INside SD Report: As an ever-appreciative San Diego resident and a good life connoisseur indelibly on the hunt for the best of the best, it's incumbent on me to experience and inform you, dear Reader, about notable San Diego-area "happenings" — you know, those society events, grand openings, launch parties and such where the A-listers lurk — and that make the local luxury scene tick.
Here's the INside track on yet another sensational San Diego soirée:
The Event: Mama's Day 2010 — the 19th Annual restaurant tasting event featuring more than 70 of San Diego's top restaurants and chefs, all benefiting the non-profit Mama's Kitchen.
The Cause: Proceeds from the annual Mama's Day food fests help Mama's Kitchen continue cooking and delivering hot nutritionally-specific meals free of charge to more than 370 men, women and children throughout San Diego County affected by HIV/AIDS or cancer. Starting with just two clients, the kitchen now has more than 650 active volunteers and 30 delivery routes throughout the region.
The Scoop: On May 7th, I and more than 600 other San Diego gastronomes convened poolside at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla Aventine to channel our inner foodies and philanthropists at the 19th Annual Mama's Day benefiting Mama's Kitchen. This premier epicurean event featured culinary creations from more than 70 of San Diego's top restaurants and chefs as well as a complimentary cocktail bar, live music, a silent auction and drawings for prizes including two wine vaults each with a chance to win 24 bottles of premium wine. Emceeing Mama's Day 2010 was former NBC 7/39 anchor Vic Salazar. Local celebrity chef Sam Zien, a.k.a. Sam the Cooking Guy, also made a special appearance.
The Fare: Given that Mama's Day is an epic epicure event, it's no surprise the piquant party included an impressive roster of San Diego's most esteemed culinary masters catering to even the most adventurous palate. Participants included Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Café Japengo, Kitchen 1540 at L'Auberge Del Mar, Pacifica Del Mar, Top of the Market, The Oceanaire Seafood Room, The Marine Room and dozens of other revered San Diego restaurants.
I can tell you the breadth and caliber of food offerings was incredibly impressive, with each restaurateur serving up a more ambitious dish than the next out of their makeshift booth-side kitchens. My fave's? During the VIP pre-event, Dining Details catering offers a sumptuous buffet that included Rosemary Skewered Lamb with a Mint Pistachio Yogurt Sauce; Grilled Flatbread Pizzettes with Pistachio Pesto, Fig, Goat Cheese, Prosciutto and a Balsamic Glaze; and Eggplant Bruschetta Toastettes with Ricotta, Kalamata Tapenade, Truffle and White Balsamic. All of this I thoroughly enjoyed with a glass of Barone Ciani Bassetti Prosecco V.S.A.Q Brut. At the main event, Soleil @k served up an amazing Sesame Crusted Seared Tuna, and La Valencia's Executive Chef Sean Eastwood's Five Spiced Duck Confit dish with Eggplant, Cannelloni, Orange Gastrique, and Petit Citrus Green was a resounding crowd pleaser.
The Bottom Line: A veritable cornucopia of music, food and libations coupled with a spectacular silent auction and prize drawings, Mama's Day proved to be an extremely satisfying way (on every level) to support Mama's Kitchen — the only organization that prepares and delivers three meals a day, seven days a week at no cost to San Diego County residents affected by HIV/AIDS and cancer. Luxe Listers, be sure to mark your calendars for next year!
The 411: Pre-sale tickets for this year's event ran $125, tickets sold at the door ran $150 and Premium VIP tickets were available for $250 per person. Sponsorship opportunities are also available each year ranging from $1,000 - $25,000. Visit www.mamaskitchen.org to learn more.
- Merilee Kern
JustLuxé.com's "The Luxe List" Executive Review Editor
The Luxe List product, service and travel review editor Merilee Kern scours the luxury marketplace for new and captivating "musts." Submissions are accepted via e-mail at Merilee@JustLuxe.com. View all of Merilee's Luxe List articles from here (scroll to page bottom) and follower her on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/LuxeListEditor.