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There's plenty of 'ribbing' at charity dinner

Ribs a highlight of Saturday's Celebrity Chef event
By: Martha Garcia, Loomis News Editor
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One group of volunteers who participates in an annual community fundraiser gets a lot of ribbing. They’re the chefs from Loomis Basin Veterinary Clinic Small Animal and Exotics who will be among 75 chefs, caterers and community cooks serving a taste of their special dishes to the crowd at the Celebrity Chef dinner on Saturday, May 16, at the Blue Goose Fruit Shed. Despite questions such as “Where do you really get the ribs?” and “Did you have to kill a horse?” the ribs cooked by this group are so popular that they’re gone very early during the affair. The veterinarians, and their friends, are good-natured cooks. The sign on their table says, "Bones – A pork rib devouring experience. No clinic patients were harmed during the preparation of this dish.” Rick Frey is one of the Loomis Clinic veterinarians who prepares and serves the pork ribs yearly at Celebrity Chef. He’s been participating to support the community event since the dinner was held in the park. “Bruce Greenan and I did it initially and thought it would be a good idea if the clinic did it,” Frey said. “It’s been a lot of fun. We like the set up, the day of preparation. We see a lot of friends … and clients and their children, and their children’s children.” The crew starts preparing the pork ribs the night before. The ribs are rubbed and soaked with spices, and slow-cooked over six hours. “We have a variety of chips we smoke them with; it’s a technique that we’ve kind of developed over several years of doing it now,” Frey explained. In addition to the joking about the veterinarians serving ribs, Greenan, one of the veterinarians’ friends, said the most frequently asked questions is, “Will you save some for me?” That request, said Greenan, comes from other volunteer chefs who have to finish serving before they can dine, or from people whose plates are already full as they make the rounds. Lisa Musso, of Loomis, also attends Celebrity Chef every year. She sees it as a great socializing event. “I go to mingle, to see people, to have a good time. And to support the Blue Goose,” Musso said. Of course, she also goes to eat. “I like to check out the desserts, pasta and salads,” she said. The fundraiser, which benefits the South Placer Heritage Foundation’s shed renovation project, is also gearing up for a challenge this year between the Loomis, Penryn and Newcastle Fire Protection Districts. Vying for bragging rights are Andy Portillo and Sean Fuller from Loomis will prepare homemade chips and salsa; Cody Smith of Penryn, who will be cooking an all-time favorite meatloaf; and from Newcastle, Christian Suman and Cameron Gibson, who have chosen mini bacon barbecue burgers to serve. Diners will have a chance to vote for their favorite. Serving at the culinary extravaganza starts at 5:30 p.m. Seating will be inside the fruit shed as well as outside under tents. General admission tickets are $25 each and good for unlimited tastes. Purchase them now at Blue Goose Produce, in the fruit shed or at the door on the day of the event. CELEBRITY CHEF DINNER When: 5:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday, May 16 Where: Blue Goose Fruit Shed, 3550 Taylor Road, Loomis Who: 75 Chefs, celebrities, caterers, community cooks Ticets: $25 for unlimited tastes. Get tickets now at Blue Goose Produce or at the event Benefit: Fruit shed renovation project