A Taste Of Recovery Returns With Culinary Creations To Support Recovery Community

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By: Jan Engoren Contributing Writer

Members of the Delray Beach drug and alcohol recovery community held their second annual “A Taste of Recovery,” on Sat. Jun. 2, under a large white canopy at the Old School Square Pavilion.

The event raised more than $60,000 for the non-profit Crossroads Club, a 36-year old organization located at 1700 Lake Ida Rd., which provides meeting space for Alcoholic Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Eating Disorders Anonymous, Food Addicts Anonymous and Mayhem to Miracles, a support group for hoarders, etc.

“The addiction epidemic is one of the greatest tragedies facing our nation,” Tony Allerton, 89, a co-founder of The Crossroads Club and Delray Beach resident, said in a statement.

“The Crossroads Club offers a solution to the cycle of addiction free of charge, and the Club has literally saved the lives of thousands of individuals and continues to do so each day,” says Allerton, who has 36 years of recovery.

More than 20 area restaurants participated, including City Oyster, Farmer’s Table, Fries to Caviar, Hickory Sticks BBQ, Josie’s Ristorante, MIA, My Organic Juice, Rebel House, Season’s 52, Tucker Duke’s, Venu and Ziree Thai & Sushi.

To the rocking sounds of blues tunes provided by Dave Scott and the Reckless Shots, guests sampled four-cheese ravioli and coq-au-vin from Dada, lobster tortelloni from Delray’s newest Louie Bossi, shrimp lettuce wraps with pickled papaya slaw and peanut sauce  from Max’s Harvest, beef tacos from Rocco’s Tacos, and refreshing coconut rice pudding topped with a peach tartare from West Palm Beach’s Basque.

Chris Finley, of the Law Office of Christopher Finley in Delray Beach and president of the Crossroads Club board, said, “We’re so excited to be here with this great turnout and all the amazing food and music.”

“The event is for a good cause. Crossroads Club has provided an invaluable community service for the past 36 years,” he says noting that on average 900 people a day take advantage of their 164 meetings each week.

Recent New York transplants Al and Audrey D. from Boynton Beach were there with their 32-year-old daughter, Megan, a recovering alcoholic who has been sober for nine months.

“It’s a very supportive community,” says Megan, who attends a meeting every day and says she has made friends and feels part of the community. “They teach you to live sober and if you miss a meeting, there’s always another one to attend.”

One of those friends is Conor Hanlon, 29, who moved to Delray Beach from Texas for the recovery community.

A drug and alcohol abuser, Hanlon has been active with Crossroads for three years, and says, “Crossroads is the best thing to happen to me. It’s everything.”

He says it’s taught him to embrace the spiritual side of life and to see past his fears and limitations.

He attends meetings daily and says he hopes to continue on his spiritual path of growth.

The event was hosted by Gary Kimble, ambassador for the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence and author of “Walk the Talk with Step 12: Staying Sober through Service.”

Recognition was given to State Attorney for Palm Beach County Dave Aronberg who created Palm Beach County’s Opioid Task Force, Delray Beach Chief of Police Jeffrey Goldman, Fire Chief Neal de Jesus and special populations advocate Ariana Ciancio.

By the end of the evening, the verdicts were in. Judges Liz Balmaseda, Palm Beach Post Food & Dining Editor, Phillip Valys, of the Sun-Sentinel and Jan Norris, Florida Weekly Food Writer, agreed: Louie Bossi Ristorante came in first place followed by Josie’s Ristorante and Boca Raton’s Jimmy’s Fries to Caviar Garden Bistro and Bar took third place.

To learn more about the Crossroads Club visit: thecrossroadsclub.com