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Patrons enjoy Valley-grown dinner

January 30, 2010|By DAVID STEFFEN, Staff Writer
  • FERNANDO ACOSTA JR. PHOTO President and Chief Executive Officer of the Imperial Valley Economic Development Corp. Timothy Kelley discusses the importance of agriculture during Friday&#8217
FERNANDO ACOSTA JR. PHOTO
President and Chief Executive Officer of the Imperial Valley Economic Development Corp. Timothy Kelley discusses the importance of agriculture during Friday’

More than 200 patrons savored a smorgasbord of Valley fare during the second-annual Taste of the Valley dinner in Brawley on Friday.

“It’s a celebration of the ag economy in the Imperial Valley,” said Timothy Kelley, president and CEO of the Imperial Valley Economic Development Corp. “Ag is our largest industry in the Imperial Valley. We wanted to make sure people know the importance of ag to the Imperial Valley.”

The IVEDC hosted the event, and proceeds from ticket sales benefited marketing of the agricultural community. Those in attendance sampled local delicacies from several tables. Catfish tacos, bacon-wrapped dates, salads and carrot cakes were among the dishes composed of 100 percent Valley-raised and grown ingredients. Guests enjoyed a live jazz band performance, as well.

Rep. Bob Filner, D-51st district, attended and sampled a wide array of dishes, including salad, tri-tip and meatballs, he said.

“It’s a great idea to not only raise money, but also people get a sense of what’s offered in the Valley,” Filner said. “It’s a nice occasion to celebrate.”

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Filner said he enjoyed everything he sampled. He learned about a new aspect of Valley-raised fare as well.

“It’s great,” he said. “I had no idea of the range. I had some lamb meat balls, and I had no idea that came from here.”

Mary Emanuelli was part of “Brawley Sidekicks,” a group of farmers’ wives who prepared meals that incorporated all-Valley products, including meat, grain, vegetables and fruit.

“It’s a great way to promote agriculture,” Emanuelli said.

Shirley Chronister, of El Centro, said she thought Taste of the Valley was a great promotional event to teach people about the Valley’s culinary offerings.

“I think it’s great,” she said. “It lets everyone know what we harvest in the Valley.”

>> Staff Writer David Steffen can be reached at 760-337-3452 or dsteffen@ivpressonline.com

FERNANDO ACOSTA JR. PHOTO
President and Chief Executive Officer of the Imperial Valley Economic Development Corp. Timothy Kelley discusses the importance of agriculture during Friday’s Taste of the Valley dinner event at the Stockmen’s Club in Brawley.
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