Fundraisers held in ballrooms are often sad affairs for adventurous palates, with the only frisson of excitement coming from breaking through the wall of sharp-elbowed crustacean vacuums parked at the shrimp trough.

Not Taste of Culinary. Powered by the cooking chops of professional chefs looking to outdo each other and the energy of local culinary students, in its seventh year it has earned a reputation as one of the premier fundraiser menus of the year. It’s raising cash for the American Culinary Federation’s Greater Buffalo chapter, which provides programs and mentorship for culinary students in Western New York programs.

Richard Semonian, chef-owner of Amaretto Bistro, will be serving his Amaretto scallops with lemon-dressed arugula. “I think it’s a great event,” he said. “Plus I think our scallops will be a big hit.”

For $30, you can take the royal tour. House-cured mackerel and smoked oysters from Seneca Allegany Casino. Authentic tonkotsu ramen from the Park Country Club. Elvis ice cream (peanut butter, bacon, banana) from the Saturn Club. Plus at least 20 more palate pitches from seasoned chefs and students.

It’s from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday in the Hotel @ the Lafayette (391 Washington St.). Tickets are through



Desserts and Wine in the Stacks

Wine for the adults, gummy candy for the kids and desserts for all from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday in the Youngstown Free Library (240 Lockport St., Youngstown). Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 door. Visit or call 745-3555.