by guest blogger Susan Sprague Yeske 

It’s time to dress up in our finest tuxedoes and formal wear and enjoy the upscale samplings of some of the best restaurants, food and beverage purveyors in Bucks and beyond: the Mercer Museum’s 32nd annual Savory Sampler is at hand.

The annual black tie gala, considered the premier gourmet event of the area, is scheduled for October 9th at the Mercer Museum, which is the beneficiary of the proceeds from the $150 tickets ($125 for members of the Bucks County Historical Society). Most of the ticket price is tax-deductible.

More than two dozen restaurants will offer sweet and savory samples of some of their signature dishes at the event, and a recent media preview offered a glimpse of some of what’s to come.

Kenny Hicklin of the Waterwheel Restaurant with mini-BLTs

Kenny Hicklin of the Waterwheel Restaurant with mini-BLTs

Kenny and Mickey Hicklin, who own the Waterwheel Restaurant in Doylestown, offered mini-BLTs for the famished press, but promised something more exotic for the event.

“We usually do a game meat” said Kenny Hicklin, who added that he likes heartier meats such as venison in the fall.

Kenny said he has been participating in the Savory Sampler for twenty years, beginning when he was an intern at a Doylestown restaurant old-timers will remember – Conti’s Cross Keys Inn.

“It’s always been a good event for us,” he said.

Earl's Chef David Zukerman

Earl's Bucks County Chef David Zukerman

Executive chef David Zuckerman represented Earl’s Bucks County, which he said is moving into a cuisine in line with the farming heritage of the Lahaska land where Peddler’s Village stands. For the Sampler he said he will set up a “hot action” station serving minestrone ragout with seared sustainable fish.

Fans of Marsha Brown’s Eggplant Ophelia will enjoy the bite-sized version that will be served at the Sampler. The New Hope restaurant’s popular casserole is  transformed into finger food by inserting it into a dumpling.

Doug Reasoner, Doug's Cakes

Doug Reasoner, Doug's Cakes

Doug Reasoner  of Doug’s Cakes in Chalfont is a first-time attendee at this year’s event, but he received plenty of attention from the hovering media with a sampler of some of cupcakes and cream puffs he will serve. But he promised the best is yet to come – he will make his signature Baked Alaska, an old-fashioned favorite rarely seen these days. We can’t wait to try that.

Also popular was another first-time participant, oWow Cow Creamery of Ottsville, serving scoops of pumpkin and honey-flavored ice creams.

Event chairwoman Jane Mitchell apologized for the absence of much of her committee at the press event, saying they likely were home making the many origami birds required for this year’s decorating theme, which she called “inspired.” Each year the museum is transformed into an enchanted castle with food, music, wine and beer at stations throughout the halls.

Also participating will be Buckingham Valley Vineyards & Winery, Café Underground, Chaddsford Winery, Chambers 19, Chris Deon Beverage, Houlihan’s, the Joseph Ambler Inn, Karen Ann’s Tea Room, Le Gourmet European Bistro, Maggiano’s Little Italy, Martine’s Riverhouse, Melodia Grill, Memorable Affairs, Park Avenue Pastries, PineCrest Country Club, Sand Castle Winery, Siam Cuisine at the Black Walnut, Studio M Foods, Triumph Brewing Company and Eagles Peak Water.

Savory Sampler, Friday, October 9th, 7:30-11:30 pm, at the Mercer Museum, 84 S. Pine St., Doylestown.  Purchase tickets by calling (215) 345-0210, ext. 132 or see the website www.mercermuseum.org.

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