May 14, 2015 (Del Mar, CA) – Nearly 300 food enthusiasts and passionate community members gathered to attend Casa de Amparo’s 19th Annual Meet the Chefs on Sunday, April 26, 2015 at the Hilton San Diego/Del Mar. The popular fundraiser raised $125,000, resulting in a twenty percent increase compared to 2014. The funds will directly benefit Casa de Amparo’s programs that treat and prevent child abuse and neglect throughout San Diego County and beyond.
This year four of Casa de Amparo’s former foster youth, Marchel Branche, PreaJhana (PJay) Anderson, Veronica Thomas, and Ricky Standard, worked alongside chefs to share their passion in the culinary arts. The Casa Kids gained invaluable experience from Chef Anthony Ventura of Dolce Pane E Vino, Chef Mason Garske of Brigantine, Chef Roberto Carboni of Il Fornaio, and Chef Jeffrey Strauss of Pamplemousse Grille.
“I love cooking for guests! It’s my coping skill and is very calming to me. I really have to focus and maintain a positive attitude to cook great food,” said PJay, 19 year old Casa Kid.
During the poolside event on a sunny afternoon, guests had the opportunity to sample food from 15 premier restaurants and chefs who originate from countries around the world, including England, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Taiwan, and Morocco. Guests sampled savory foods such as pennoni alla vodka, smoked confit duck breast, seared scallops, grilled lamb chops, and tuna and salmon sashimi.
Veedercrest Estates, Young’s Market Company, and Stone Brewing Co. generously poured premium wines and beers to complement the wide range of gourmet dishes.
Top auction items included a luxurious Los Cabos getaway, a seven day cruise for two, rare and limited edition wines, and dinner packages donated by many of the participating restaurants.
Participating restaurants and chefs included:
Americana Restaurant – Chef Randy Gruber
coastalKITCHEN at Hilton San Diego/Del Mar
Del Mar Brigantine – Chef Mason Garske
Del Mar Rendezvous – Chef Tony Su
Dolce Pane E Vino – Chef Anthony Ventura
Harrah’s Resort Southern California – Chef Jon Palsson
Il Fornaio – Chef Roberto Carboni
Jake’s Del Mar - Chef Duvinh Ta
Pacifica Del Mar - Chef Chris Powell
Pamplemousse Grille - Chef Jeffrey Strauss
Poseidon - Chef Mourad Jamal
Red Tracton’s - Chefs Jose Montano & Jose Mauricio Pineda
Sbicca Del Mar – Chef Harry Butcher
Shimashi Izakaya – Chef Yoshiaki Nohara
Signature Chef sponsors included Datron, Directed Electronics, Inc., DJO Global, Grant General Contractors, San Diego Chargers, and Union Bank - The Private Bank. Pastry Chef sponsors included FDR Construction, GEICO, Harrah's Resort Southern California, John & Carolyn Konecki, and Wells Fargo. Sous Chef sponsors included California Bank & Trust, Bassett, Jim & Llyn Mallen, Nordson, OneSource Distributors, PlayStation, and Al & Lee Ann Puglisi. Underwriters included Rick & Kayleen Huffman and Noah Lomax. U-T San Diego was the Media Sponsor.
ABOUT CASA DE AMPARO:
Established in 1978, Casa de Amparo (Home of Protection) is recognized as a leader in treating and preventing child abuse and neglect in San Diego County and beyond, with locations in Oceanside and San Marcos. The non–profit organization annually serves over 1,000 Casa Kids, from prenatal to 24 years old, as well as 750 families and 450 adults, through six integrated programs that promote healing, growth, and healthy relationships. These programs include Residential Services, Counseling Services, Family Visitation, Hayward Child Development Center, New Directions, and Young Parent Network. Casa de Amparo is the San Diego Chargers Courage House, part of a national network of NFL teams and local charities dedicated to the prevention of child abuse.