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Queens Centers for Progress and Celebrity Taste Makers Team up for “Evening of Fine Food” on February 28
  • By Emily Davenport
  • /
  • Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017
  • /
  • 03:18 PM UTC

Queens Centers for Progress (QCP) will hold its annual “Evening of Fine Food” event on Tuesday, February 28 at Terrace on the Park, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The evening will be infused with the spirit of Celebrity Taste Makers, the TV show in which celebrities discuss cuisine and chefs reveal favorite recipes. The benefit will honor two “Chefs of the Year:” Brian Rooney, Regional Vice President of Mutual of America, which is an event sponsor; and, Monsignor Jamie J. Gigantiello, Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and chef and host of “Breaking Bread.”

Lisa Mateo, anchor of PIX-11 News and Host of Celebrity Taste Makers, will appear as special guest, which will raise funds for QCP, which supplies services to help more than 1,200 children and adults who have developmental disabilities.

Now in its 20th year of organizing the “Evening of Fine Food,” QCP each year honors individuals who have made an impact and a difference in their communities.  Brian Rooney, in addition to his position at Mutual of America, has been an advocate for QCP and been involved in the organization’s planning. He also represented QCP by running in the New York City Marathon in 2014 and participates in its New Horizons’ Young Professionals group. Monsignor Jamie J. Gigantiello, in addition to his parish responsibilities, is active in numerous community organizations and has long been a friend to QCP. Prior to studying for the priesthood, Monsignor Gigantiello received a Business Degree from Baruch College and graduated from The Culinary Institute of America.

The evening promises an extraordinary gourmet dining experience, featuring signature dishes from top area restaurants. It will also be an opportunity for supporters of QCP to mingle with friends of Celebrity Taste Makers, including its creators Tony Monte and Melinda Martinez.

“Celebrity Taste Makers is thrilled to support the efforts of Queens Centers for Progress,” said Tony Monte, of Melonte Partners, which produces the Celebrity Taste Makers television show, now in its fifth season. “We are proud to encourage the Celebrity Taste Makers community to attend this truly worthwhile event.”

A live auction promises to add excitement to the evening.  Up for bidding will be a “Dinner With Lisa Mateo” at a fine dining establishment in which the guests will be joined by Lisa Mateo and her guest. Mateo has promised to share insights from her experiences as host of Celebrity Taste Makers.

In addition to the live auction, guests will be encouraged to place their bids on an array of silent auction items.

Contributions for QCP’s 2017 “Evening of Fine Food” are $135 per person. Guests are asked to R.S.V.P. by Feb. 20, 2017. Tickets and more information are available at For sponsorship opportunities, please call Maryann McAleer at (718) 380-3000, ext. 324.

About Queens Centers for Progress (QCP)

Queens Centers for Progress exists in order to support children and adults in Queens County who have Cerebral Palsy and other developmental disabilities. The purpose of QCP’s support is to maximize the range and quality of independent life choices available to individuals and their families.