‘Taste of the Ridge’ benefits St. Patrick School
Bay Ridge — Little Niamh McCarthy happily accepted a free scoop of chocolate ice cream from Lola Bell, a co-owner of Hinsch’s Confectionary on Sunday. But Bell wasn’t scooping the ice cream at Hinsch’s on Fifth Avenue. She was in Saint Patrick’s Church Hall on Fourth Avenue and 97th Street.
Bell was one of dozens of restaurant owners taking part in “Taste of the Ridge,” an annual fundraiser for St. Patrick School.
Organized by Anne Strafaci, director of development at the school, “Taste of the Ridge” allows visitors to enjoy small dishes from several restaurants. All visitors had to do was give a $15 donation at the door.
“We have a good group of restaurants this year,” Strafaci said, as she stood at The Kettle Black station, serving hot wings while Roy Berthiaume, who had been serving the wings, took a short break.
Visitors who entered the church hall were greeted with long tables on which food stations were set up. The tables snaked around the entire length of the vast auditorium, giving the hungry visitors a chance to sample dishes from dozens of restaurants.
The food was served by restaurant owners, staff members and volunteers like Marik Fitzgerald, a St. Patrick’s parishioner who offered dishes from Anopoli, the restaurant/ice cream parlor on Third Avenue.
“Taste of the Ridge” was introduced several years ago by the Rev. Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello, who served as a parish priest at St. Patrick Church in the mid-1990s. He came up with the idea of holding a fundraiser that involved food, since Bay Ridge is famous for its restaurants.
Prior to becoming a priest, Msgr. Gigantiello was a chef.
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