"My daughter told me I shouldn't be a food judge, because I like everything," new Montgomery County Commissioner Leslie Richards laughed, while taking a break between courses at Foodapalooza Friday night.
This is the fourth year that First Friday Main Line has organized the February food tasting event, held at Haverford Estates. This year, guests had the chance to try dishes from about 15 local businesses including A La Maison, Firinji, Mediterranean Grill, MilkBoy Coffee, and an Ardmore newcomer, Tired Hands Brewery.
Richards, along with Lower Merion Commissioner Scott Zelov, Radnor Commissioner John Nagle and ElderNet's Linda Fisher, served as "celebrity" guest judges for Foodapalooza's food judging competition. The judges each downed portions of 10 dishes prepared by local restaurants, rating each on taste and presentation.
Firinji's steamed sea bass with tomato coulis took home the prize for top dish of the night, with MilkBoy's Shrimp Cocktail Veracruz taking second place, followed by A La Maison's braised pork belly with honeycrisp calvados in third.
After tasting enough of the 10 plates, Richards handed them off to her daughters—Sophie, 13, and Rebecca, 10—who had tagged along and were happily enjoying the food as Richards recorded her scores.
"We've been overwhelmed by the generosity of all the restaurants, Haverford Estates, and all the people that come out and support First Friday Main Line," FFML Executive Director Sherry Tillman said at the event. "We work on a shoestring budget, so this event and others like it help us to support more artists and the arts."