AUGUSTA — An event showcasing food, beverages and related industries from mostly the central Maine area offered a variety of vendors Saturday, such as an Italian restaurant, a garlic farm and the maker of a cheekily named Bloody Mary mix from Skowhegan.

One of the vendors, a pepper jelly maker from Wayne, said she thinks an event focused on food from the region has a lot of potential.

“This is fantastic,” said Sandra Dwight-Barris, owner of Grey Goose Gourmet on Main Street in Wayne. “There are just no foodie events in central Maine.”

Like many of the food vendors at the Augusta Civic Center event, Dwight-Barris was offering samples to the hundreds of attendees. Dwight-Barris, who has been selling jars of pepper jelly made in her kitchen for almost a year, had about a dozen of varieties for sale, and crackers and cream cheese to try her products.

The event, hosted by 107.9 The Mix radio station and Kennebec Valley Community College, benefited the Augusta Food Bank. All admission proceeds and nonperishable food donations went to the Summer Street food pantry, which serves about 400 families from Augusta and Manchester each month, according to Executive Director Abigail Perry.

The food pantry, whose client roster increased 10 percent from 2013 to 2014, will use the money to cover operational costs and buy food, Perry said.

“We’re just happy that 107.9 invited us to be part of it too,” she said.

Saturday’s event also served as an introduction of the Fairfield community college’s new culinary arts program to more of the public and the culinary community of central Maine.

Kelly Anne Clarke, chef instructor and coordinator of the two-year program, which started in September, said it’s important for the program and its students to connect with restaurants, food producers, farmers and others in the industry from the region.

“Our goal here today is to get the word out, let our program be known,” she said.

The program includes classes on cooking and baking, kitchen sanitation, food service management, and food and beverage purchasing, according to Elizabeth Fortin, project manager for the federal grant funding the KVCC Center for Farm to Table Innovation.

About 50 students are in the culinary arts program, and 11 are in the laboratory classes, Clarke said.

Students who graduate will have earned associate degrees in applied science of culinary art.

Paul Koenig — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @paul_koenig

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