Chamber hosts Taste of Vernon

Vernon. Fourth annual event biggest yet, raises money for Vernon Coalition, Vernon PAL and Women's Club.

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  • From left, Vernon Chamber of Commerce Vice President Jennifer Hopper presents a flowering plant to Andrea Cocula.

  • PHOTOS BY VERA OLINSKIThe Lamp Post Inn chef prepares the award winning "Best Savory Entree" - fresh seafood stew.

  • On each side, Chamber of Commerce Vice President Jennifer Hopper and Vernon Coalition Coordinator Rebecca Dorney pose with Blissful Bites after winning the "Best Presentation" award.

  • The Candy Apple Shoppe wins the 2019 award for "Favorite Dessert."

  • Roman Czerhoniak serves his Dairy Swirl ice cream.

  • The Taste of Vernon Committee poses with the Lamp Post Inn, center back, after winning the "People's Choice Award."

The aroma of good food greeted noses, on April 29, at the fourth annual Vernon Chamber of Commerce Taste of Vernon.

Guests enjoyed fine cuisine, and laughter sparkled throughout the Heaven Hill Farm greenhouses under a blue, dark sky.

Chamber Vice President Jennifer Hopper said they had 17 eateries this year and were able to fit even more people in the greenhouses. The final headcount, she confirmed, was over 236 guests, and it was definitely the biggest year they had had so far.

Hopper said “it was very exciting,” because they had some new restaurants like the Jolly Onion, Chappy’s Cafe, Irish Cottage Inn, and Shannon’s Eyes on the Pies. Furthermore, she said, it was great to have some of their favorites returning like the Lamp Post Inn and Acme champions, as well as Healthy Thymes.

“Everyone’s busy. Everyone’s happy. That’s what it’s all about," said Vernon Coalition and Taste of Vernon committee member Rebecca Dorney. “Think about how amazing these restaurants are to donate their time, their talent. They’re here because they believe in the charities that we’re donating to.”

Part of this year’s proceeds will be donated to the Vernon Coalition to be Drug Free, Vernon PAL, and The Vernon Women’s Club.

Dignitaries State Sen. Steve Oroho, State Assemblyman Hal Wirths, Sussex County Freeholder Herb Yardley, Vernon Mayor Harry Shortway, and former Vernon School Board member Ed DeYoung all attended the event.

The Lamp Post Inn busily prepared fresh seafood stew on gas burners, with enormous shrimp, scallops, and clams in a fresh basil pesto, white wine, and clam broth over angel hair pasta with garlic croutons.

Acme Markets continuously refilled their white lace, lit table with tiramisu, bread pudding, chocolate ganache and caramel pretzel cupcakes.

Roman Czerhoniak, who originally suggested the Taste of Vernon idea in 2016, served his homemade Dairy Swirl ice cream to guests.

Vernon Township High School students volunteered everywhere, adding to the event.

Guests bid on area business items during the Silent Auction, along with raffles and gift certificates.

At 8:30 p.m., Hopper announced the award results of guests’ votes for the 2019 Best Savory Entrée – Lamp Post Inn; Favorite Dessert – Candy Apple Shoppe; Best Presentation – Blissful Bites; and The People’s Choice Award – once again – Lamp Post Inn.

Hopper also presented a vibrant flowering plant to Andrea Cocula for bringing over 70 guests to the Taste of Vernon that evening.

She told Cocula, “You are a great advocate for us year after year. Thank you so much for all that you do.”

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