Everyone was feeling saucy as temperatures cooled and the sun set in Visalia for the 10th Annual Saucy September event on September 16, hosted by Congregation B’nai David and FoodLink of Tulare County. With pasta sauce in hand, local restaurants waited with anticipation as attendees gathered to taste and vote on who would take home the coveted Savory Saucy Trophy.

For the past 10 years, Congregation B’nai David has asked local restaurants to “bring the sauce” to the competition, and this year the community’s response was overwhelming. Café 225, Sequoia Brewing, Monet’s Wine Bistro, Pita Kabob, Planing Mill Artisan Pizzeria, Tommy’s Restaurant, and Bravo Farms took off the cooking mitts to bring their own unique twist and style to the pasta sauce competition.

“Attendees had a chance to taste and vote on the best pasta sauces in Tulare County,” Norma Goldstrom, co-chair of the event, said. Votes were tallied, and Café 225 won the prestigious trophy. “But there were no losers tonight,” Goldstrom added, “all the sauces were outstanding.”

The dinner, a fundraiser for Congregation B’nai David and FoodLink of Tulare County, is a special time to not only help raise funds for the congregation, but to also bring hunger and nutritional awareness.

“This is the second year we successfully partnered with FoodLink of Tulare County,” said Goldstrom. “We believe this partnership and event is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness toward hunger in our community.”

“Hunger is not a problem of the individual,” said Jon Stern, FoodLink funds and communication director. “It is an issue only our community can solve, and we feel fortunate not only to partner with B’nai David, but also to work with community partners to end hunger and nutritional inequity in Tulare County through events like this.”

September was Hunger Action Month, a month-long effort to engage the community in the fight to end hunger. “Food literacy is about understanding our food, from farm to table and back to the soil and how this food impacts our health, environment, and economy,” said Sarah Ramirez, executive director of FoodLink of Tulare County.

Ramirez also encourages the community to visit FoodLink on October 28, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., for Food Day. “We will have cooking and art contests,” she added. “Free lunch, entertainment, delicious food samples, Nutrition on the Go Market, gardening workshops, and more.”

For more information on Food Day, or how you can help end hunger, call (559) 651-3663, or visit www.foodlinktc.org.

Photos by Trisha Dean