Taste Of The Timberwolves A Delicious Success

Lindsey LaBelle
Web Editorial Assistant


Dim lighting, artfully folded sushi, three-cheese stuffed pasta shells, and Timberwolves donning off-court attire are a few pieces that comprise Taste of the Timberwolves: An evening of socializing, cuisine-sampling and fundraising. All complete with the company of the Wolves roster.

The 18th annual Taste of the Timberwolves gala serves as the team’s primary fundraiser for the FastBreak Foundation. In its 18th year, there was still no shortage of tasty local fare, including fresh sushi from Seven Steakhouse, Vescio’s Cucina, Brew Pub Pizza, Crave, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit and local breweries and distilleries. The Timberwolves and patrons enjoyed sampling the room while snapping memorable photographs together, bidding on silent auction items, followed by a live auction with everything from shooting lessons with a favorite player to a Hawaiian vacation.


[Related Content: CLICK HERE to check out all the top photos from the 18th annual Taste of the Timberwolves event.]

Manning the Crave table, Kevin Love got to spend his first days back in Minnesota surrounded by loyal fans and apparently, his favorite food.

The best food at the event?

“Crave, duh!” Love said. “Actually, I would say it’s between Vescio’s and Crave. Both are great, this is a lot of fun.”

Aside from the food, Love said the highlight of his evening was our conversation. His sincerity in this case is up for debate, but it was clear he was having a great time at Taste.

The Timberwolves’ partnership with Lexus brings COO of Village Automotive Group Steve Bennett and his family to Taste year after year. The Bennetts have been dedicated Wolves fans for many years, and after being greeted with a warm hug from none other than Ricky Rubio, it’s clear why wife Teri always has a good time.

“I always think it’s fun seeing the players do their funny thing on stage,” Teri said. “I love the auction, I love how you can mingle with the players, it’s casual and you can relate with the players a little bit.”

The evening culminates with live Wolves entertainment that seems almost as natural as when the portable wood floor is in place at the Target Center. For this event, the Wolves take the stage and partner up for a Family Feud style competition. A portion of the event was in Russian for Alexey Shved and Andrei Kirilenko. Whether or not they even earned the points they received is unknown, but the pair giggled through the entire bit.

Jack Bennett recalled Derrick Williams falling off the stage during last year’s performance and looked forward to what stunts he’d perform this year.

Derrick, however, was quick to debunk that myth, as his stamina was not to blame for the previous year’s blunder.

“I didn’t fall, I got pushed,” he affirmed.

This is Jen Paonessa’s second year at Taste. Jen is the manager of client relations with ANC Sports, a New York based company responsible for the graphics that span across the LED boards encircling the Target Center.

“The food is good, we don’t have this kind of food in New York,” Jen said. “I have to taste all of it. And I have to meet Kevin Love, that’s what it all comes down to. Meeting all the players and seeing how personal it is, it’s really cool.”

“It’s just fun to meet and see new people,” Cambria market rep Kathy Ordahl said. However, she and her guests took the people watching to a new level with a detailed outfit analysis. “The style-watch is probably the best part of the evening. It’s so much fun to go to events and see how styles differ.”

The ladies agreed that the Timberwolves all looked dashing for the event.

Greg Stiemsma stood near the table of one of his local favorites, Seven Steakhouse. As he encouraged everyone around him to try their sushi, J.J. Barea came running toward him in true J.J. fashion, only this time he was wielding cocktail napkins and beverages.

“Stiemer!” he yelled as he approached “Look at all this! This is awesome!”

For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter, and join the conversation at WolvesNation.com.