends


Mary C Johnstone welcomes guests


A short film on C&F's programs was shown


More film clips about the event


Steve Cascione leading the live auction


Line for a supper buffet station


It's My Party dessert station


Jane Moore, thinking about dessert-ing




Bay Voyage Inn and chocolates



Patty Hayes, Mike & Mary Waite, Sharon & Bill

Wood Prince


Michael Semenza & Robin Carneiro were dazzled

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