Kara's Cafe & Bakery thrilled to showcasse some of its desserts for patrons of 23rd Taste of the Lakes Region
LACONIA — The 23rd Annual Taste of the Lakes Regoin, to be held Sunday, April 7 from 3 to 5:30 p.m., will see more than 20 local culinary establishments offering some of their signature creations at the Conference Center at the Opechee Inn and Spa. The mix of restaurants features some of the region's well-loved favorites standing shoulder-to-shoulder with fresh faces to the local dining scene.
Those who hold a ticket to the event will enjoy the opportunity to sample from all the offerings. Because there is a cash bar, no one younger than 21 will be admitted. Tickets cost $25 and are available at Coldwell-Banker Brokerage or Hector's Fine Food & Spirits in Laconia, or Hart's Turkey Farm in Meredith. All proceeds will directly benefit the charitable efforts of the Laconia Altrusa Club, efforts which include local literacy programs and scholarships.
Kara Martinez, owner of Kara's Cafe & Cakery on Main Street in Meredith, is one of the new entrants in the event this year. Martinez grew up in Meredith, then left to follow a culinary career path that saw her as chef at a restaurant in Hawaii owned by martial artist and film star Jackie Chan, then as operations manager of a New York City company that sold 2,000 hand-made cupcakes daily. She returned to Meredith two years ago to raise her family and to start her own company, which she opened in May, 2011.
"I'm a member of Meredith Altrusa, and very active. I understand what a wonderful group of women are involved, and how very charitable they are." Martinez sees her involvement as enriching in many ways. She is happy to further a worthy cause, and participation in such will provide her with what she called a "spiritual" reward. She will reap more tangible rewards, too, as the event will allow her to meet and network with other local chefs and restaurateurs, and can put her food before diners that might not have otherwise tasted her products.
Martinez plans to offer a platter of dessert items that showcase her skill. "Our chocolate chip cookies here have become quite popular, so we sill definitely have them," she said. She will also bring a batch of her mixed-berry scones, a menu item which has cultivated its own cult following. To prove that she's unafraid of the unconventional, Martinez's platter will include "pie pops," bites of pie baked onto the end of a Popsicle stick.
It's a tall order for a new, small bake shop to prepare and serve food for a room full of hungry, inquisitive diners. For Martinez, it's worth her while. "Doing charitable work is time-consuming but it's rewarding in so many aspects of my life," she said.
CAPTION for KARA in AA:
Kara Martinez, owner of Kara's Cafe and Cakery in Meredith, creams together butter and sugar for a batch of cookies. She'll be one of the 20-plus chefs participating in the 23rd Annual Taste of the Lakes Region, held on April 7. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Adam Drapcho)