NYACK, N.Y. -- The verbal sparring was seriously spicy at People to People's Third Annual Get Saucy! fundraiser but it was all in the name good fun and for an excellent cause. More than 125 attendees packed Nyack Seaport to watch "amateur" chefs and bakers compete to raise funds for the Nanuet-based charity that helps feed people. The fundraiser raked in $10,000.
"We feed more than 4,000 people a year, and the numbers are going up every year," said Matt Rand, People to People's Board President. "We wish we could go our of business."
Other than Rand's sober note, the evening's festivities focused on the competition between the two-time champion Lou Falco III, Rockland County Sheriff, and three new entrants.
"Every year he wins," said Nyack Mayor Jen Laird White, reminding everyone that he does "carry a gun."
In the spirit of a roast, Rockland County Clerk Paul Piperato told Falco he heard the Sheriff had been issued a subpoena; then he held up a Ragu jar in a plastic bag.
Four judges were invited to taste sauces: Marcello Russodivito, Ula Robertson, Rocco Rosano and Matt Hudson.
After announcing that Debbie Bertolotta had won, there was temporary upheaval as to whether a mistake had been made. After pointing to her pots, the judges were satisfied.
Bertolotta is a board member of People to People.
In addition to the judge's contest, the people were also allowed to vote. John Patrick Schutz of Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty took People's Choice prize.
This year Get Saucy! added a bake-off. Mayor White took the cake, so to speak. White previously competed in the sauce contest. In fact, it was she and Falco who cooked up the idea of the fundraiser three years ago during one of the mayor's famous Halloween parties, which always include her homemade pasta and sauce. Falco then said 'hey you make a good sauce but not as good as mine'. That provocation led to the successful Get Saucy! fundraiser.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.