Review: Celebrate Chefs & Cellars

LA is home to some spectacular Foodie events. If you are visiting Los Angeles, Celebrate Chefs & Cellars offers a completely unique experience with breathtaking ocean views from high atop the Palos Verdes peninsula. Purchase your tickets online, and take a beautiful drive down the coast from LAX.

The Cove Café has participated for several years; Photo courtesy of the Associates of Palos Verdes Art Center

Celebrate Chefs & Cellars – an afternoon in the vineyard – is a benefit for the Palos Verdes Arts Center. It takes place every year in July. The fundraiser brings together high-quality restaurants, caterers, winemakers and foodies alike.  One can expect to find an array of tantalizing cuisine. It is presented by the Associates to Benefit Palos Verdes Art Center. This organization was founded in 1977 by Sharon Ryan and Ruth Wegener, along with a group of charter members. The Associates is made up of dedicated volunteers who have collaborated throughout the years to help raise funds for the art center, while rotating the roles of co-chair, president, etc.

Celebrate Chefs (as it was originally called) featured a completely different format when it was first created in 2005. Candi Parks Gershuni (Co-President as of 2019) was one of the early organizers. She explained  “We used to put on three events with three different themes, three celebrity chefs, in three different private homes. It was a huge endeavor!” Karen Gale (2019 co-president) has also worked on the annual benefit for years and has been very successful procuring high-quality restaurants for the event.

Pappy’s of San Pedro serves up mahi mahi cerviche; photo by Kathy Leonardo; courtesy of ETG

In 2016 the fundraiser was moved to a new location, a charming vineyard named Catalina View Gardens, owned by Jim York. Deena Gribben  (president of the Associates in 2016) has been volunteering her time since 2014. She loves the special feeling offered by this private and exclusive location. “The garden is serene. The view is beautiful and usually clear this time of year with a nice breeze. So even on a warm sunny day the event is quite pleasant.”

Tasty treats from Entertaining Friends Catering; photo by Richard Bilow; courtesy of ETG

The vineyard’s owner Jim York said he loves hosting the event. “It is a great community gathering which raises money for the Palos Verdes Art Center while showcasing local restaurants and wine makers.”

Catalina View Gardens  is situated on the edge of the peninsula and offers incredible views of the Pacific Ocean and Santa Catalina Island. This annual event gives attendees a rare inside glimpse of a private property which does not offer a tasting room and is not normally open to the public. Wines can be purchased at the Wine Shoppe, Torrance and Friend of the Vine in Redondo Beach.

Jim and Kathy York, owners of Catalina View Gardens; Photo courtesy of the Associates of Palos Verdes Art Center

York has had much success with the vineyard…the 2014 Pinot Noir won a double gold award at the Orange County Fair. In addition to growing grapes, York also grows organic vegetables, Hass avocados, Meyer lemons, and black olives. Some best sellers that are served at the event include: The 2015 Catalina View Chardonnay California, and the 2016 Catalina View Pinot Noir California.

The crowd at Celebrate Chefs & Cellars; photo by Kathy Leonardo; courtesy of ETG

In addition to York’s wine, the event features additional wines, spirits, and all types of cuisine from local restaurants. Read my Huff Post review about a past event.

If you are planning a trip to Los Angeles in July…be sure to add this special event to your agenda. Your tastebuds will thank you. Visit the Celebrate Chefs & Cellars website to purchase tickets. It all goes to a fantastic cause. The fundraiser is presented by The Associates to Benefit Palos Verdes Art Center. Celebrate Chefs & Cellars – an afternoon in the vineyard is a 21+ only event. Catalina View Gardens is located at 6001 Palos Verdes Drive South, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275;

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