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Food and drinks galore planned at Riverland gala

Albert Lea restaurants and grocery stores are giving back to the community in a big way in the upcoming Riverland Community College 75th anniversary gala.

Through the donation of food and drinks, they said they hope to support a successful evening for the college, which is aimed at raising money for scholarships for students. The gala begins at 7 p.m. Saturday at Northbridge Mall.

“We’re donating to education because that’s our future workforce,” said Hy-Vee Store Director Peter Streit.

With a variety of food planned for the evening, there is sure to be something available for every taste.

Streit and chef Bryan Cunningham said they plan to serve red pepper and beef curry over saffron rice, shrimp with a variety of sauces, smoked ribs with different sauces and various hors d’oeuvres, including spinach artichoke dip, jalapeño crab pimento dip, buffalo chicken dip with fresh fried pita chips, crackers with smoked turkey and smoked gouda cheese and cheese balls. They will also have six types of gourmet cupcakes.

Some of the food will be made in front of attendees at the gala.

Green Mill co-owner Hillary Korpi said her restaurant and chefs Toussaint McDaniel and Edward Kampen will serve Mediterranean tortolle pasta, which is a vegetarian dish, mostaccioli penne pasta and a green salad with the house dressing. The restaurant will also be a part of two bar stations with wine and beer. Krieger Beverage is donating beer.

Chef Scott Fadden and Marketplace Foods will serve Thai chicken flatbread, raspberry chipotle flatbread, baby new potatoes with Boursin cheese and chicken satay, which is a chicken breast grilled with chili peanut sauce with cilantro.

Fadden said he volunteered for the Riverland galas in the past and he looks forward to this week’s event.

“It’s really important to keep the money coming through the college system,” he said.

The Interchange Wine & Coffee Bistro will provide coffee with dessert.

Randy Kehr, food coordinator, said he has been impressed with the significant donations for food and beverages, as well as for paper goods and linens.

“The more people we’re able to enable to go to Riverland, the better off we are,” Kehr said.

He said Jolene Dillemuth is working on logistics for the event and is donating table skirting and linens. She was a longtime participant in the previous galas the college hosted.

Tickets are $75 and can be purchased at Hy-Vee, the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce, the Albert Lea Convention and Visitors Bureau and Marketplace Foods.