Yes, it was a hot and sultry day in Mann Biomedical Park for the Taste of the Town annual event benefitting our Child and Family Center. Undaunted, the record-breaking number of guests (I’ve read over 2k) dressed to impress: the ladies in fine pastel-colored summer dresses and filmy frocks that were just itching for a day like this to come out; men in crisp linen shorts, silken camp shirts and baseball hats complemented their lovely dates. And pairing all these cool peeps: food and drink from our finest establishments, live music all day, and a silent auction that culminated into a lively public auction.
“The 2014 Taste of the Town was the largest and highest attended in the event’s 26 year history. This year’s event had a bountiful array of wines being poured from both large and small wineries throughout Southern California. Attendees were able to sample tastings as well as full pours of these fine wines and learned about many new wineries in our area. Many of this year’s restaurants also served wine, pairing wine to their popular food choices from their restaurant menus.” Laura Kirchhoff, Development Associate-Special Events, Child & Family Center Foundation auction.
Food and Drink
I really wanted to visit every food vendor but it was physically impossible. Not because of long lines, there were only maybe two of those, but because most tents offered up more than just a single tantalizing sample. Besides the food many restaurants also served up a tasty signature cocktail or chilled wine to accompany their cuisine. The aromas and the artistic displays definitely met our collective expectations.
With that said, I did get to sample some excellent small plates and drinks from these tents, and made a mental note to visit them again: Bake You Happy, Salt Creek Grille, Clarice’s Cake and Candy, COC Institute for Culinary Education, Fag Hot Dogs, Persia Restaurant, Reyes Winery, J. Lohr Vineyards, Jeannie J’s Events, Jill’s Cake Creations, Lima Limon Peruvian Cuisine, Nuggucciet Cellars, Newhall Refinery, Robinson Ranch, Margarita’s Mexican Grill, Castaic Lake Water Agency, Lee’s Wine Bistro, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Signal Wine Club, Taste of the Vineyards, Vines Restaurant and Bar, Whole Foods Market, Wolf Creek and Wood Ranch.
I took a ton o’ photos of the event, food, drink and people, see the shareable Facebook link here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202909207958630.1073741868.1455706632&type=1&l=5d9b8c9108
Who Was Spotted
Lois and son John Bauccio, Harold and Jacqulyn Petersen, Elizabeth Hopp, Tom Fahrenholz and Maria Gutzeit, Debbie Heys, Scott and Vanessa Wilk, TimBen and Ingrid Boydston, Lisa Blowers, Guy Lelarge and Helen LaPrairie, Jennifer Chadwick, Mike Lebecki, Marshall Hann, Lee Yoon, Joyce Carson, Rich Soto and Jane Bettencourt Soto, Colleen Littlefield, Darrell Paulk, Bob and Margo Hudson, Moe, Linda and Alex Hafizi, Steve and Rose Chegwin, Chef Cindy Schwanke, Chef Louis Eguaras, Chef Dmitry Drabkin, Chantal Khalilieh, Tina Suwarno, Lisa Odom, Phil Johnson and Janice Murray, Ed Bushman, Kym Cappi, Margie Ann Clark, Cathy Craig, Thomas and Toni Polucki, Russ Briley, Tami Edwards, Alesia Humphries, Loretta Rowley, Amy Daniels, John and Sheryl Geraci, Carlo Goldman, Christine Peterson Pike, Kathy Colley, Maura Fried, Mark and Ginger LeVang, Paul and Andrea De La Cerda, Bruce and Tamara Brown, April Levine, Janice Hoskinson, Miriam Enright, Melanie Sedam, Brad Lafranco, Peggy Edwards, Janet Basmajian-Yessayan, Sandra Smith, Darin and Qiana Tarlow, Oriana John, Yoti Telio, Carlo and Melissa Pietrosanti, Claudia Sheridan, Greg and Chell Amsler, Simon and Shannon Mee, Kirk and Nicole Stinson, Homayoun Daryani, Amanda Benson, Jeannie Wagner, Chris Chapleau, Tim and Jenny Ketchepaw, Lindsey Johnson, Allen and Kathleen Marquart, Robert and Karen Kaplan, Nicole Jolicoeur, Ken and Patrice Rifkind, Leslie Bretall, Robert Wagner, Wendy Hassenpflug, Nina Moskol, Randy Moore, Joyce Carson, Ed and Marlene Bernstein, Kris Hough, Jennifer Gerard, Barbara Myler, Carol Maglione, Laura Kirchoff, Pam Ingram, Danise Davis, Marlee Lauffer, Curtis McAllister, Kat Kombrinck, Debi Acker-Solnoski, Tiffany Grummer, Steve and Julie Sturgeon, David Larue, Bill and Jill Friedman, Gary Choppe, Alex Sheridan, Ray and Janey Tippet, Kathy Norris, Chef Tamra Levine, Heather Stewart, Neil Fitzgerald, Brenda Schaecher, Robin Sherman-Webster and Amy Weiss…I wish I had the names of all of the volunteers too!
Taste of the Town Sponsors and Food-Drink Participants
Presented by Bank of Santa Clarita and Whitening Lightning, event sponsors also include (as of press time): Mann Biomedical Park; Evolution Interactive Group; Ruhnau Ruhnau Clarke; Santa Clarita Studios; Princess Cruises; Harold and Jacqulyn Petersen; Habitat for Humanity Greater Los Angeles; Boston Scientific; Salon 7; Classic Designs Jewelry; Stifel; Andy Gump Temporary Site Services; PDC – A Brady Business; Lundgren Management; Old Republic Title Co.; Galpin Santa Clarita; Pardee Homes; Chiquita Canyon – A Water Conservation Company; Law Offices of G. Marshall Hann; Stratton and Sons; Lentini Insurance & Investments; ASG – Animal Specialty Group; Kevin Shannon/CBRE; Santa Clarita Concessions; The Kreyenhagen Family; Shepard Insurance Co.; Santa Clarita Sunrise Rotary; Geotechnologies, Inc.; Wolf Creek Restaurant & Brewing Company; Kaiser Permanente; City of Santa Clarita; Data Destruction Company; Julie Sturgeon, CPA; Six Flags Magic Mountain; The Magazine of Santa Clarita; élite Magazine; KHTS AM-1220; The Signal; Warner Cable Media; Burrtec Waste Industries Inc.; Gymnastics Unlimited; LA Party Rents; Twenty-Five Score; Graphics Printing Type & Design; American Business Machines; MV Transportation; SCVTV; BMW Valencia; AMS Fulfillment, and Frank and Charlotte Kleeman.
Food and Drink Sponsors
Jill’s Cake Creations; Persia Restaurant; Nothing Bundt Cakes; Wolf Creek Restaurant; Jersey Mike’s Subs; Newhall Refinery; Anheuser Busch; Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill; Pinot’s Palette; Rita’s of Santa Clarita; Vines Restaurant & Bar Sisley Italian Kitchen; Whole Foods Market, Valencia; The Yacht Club at Channel Islands Harbor; Salt Creek Grille Catering; Fireman’s Brew; Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que; Signal Wine Club; Marston’s Restaurant; Castaic Lake Water Agency; Eat Real Café; Clarice’s Cake & Candy Supply; Rubio’s; Bake You Happy; Bella Cucina; Kokolita Cakes & More; Parashar’s Indian Kitchen; Robinson Ranch; Shave-It Valencia; Lima Limon Peruvian Restaurant; Margarita’s Mexican Grill; Jeannie J’s Events; Nana’s Banana Bread; Fab Hot Dogs; Hidden Havana Cuban Café; Larsen’s Steakhouse; Embassy Suites; Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital Café; Custom Caterers; Jasmine Thai Noodle & BBQ; BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse; Organo Gold; COC Institute for Culinary Education; Reyes Winery; J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines.
(A note about branding: I made an interesting observation during the course of the day that I wanted to share. As a marketing consultant I often look at something and think, what could have been done differently? TOTT needed no changes, they know what they are doing and shouldn’t be messed with. What I did notice was that some of the tents were filled with smiling workers, and some were not. Some of the tents ran out of food, while others did not. What was the most telling was that some tents looked like they had taken the time to see that serving food for charity could actually serve their purpose in reaching their target audience.
These were the booths with the smiling faces, of course, and had plenty of food, but they also had done a little more so that guests would remember them over the competition. Persia Restaurant’s spread looked just like their restaurant, the food is the same that is pictured on their website and served in their popular lunch buffet, and the owner was there as he himself, Homayoun Daryani, is branded as the face of Persia. Jeannie Wagner, of Jennie J’s events was serving up a homemade cocktail in a personalized shot glass that guests could keep. Salt Creek Grille, surrounded by other restaurants with names like Grill, Ranch and Creek, had several small grills in their tent – a way to easily identify the restaurant. There were others, of course, and I’m happy to say most of our SCV businesses knew exactly how to target their target audience; as well as take pleasure in being part of a 26-year-old successful fundraiser.)