The Suburbanite
  • Canton Club patrons pick winning Taste of the NFL

  • Canton Club won the right to represent the Hall of Fame and Browns fans at the 2012 Super Bowl with its salmon crabcakes, served up Tuesday night at the annual Taste of the NFL.

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  • The boys at the Canton Club knew they had a winner. Well-fed and cheering football fans confirmed it Tuesday night.
    Chef Mark Pullin and Sous-Chef Nick Lenos’ succulent salmon crabcakes took top honors at the Taste of the NFL fundraiser Tuesday at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
    “We had it down to four dishes. Then, we let our customers decide at the club,” said Manager Chuck Schuster.
    Canton Club won the right to represent the Hall of Fame and Browns fans at the 2012 Super Bowl. That involves a similar cookoff, but for 5,000 fans. The local winners across the country pick up the party tab, ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 each.
    They say it is worth it in fame and partying with some of the best chefs in the nation.
    Canton Club broke a string of two straight wins by Brandt Evans and his crew from Blue Canyon, a Twinsburg restaurant. Evans served a chicken, pancetta, pasta and cheese combo, the same dish he provided at the last Super Bowl.
    “The odds were against us three times in a row, but we competed to win,” he said.
    The 400-plus crowd paid $150 to $250 to sample the wares of 20 purveyors, followed by a large auction of football memorabilia, trips and dinners.
    Top taker was a ride in the word’s largest football, the Goodyear Blimp, for $2,300.
    Proceeds benefit the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, which buys 1,300 meals for every $500 donated. The NFL sponsors similar events for food banks in its teams’ cities.
    “This is how the NFL gives back to its communities,” said HOF Director Stephen Perry. The local food bank provisions 430 feeding centers throughout the area.
    Taste of NFL began in 1992 as a way for the league to raise money for food banks. Winning chefs compete at the Super Bowl Party with a Purpose, the largest charity event at the game. The NFL is helping to feed 37 million Americans who rely on food banks.
    All of the chefs cooked up excellent choices. The winner was selected by people’s choice.
    Galaxy Restaurant in Wadsworth offered an unusual heirloom tomato bisque from Amish tomatoes picked the day before. Georgio’s presented an aggressive mix of scallops fried on the site, prime rib and mushroom risotto.
    Or Derv Foods crafted a most unusual dessert, deep-fried Oreo cookies dusted with confectioner’s sugar.
    Eight Hall of Fame enshrinees were on hand to sign footballs, helmets, tickets, wine glasses, jerseys and whatever else the guests brought?

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