A sun drenched afternoon, tantalizing epicurean delights from LA’s finest restaurants, wines and spirits from premier California vintners and you are celebrating California Spirit XXlX, A Gourmet Garden Party. On Sunday, July 28th, 2013, Barbara Lazaroff along with Sherry Lansing, have gathered the crème de la crème of Los Angeles society at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood to benefit the American Cancer Society. And what an extraordinary event it was!
The event’s honorees included John Shaffner and Joe Stewart - Production Design by Shaffner/Stewart, Philomena McAndrew, MD, Solomon I Hamberg MD, PhD – Tower Hematology Oncology Medical Group and “Dancing With The Stars” co-host and cancer survivor Brooke Burke-Charvet (who received the Society’s Inspiration Award) for their tireless efforts in helping to eradicate this deadly disease. In this writer’s opinion, Barbara Lazaroff and Sherry Lansing should be honored every year for their amazing contribution to ACS and deserve all the accolades bestowed on them.. As one of the guests in attendance, I can tell you how much everyone loved and admired these two dynamic women.
The event featured a VIP reception, live entertainment, a spectacular live and silent auction and mouth watering, eye popping gourmet cuisine. It was a veritable “feast for the senses” and I was in “foodie heaven.” Some of the internationally renowned chefs and their restaurants included Rene Mata & Junuen Saldana/Chinois On Main, Ari Rosenson & Hugo Bolanos/ Cut, Sonny Sweetman & Cassie Ballard/Hotel Bel-Air, Gino Angelini/Angelini Osteria and RivaBella, Jaime Aguayo/Nonna of Italy, Charles Olalia/Patina, John Lechleidner/WP24(by Wolfgang Puck), Ben Hong & Michelle Fuentes/Red Seven, Shigeo Ogino/Matsuhisa Beverly Hills, Tetsu Yahagi & Della Gossett/Spago Beverly Hills, Eric Greenspan/The Roof on Wilshire, Rick Bayless/Red O, Mohan Ismail/RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen, Chris Feldmeier & Dalhlia Narvaez/Osteria Mozza and Chris Criostobal & Jennifer Fox/Wolfgang Puck Catering. Needless to say, my diet went out the window.
Some of the vintners and purveyors included Gregory Condes Wines, Inception Winery, Revel Wines, Jim Palmer’s Malibu Vineyards, Bonny Doon Vineyard, Barrymore Wines, Evian, Dassai Premium Kosher Sake and Beam INC - Sauza Sparkling Margaritas in raspberry, mango and other delicious flavors. Spirits were generously donated by Patron Tequila & Ultimate Vodka. Naturally, I was not able to indulge in all the marvelous selections but I certainly gave it my best shot.
Fashion & Jewelry,” “ Children” “Beauty & Health,” “Home,” “Travel,” “Sports, “Food & Wine,” "Entertainment & Hollywood" were among the hundreds of items that were generously donated for the mother of all silent auctions. In all my years of attending charity events, I have never seen such a vast array of fantastic articles to choose from. I didn’t know where to start first. I knew my credit card was in for a good workout (ok, it’s for such a worthy cause so why not). There was a Silver and Black Freshwater Pearl Necklace with Diamond Clasp, courtesy of Jewelry by Nora, a Disneyland Park Hopper Pass for four plus $100 gift card (for the youngsters out there), a Beverly Hills Day of Beauty and Shopping Package for those needing a little “retail therapy” and some pampering (now, we’re talking), an Ultimate Martini Party for 25 Guests, Guatemalan Accent Pillows, a 1 Bedroom Villa for a Week at the 4 Seasons Hotel in Carlsbad. For the “sports nuts” out there (I loving use that term as I’m one of them), you could bid on 4 tickets to see either the LA Lakers, LA Kings, LA Clippers, Anaheim Angels or all of them depending on your sports budget. They all included parking (hey, for that price it had better include it). If you happen to love good food and wine like I do, you had your choice of numerous packages but my personal favorites were a Bouchon Three Course Dinner & Private Wine Pairing or the Beverly Hills Fine Dining Package which included dinner for 2 at Mr. Chow’s and brunch at the Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotel. Ah… how civilized. Mimosas for 2 please!
I could go on and on about how wonderful this garden party was and I will! Not only was the setting divine, special kuddos belong to all the restaurants, wine and spirit purveyors, sponsors and the hundreds of volunteers who generously donated their time, energy and resources to make this charity event so successful year after year. The event raised approximately $350,000 (net) with 450 guests in attendance. So, if I've whet your appetite, you’ll just have to purchase a ticket for California Spirit XXX for $350 (well worth the price of admission) or $3000 for a table of 10 and taste for yourself. Care to join me?