Don’t Miss Out on the Social Event of the Year; Tickets Still Available for Wednesday’s Garden Party


The social event of the year in Chester County happens this week, as the Brandywine Health Foundation’s 16th Annual Garden Party will take place Wednesday evening.

Philanthropists Jennifer and Robert McNeil will once again welcome approximately 500 ticketholders and sponsors to their Springbank Farm in Coatesville for the event that benefits the community in a variety of ways.

The Garden Party also kicks off the Foundation’s annual Strawberry Festival, a four-day celebration on the grounds of Brandywine Hospital that begins May 31.

Proceeds from the Garden Party help the Brandywine Health Foundation build community partnerships and launch programs and initiatives focused on health equity, healthy youth, and healthy community. To date, the Foundation has awarded $16.4 million in grants and scholarships to the Coatesville community.

Tickets are still available for this year’s Garden Party, the theme of which is “An Evening in the French Quarter.”

“We like to change the theme every year, and we thought this one would be fun,” said Jill Whitcomb, the Foundation’s Vice President for Development and Communications. “We like the idea of having jazz music at the event, and our caterer, John Serock, is so creative we knew he could do a lot with a menu from the French Quarter in New Orleans.”

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Guests can expect Creole, Cajun, and soul food-inspired dishes, along with a signature cocktail called the “French 75.”

In addition to food and drinks, the evening will feature the popular Battle of the Berries, sponsored by Univest ~ Banking, Insurance, Investments. One-of-a-kind berry-themed desserts from five local restaurants will be graded on taste, presentation, creativity, and use of berries.

A panel of judges, including the Philadelphia Inquirer’s food columnist, Michael Klein, will select the Culinary Excellence Award winner. Guests in attendance will get to voice their opinions by choosing the winner of the People’s Choice Award. Interestingly, no restaurant has ever won both awards the same year.

Competing in this year’s Battle of the Berries are chefs from General Warren Inne, Master’s Baker, Fork and Bottle Restaurant at the Desmond, Suburban Restaurant and Beer Garden, and Amani’s BYOB.

Eric Yost of Suburban Restaurant and Beer Garden in Exton will be competing for the first time, and is looking forward to the competition.

“We’re happy to go and will be excited to be there,” he said. “We’re thinking of making a Strawberry Bombe, but I don’t want to tell anyone our secret recipe. We’re just going to show up and win this thing.”

Yost will most likely need that confidence since he will be going up against some very talented chefs, including Amani BYOB’s Jonathan Amann, who has won the People’s Choice Award the last two years.

As in the past, however, the real winners will be residents of the nine municipalities of the Coatesville Area School District, as they will directly benefit from the event’s proceeds.

Click here to purchase tickets to the 16th Annual Garden Party.

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