They were serving up a storm, from sushi to chardonnay, roast beef to Bordeaux, along with decadent desserts galore at the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s 10th Annual Wine Tasting and Auction. Food fans of every imaginable size and shape packed into the Barker Hanger to sample taste treats from L.A.’s top eateries.
This year’s theme was “All the Wishes in the Sea.” Tables were decked out in shades of Caribbean blue replete with seashells, starfish and sand dollars. A calypso band played ocean-faring favorites like “Under the Sea,” amid a backdrop of exotic flora, beach balls and tropical fish fashioned from neon.
The fare was also in keeping with the sea theme. They were shucking up a storm at the Water Grille’s oyster bar, Chaya’s sushi chefs were rolling up mounds of ahi and avocado, while the hombres from Sonora Caf were dishing out an exceptional white corn and crab bisque. There was no French boycott when it came to chocolate clairs at La Conversation Bakery, the guys at the Grill were busy beefing things up, and hot dog!-they lined up for links at Pinks.
The event featured delicacies from more than 30 restaurants including Toscana, Arnie Morton’s, El Cholo and even Chez Jay. As for the grape, 2,000 wine lovers sampled selections from Schramsburg, Niebaum-Coppola, Iron Horse, Far Niente, Jordan, Ravenswood and Robert Mondavi. Celebrity bartenders were shaking it up with watermelon and green apple martinis-and if you wanted a reality check, well-Joe Millionaire was there to oblige.
“Entertainment Tonight’s” Bob Goen did the auction honors, moving must-have loot like a trip aboard the Goodyear blimp, a lunch date with Ray Romano and a groovy guitar signed by the Eagles. There was also an eye-popping array of art. Peter Max’s “Composition in Red” was up for grabs as well as creations from other show biz folk like Peter Falk and Jason Alexander. Other one-of-a-kind items included an enormous table lamp made from a brass trumpet, a ’70s style disco jacket and even a Japanese wedding kimono.
All this food and fanfare was for a good cause, of course. The eating extravaganza raised a whopping $500,000 for Make-A-Wish. The organization brings laughter and joy to thousands of children with life-threatening illnesses. Whether it’s swimming with dolphins in Hawaii, having a new piano or meeting a superstar, Make-A-Wish has been making dreams come true for more than two decades.