With the foodie explosion of fresh farm to table, the Concern Foundation took this concept to a whole new playing field with their recent fundraiser for Cancer research, “Fields of Dreams,” at the Paramount backlot. With local and organic offerings in abundance, the privileged guests sampled to their hearts’ delight from over 60 of LA’s finest restaurants and caterers. It was a very special evening indeed, with weather sublime, and premier wine and food. Some of my personal faves included an all time hit, especially in summer, barbecue beef sliders and sweet potato fries, courtesy of “Someone’s In the Kitchen,” and gluten free goodies from “Gluten Free Goddess.” As one entered the festival, a booth was prominent for guests to peruse and savor, “Farm Fresh to You,” which offers home delivery for wholesome meal preparation made easy. Elegant dishes of heirloom tomato confit soup were there for the taking, along with epicurean delights to please all palates, from corned beef sandwiches on rye from Factors Famous Deli… to Pink’s classic hotdogs… to stone baked pizza from Prufrock. The choices pleased vegans to carnivores alike, all in the name of good summer fun, yet for a most important of causes… to advance cancer research throughout the world focusing on a multitude of cancer research areas.
The evening’s guests of honor were humanitarian and community leaders Dr. Peter & Rebecca Grossman; and Sue and Barry Brucker. A live auction and silent auction combined raised over 1.73 million dollars, with that amount still increasing. The highest bid went to Adele concert tickets, (box seats) for $8,000. Quoting Concern Foundation’s President Derek Alpert,”“Starting from a simple idea and watching that become a reality with thousands of moving parts coming together is a truly remarkable experience, one that sets Concern and our signature Block Party apart from most other organizations in this city. The ultimate reward for all of our efforts is, of course, the money raised for cancer research. This year’s Block Party was one of our most successful fundraising events yet—we’ve raised over $1.7 million and counting.”
The refreshing drinks and libations provided thirst quenching comfort, as well as pizazz and flavor, with some of the standouts being Tito’s Handmade Vodka; Adam Corolla’s Mangria; Diablo Pops; and Sonoma Cider, ruling the house. Guests who sought a reprieve from all the nourishment of food, had a chance to nourish their minds and bodies in a luxurious spa booth, as Elegance International was on board to provide makeovers and face paint; and Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy providing haircuts, manicures and massages. To cap off the night, a drink of cappuccino, courtesy of Pasquini Espresso Co. was a true indulgence. One recipe, for healthful, hearty living and good measure, to go with the ‘farmers market’ theme:
Tomato, Arugula and Basil Salad
Ingredients: 5 ripe tomatoes; 2 tbsp Nicoise olives chopped; 2 tbsp basil leaves torn; 4 thick crusted bread slices; 2 oz arugula leaves; 3 tbsp olive oil for dressing; 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
Preheat to 350. toss torn bread in some olive oil and toast for 10 minutes. Place all ingredients in salad bowl and gently toss with oil and vinegar and of course 2 tablespoons of hard cider. Season with salt and pepper. Bon Appetit!
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