MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Foodies converged at Pelican Landing in Moss Point for the Jackson County American Heart Association's 2015 Heart Gala. This year's theme focused on your sweet tooth.
The Jackson County American Heart Association's (AHA) annual fundraiser appealed to the palate. Attendees kept busy with a silent auction. They also had the hard task of sampling cakes in a competition where local competitors are judged based on taste and design.
"People are coming because they want to see something different. We've got Mauro from Cake Boss and Whitney Miller from Master Chef here. And it's just great to meet people who share a similar passion," said co-chair for AHA Heather Sudduth.
Some of the best bakers on the coast battled it out in this contest. One of the criteria--to incorporate a healthy component to their cake. Cheeky Monkey added basil while The Cake Designer LLC included zucchini.
"They include one of the heart healthy vegetables or fruits that the kids grow in heart healthy gardens that kids grow in the local schools here," said co-chair for AHA Alan Sudduth.
The exposure for the sweet opponents seemed endless. But for them helping heart research and meeting celebrity chefs Whitney Miller from Master Chef and Mauro Castano from Cake Boss were the biggest draws.
"I was so excited I was like I cannot believe he's gonna be here," said Owner of Kimmy Cakes in Ocean Springs Kim Sykes.
What did Castano think of her Lemon cupcakes with blueberry and basil?
"This is from Mississippi? All made here natural in Mississippi? Are you from Mississippi? I'm not even kidding it's good," said Castano after trying her cupcake.
Organizers consider this event a big success considering they are well on their way to making their goal of $100,000. All of those proceeds benefit the American Heart Association. Each year the organization invests $5.1 million to cardiovascular and stroke research. Last year the American Heart Association taught 7,000 South Mississippians how to perform CPR which they said helps improve survivability.