Dishing it out to keep children safe

Chefs from around the Capital Region came to compete in The Dish It Out Celebrity Chef Gourmet Challenge at Saratoga National, raising about $70,000 for The Capital Region Office of the National Center for Exploited and Missing Children. The second annual Chef’ Challenge on Oct. 5, 2017 drew a crowd of 150 and was the tenth annual fundraiser for NCEMC, which provides prevention education to students, parents, teachers and law enforcement.

“All our programs are free and designed to keep children safe at home, on the Internet especially and when they are away from home,” said Linda Palazzole, co-chair with her husband, Sam.

Restaurants presenting cuisines and dishes from around the world included Yono’s in Albany, Swifty’s Restaurant & Pub in Delmar, and Lake Ridge Restaurant in Round Lake. Saratoga was well represented with Sushi Thai Garden, Chianti Il Ristorante, Osteria Danny, Max London’s, Ronnie & Ralphie’s, Sperry’s and Prime.

Highlights of my dining adventure included a wood-oven roasted pork belly with a seared sea scallop, autumn hash and garlic agrodolce demi from Osteria Danny; sliced prime strip loin with brandy ginger plum chutney and butter whipped turnips topped with crispy fried leeks from Prime at Saratoga National; and a carrot cake sundae with house-made maple butter, pecan ice cream, carrot cake, liquid cheesecake, vanilla caramel and crispy fried carrots from pastry chef extraordinaire Vivian Brammer.

Winners of the Chef Challenger were Scott Ringwood of Lake Ridge for best entrée; A.J. Jayapal of Swifty’s for best appetizer; and Ronnie and Ralphie’s for best dessert. [See the Holiday Saratoga Living for more foodie details.]

Honored at the event were Robin and Matthew Dalton, and Tanya Pellegrini-Lawrence and Mark Lawrence, who were presented the 2017 Outstanding Parent Recognition Award for their commitment to keeping their children safe.

Mike Giovanone of Concord Pools and Spas, a major sponsor for 10 years, donated the Big Green Egg grill for the live auction; high bidders were Robin Dalton, and Dennis and Lynn Crimi, with LeGrande Serras as auctioneer. Tom and Sandy McTygue donated a Disney vacation timeshare. Silent auction items included an amethyst and diamond cocktail ring donated by Patricia Gallagher, a chef statue from Outdoor Living, Baltimore Orioles tickets and a signed Miami Dolphins football. Tony Ianniello donated the Arias wines. Graphic artist Olya Szyjka of Amsterdam donated her services for the eighth year.

Patty Riggi attended with her son, police officer Johnny Rich, who will be joining the board, Linda Palazzole said. Kevin Johnson and fiancé Karen Paulo, Diane Lloyd, and Dave DeCelle, NCMEC educator for the 11 counties of the region, were among the guests.

Also spotted at Saratoga National: Ed and Mary Beth Evers of Mechanicville; Helena Marsh of Ballston Spa; Frank and Colleen Messa, Ken and Jill Rotondo, and Stephen and Connie Haller of Saratoga Springs, along with Agatha Benton, Christine Stack, Lisa McTygue and Brian Cross, and Gary Dake and Aimee Taylor.

NCMEC was founded by John and Revé Walsh after the 1981 abduction and murder of their 6-year-old son, Adam, in Florida, which followed the 1979 disappearance of Etan Patz, 6, in New York and murder of 29 children and young adults in Atlanta. For more information about NCMEC, visit



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