Foodies gathered at the Santa Monica Aiport’s Barker Hangar for one of the year’s great extravaganzas-the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s annual Wine Tasting and Auction. The place was decked out in shades of lilac, shocking-pink and silver, with massive geometric shapes made of Plexiglas and helium balloons floating above a sea of fancy floral arrangements.
The celebrity ice bar was jumping with “The Drew Carey Show’s” Dietrich Bader doing the honors along with NYPD Bluesman Henry Simmons, L.A. Kings’ puckmeister Luc Robitaille, soap stud Ty Tredway and soap queen Arianne Zuker.
Apple martinis firmly in hand, food lovers set off to make the rounds. They savored selections from dozens of Los Angeles eateries and sipped their way down the California coast.
In keeping with tradition, the Water Grille set up a frosty ice mound piled high with fresh oysters. Cha Cha Cha featured island flavors with spicy jerk chicken, sweet fried plantains and garlicky corn on the cob.
Citrine’s taste-makers got down right exotic with Kobe beef skewers seasoned with fresh mango and Tahitian vanilla, as well as sweet coconut tempura shrimp infused with Indonesian spices.
The lines were long at Loanda del Lago, where chefs were serving up mouthwatering morsels of pink trout, white wine and juniper berries.
But it wasn’t all fancy stuff. There was fare for every taste bud at this shindig. If you heard the calling for comfort food, there were juicy chili-cheese dogs from Pink’s, classics from Krispy Kreme as well as Dandy Dan’s all-you-can-eat ice cream.
But wherever the palate decided to send you, you could wash it all down with vino aplenty. Golden state winemakers had it all-from crispy chars to first-class cabs.
In between sips, they bid up a storm at the silent and live auctions, which featured everything from lunch with “It Girl” Jessica Simpson to a David Bowie-signed Gibson Melody Maker guitar to a 10-day dream cruise on the QE2.
All this wining, dining and doling was for a good cause, of course. The event raised more than half-a-million dollars toward granting wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. Whether it’s a trip to the Super Bowl or meeting a superstar, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has been working its magic since 1983, making more than 4,500 dreams come true.