Wednesday, October 23 was a near perfect day with cooler temperatures but abundant sunshine as 200 people gathered at Westwood Country Club to “have lunch with a food critic.” And what a lunch it was! A green salad was followed by chicken piccata with roasted vegetables including red skin potatoes, carrots, beets, green beans and Brussel sprouts with rolls and butter. Two trays of desserts per table included mini crème brulee, chocolate mousse brownies, linzer cookies, and other delightful sweets. The table centerpieces were seasonally festive and there were limitless raffle baskets and door prizes, and tempting goodies in the Bake Shoppe. Comments made to luncheon committee members were that this was the Westlake Garden Club’s best luncheon in recent years. Emily Rose provided background piano music as guests arrived. Westlake Ward 1 Councilwoman, Lynda Appel, said a few words then the key speaker, Joe Crea, was introduced. Joe is a very down-to-earth, likeable person and seemed to have the audience engaged with his first few words. He talked about his background and how he came to be the Dining and Restaurant Editor for the Plain Dealer. Surprisingly, Joe worked as a sous chef at Westwood Country Club many years ago, so it was somewhat of a homecoming. He told entertaining stories of past experiences and famous people he has met and left the audience wanting to hear more, even when he went slightly over the time limit. The luncheon was co-chaired again this year by Robert Pearl and Jean Smith, and newcomers, Shirley Lutts and Marsha McEntee, who will share the chairing responsibilities next year. The luncheon committee expects this year’s luncheon to be as successful as the 2014 luncheon. This is the Westlake Garden Club’s only fundraiser of the year and proceeds support various educational and civic programs and organizations in the west shore area. A list of those recipients for 2014 were listed in the luncheon program. The Westlake Garden Club would like to thank everyone who attended the luncheon and the area merchants who so generously donated gift cards and certificates and products for the raffle and door prizes. We look forward to seeing you all at the 2016 luncheon.