For some, the “gravy” vs. “sauce” debate can be controversial, especially when it’s happening around the Sunday dinner table.
But for the folks at Dearborn Market in Holmdel, whether you call it gravy or sauce isn’t as important as how it tastes.
From noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, the market is having a Sunday Gravy Cooking Challenge, giving home chefs a chance to make and share their best homemade tomato meat sauce. The event is a fund raiser for Bridges Outreach, and the winner will receive a trophy, a $100 Dearborn Market gift card, and will see their winning recipe featured in the market’s March Almanac.
“We started two years ago with a chicken soup challenge, last year we did chili, and now, since we originated as an Italian food market, why not the classic Sunday gravy,” said Nicole Luccarelli Karras, director of marketing and public relations for Dearborn.
Last year’s challenge brought in nearly $5,000, which was donated to Bridges Outreach, a group that provides food, clothing and shelter to the area's homeless. As a bonus, customers who come by between noon and 3 p.m. can participate by sampling any of the sauces prepared by participants. There will even be a Customer’s Choice Award given to one of the favorites.
But one thing that will not be up for a vote is whether to call it gravy or sauce.
“I just think it’s where you grew up and what you were calling it” said Luccarelli Karras. “Some people call it a sub, and other’s call it a hero. It depends on where you grew up. My family always calls it sauce, but a really good family friends always called it gravy.”
If you have a great recipe you want to make and share, the deadline to participate is 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24. The entry fee is $20 and goes directly to Bridges. Donations from customers are taken throughout the day.
Judging the entries are local foodies Frank Luccarelli, president of Dearborn, Kathy Logan, of bridges Outreach, and Anna Perry, of Anna’s Italian Kitchen in Middletown.
For more information, visit the Dearborn Market website.