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‘TasteBuds’ cooks up culinary friendships, raises funds

September 23, 2018
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Chef Alex Balint of Doce Taqueria with Buddy Chris Carpellotti at the 2017 TasteBuds event.

Best Buddies of Pennsylvania will sponsor its third annual TasteBuds event, as amateur sous chefs join well-known area chefs for a special evening of culinary delights.

Set for 6 to 10 p.m. Nov. 5 in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center’s grand concourse in Pittsburgh, the event will pair renowned area chefs with a buddy, a person with an intellectual disability, who will help to create some signature dishes for guests to enjoy.

Among the goals is showcasing the power and positivity of friendship, a news release states.

Event guests will enjoy a wide array of dishes, an open bar, live entertainment and the opportunity to bid on silent and live auction items, all benefiting Best Buddies Pennsylvania’s Friendship programs for individuals of all ages with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“Every year we are blown away by how Pittsburgh’s chefs make this experience so special for their buddies,” Samantha Civitale, area director, Pittsburgh Best Buddies, says in the release.

“This is not just a show up the night of event. Our chefs dedicate weeks of their time to build a relationship with their buddies that is even more incredible than their delicious meals.”

Proceeds from the event support Best Buddies Pennsylvania, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the release notes.

Last year’s event raised a record $120,000 for Best Buddies Pennsylvania.

Back this year will be four-time James Beard Foundation award nominee Justin Severino, chef/owner, Morcilla and Cure restaurants.

A full list of chefs participating will be released in September.

Early bird tickets for the event, $85 general admission, $125 VIP, including champagne reception and gift bag, are available until Aug. 31. After that date, tickets are $100, or $150 for VIP.

Details: bestbuddies.org/tastebudspgh

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