A Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters
May 29, 2007
The answer to Woody Allen’s prayers is contained in the Southern California Chapter’s Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters: for 18 years running, the creative organizers of this evening make it possible to be in New York and sunny Los Angeles at one and the same time.
The Bid for a Cure during the California Winemasters event drew a crowd to the "Streets of New York."
The venue: “Streets of New York” backlot at Paramount Pictures, one of the most famous and historic in Hollywood. The entire mix of New York neighborhoods: from chi-chi Upper East Side to Hell’s Kitchen are represented. On May 5, more than 1,400 guests from around the country wandered the neighborhoods tasting wines poured by 67 premier California vintners and winemakers, then settled at reserved tables for desserts and a live auction.
If you think the Hollywood – New York fine wine combo is a draw, you are right. This year’s benefit garnered more than $1.2 million, as the crowd bid $15,000 on a Celebrity Cruise to the Galapagos, $14,000 for a week in Italy as guests of the Antinori family, and $11,000 for a nomadic expedition to the Gobi Desert. Others have yet to enjoy the pleasures of their wine lots of Gemstone, purchased for $11,000, or 12 bottles of Domaine de La Romanee Conti Eschezaux, which fetched a tidy $17,000.
Corporate sponsors include American Airlines®, Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Go Country 105 FM, Universal Studios, Art and Living magazine, BJ’s Restaurants Foundation, Great American Group, Ameristar Casinos, Andy Gump Inc. and Flask Fine Wines. Special thanks go to Honorary Chairs Suzie and Paul Frank of Gemstone and Celestino Drago of Drago Restaurant, Co-chairs Allen Balik, Sharon and Hal Lampert, Pat Hitchock O’Connell, Marty Petersil and Karen and Ray Wolkoff.
The enthusiasm and commitment of the evening was summed up by Suzie and Paul Frank, who said, “It is gratifying to leave a fun-filled evening knowing you have done something good. The CF Foundation has funded research that is actually in sight of controlling and possibly conquering this dreadful disease.”