It was a beautiful day in LA. My husband and I were on the way to one of my favorite food festivals. Celebrate Chefs & Cellars is an annual food and wine event that benefits Palos Verdes Art Center. The 2022 event was its first year back since the pandemic.
Rich and I decided to leave early and enjoy the scenic drive South to Palos Verdes Peninsula. This is the best part of living in LA. There are many great vistas with ocean views on the way down the coast to Palos Verdes, and stopping along the way turned out to be a great idea.
Of course once we arrived at the event, we were reminded of the venue’s stunning view of Catalina Island. Presented by the Associates to Benefit Palos Verdes Art Center, Chefs and Cellars began in 2005 as a series of chef dinners in private homes. It evolved through the years to what it is today…an annual wine and food fundraiser. In 2016, Jim and Kathy York offered to host the event at their winery, Catalina View Gardens. Offering breathtaking ocean views, it proved to be an exceptional home for the benefit.
This year’s event featured the largest assortment of wine to date. We were greeted by the smiling face of Patti Yelinek of Cline Cellars. She poured me a 2020 Ancient Vines Zinfandel which was earthy and had a lovely dark berry finish. It paired perfectly with the tuna (sesame aioli) provided by The Albright. The oysters were pretty spectacular here as well.
Entertaining Friends Catering was participating again. A longtime vendor, they put out a lovely charcuterie spread, with other tasty bites. Their lobster roll stole the show – so good.
Urban Plates served Moroccan chicken and Curry Tofu vegetable both on a bed of Basmati Rice. The chicken was tender and the sauce was quite delicious. The Curry tofu also offered a lush creamy sauce with tons of veggies. I was quite impressed. My husband went back for seconds and thirds.
Urban Plates has multiple locations in LA and offers home-cooked meals for great prices. I had the chance to speak with Marvin Mack, the Area director for the LA Market. He was quite knowledgeable about the brand and said Urban Plates takes great pride in their farm-to-table organic ingredients. He also added that he loved working with charities. “I really enjoy engaging with people and the pleasure of witnessing true guest indulgence.”
The auction was brimming with excellent items to bid on. There was a variety of gift baskets, lodging and dining packages, a San Pedro package that included restaurant gift cards, wine, Boisset Wine Tasting, along with framed art/photographs and more.
The food was excellent this year. Some other favorites were provided by Till the Last Bite, Sophisticated Spreads, and the Vegan Pig. I also enjoyed some fantastic wine from La Crema Estate, Lloyd Cellars and of course our host Catalina View Wines.
We had a wonderful time again this year and enjoyed seeing some familiar faces. As the event came to a close, we headed towards the coast, knowing we would enjoy a beautiful sunset ride and we did.
Our timing was perfect. We took in the sunset at Point Vicente Lighthouse Lookout. Watching that sun drop was magnificent. It was a perfect ending to an exquisite day trip.
Next time you are visiting LA, take a drive and enjoy the beautiful coastline. If you are a local, don’t forget to look in your own backyard. This is why – We Love LA!