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Jenny Johnson brought sparkle, quite literally, to Northshore’s fifth annual Grand Tasting & Culinary Marketplace on March 28, 2019. In addition to serving as celebrity host for the event, the Emmy-award winning TV personality and producer shared Champy, her own brand of Sonoma sparkling wine, in the VIP lounge all night long.

Guests were treated to tastes from all the top spots on the North Shore, as chefs like Anthony Caturano, who owns Tonno locations in Gloucester and Wakefield, and Daniel Gursha from Ledger Restaurant & Bar, brought their best dishes and chatted with guests. Ledger was serving up delicious sliders with house-made pickles, while BONS winner Tonno had two offerings: Bolognese in the VIP lounge and tuna for all. 

Seafood was certainly a theme throughout the night – Seaport Grill brought overstuffed samples of their BONS-award-winning lobster rolls while tuna, as tartar, poke and ceviche, was offered up all around, including from Matador in Woburn, served on a housemade tortilla chip. Bucking the seafood trend, over at Kitchen to Aisle Catering, chef Nick Bond, two-time Hell’s Kitchen alum, offered up some lighter fare – a crisp bitter endive topped with beet. 

There were ample opportunities to imbibe as well – BONS winner Rumson’s Rum was sharing samples, and Smoky Quartz distillery introduced guests to the flavors of New England Bourbon. Aged spirits lovers also enjoyed Tommyrotter Distillery’s barrel aged gin. Beer and cider lovers were not left out – Downeast Cider brought their newest offering – Aloha Friday, loaded with lush tropical notes. 

Of course there were sweets – Whoo(pie) Wagon brought a seemingly limitless supply of whoopie pies , while Bellavella showed up with spiked tequila cupcakes, as well as their infamous whiskey cake. 

VIP guests enjoyed premier parking and check-in, an early preview of the event, access to the exclusive lounge with premium food and drinks, and a luxurious swag bag sponsored by MainVest featuring a bottle of Titos Handmade Vodka.

Tesoro Boston generously donated a pair of 14kt white gold diamond earrings (estimated retail value: $3,600) for a raffle to raise money for the Greater Boston Food Bank. One lucky winner went home with this gorgeous pair of hoops.

Blue Ocean Event Center proved once again to be a magical spot – guests were able to enjoy sunset views over the ocean and Salisbury Beach – rumor is that some even took a late night stroll. 

Photos by Jen Bolitho.