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Pittsburgh Botanic Garden's inaugural dinner raises hopes for seconds

| Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
John Altdorfer
Kelli Mainous, Frank Pizzi and Susan Washburn stand in a renovated barn during the From Garden to Table Dinner gala, the inaugural dinner at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden in Oakdale. Sept. 21, 2014.
John Altdorfer
A table setting inside a renovated barn during the From Garden to Table gala, the inaugural dinner at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden in Oakdale. Sept. 21, 2014.
John Altdorfer
Fran and Melanie Azur sit on an outdoor hearth during the From Garden to Table gala, the inaugural dinner at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden in Oakdale. Sept. 21, 2014.
John Altdorfer
A place setting inside a renovated during the From Garden to Table gala, the inaugural dinner at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden in Oakdale. Sept. 21, 2014.
John Altdorfer
Chefs Derek Stevens, Keith Fuller, Justin Servino, Brian Pekarcik and Stephen prepared appetizers and meals during the From Garden to Table gala, the inaugural dinner at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden in Oakdale. Sept. 21, 2014.
John Altdorfer
A chandelier of hanging candle holders added a light touch to the From Garden to Table gala, the inaugural dinner at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden in Oakdale. Sept. 21, 2014.
John Altdorfer
Vince and Rita Deluzio stand in front of a barn during the From Garden to Table gala, the inaugural dinner at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden in Oakdale. Sept. 21, 2014.
John Altdorfer
Chefs Brian Pekarcik and Stephen slice duck sausage during the From Garden to Table gala, the inaugural dinner at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden in Oakdale. Sept. 21, 2014.
Jars of wildflowers lined the path leading to the From Garden to Table gala, the inaugural dinner at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden in Oakdale. Sept. 21, 2014.

The only problem the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden faced after hosting its inaugural From Garden to Table Dinner on Sept. 21 was the question of how it can possibly make people wait an entire year for the next one.

The evening began in the painstakingly restored 19th century-barn known as the “front door” to the 460-acre property in Oakdale. For decades, the land was plagued with pollution from an abandoned strip mine.

“This is the greatest possible reward for years and years of hard work,” prez Greg Nace said.

When the dinner bell rang, chefs Justin Severino, Stephen Felder, Derek Stevens, Brian Pekarcik and Keith Fuller escorted everyone out of reality and into a food utopia that began with a sweet potato soup and ended with a rose panna cotta.

VIPs included Fran andMelanie Azur, Vince andRita Deluzio, Lou andKathy Testoni, Dr. Jim and Ruby Kang, Dolly andCurt Ellenberg, Bev and Steve Elliott, Jim and Judy Stalder, and Mark andDeb Henzes.

Kate Benz is the social columnist for Trib Total Media and can be reached at kbenz@tribweb.com, 412-380-8515 or via Twitter @KateBenzTRIB.

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