The public is invited to attend the 32nd Annual Taste of the Town, Santa Barbara’s signature culinary event featuring tastings from 80 of the finest area restaurants and wineries from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8 at Riviera Park Garden, 2030 Alameda Padre Serra in Santa Barbara.
All proceeds from Taste of the Town support the local programs and services of the Santa Barbara-based Arthritis Foundation, the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of 50 million people (including nearly 300,000 children) with arthritis through public health programs, advocacy and research.
More than 50,000 Santa Barbara County residents and children have been diagnosed with one of the 100-plus forms of arthritis — and look for help and hope from the foundation.
Francesca Todarello, a 17-year-old local high school student, is this year’s Youth Honoree. She was diagnosed at age 12 with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and was recently lauded for her 2013 I Madonnari chalk portrait of Lucille Ball (who likewise suffered from rheumatoid arthritis in her youth).
Michael Maguire, M.D., has been named the event’s first-ever Medical Honoree. Dr. Maguire, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon in Santa Barbara, is the physician who diagnosed Francesca after she and her family searched for a diagnosis for several years.
For the first time, Taste of the Town will welcome El Encanto’s new executive chef, Patrice Martineau, as its Honorary Lead Chef. Tina Takaya and Richard Yates, Opal Restaurant & Bar co-owners, return to co-chair this Santa Barbara food and wine celebration. Arthritis Foundation Advisory board member and KEYT-TV anchor CJ Ward will emcee the festivities including tastings, entertainment and a silent auction in a gorgeous setting overlooking the city.
Taste of the Town thanks its generous sponsors, including BMW Santa Barbara, MarBorg Industries, HUB International Insurance Services Inc., Ryu Hurvitz Orthopedic Clinic, Brown & Brown Insurance, Montecito Bank & Trust, the Cottage Center for Orthopedics, Community West Bank, Hayashida & Associates Physical Therapy, Wells Fargo, FirstClick, KEYT-TV, The Berry Man Inc., and others.
Sponsors and their guests will also enjoy the exclusive Connoisseurs’ Circle, chaired by Theresa Borgatello-Carlson and Jennifer Jaqua. Now in its fourth year, this unique VIP experience will feature a progressive tasting menu designed and prepared by Chef Martineau at El Encanto on Sept. 6, along with a fabulous live auction.
While the Connoisseurs’ Circle is sold out, Taste of the Town sponsorship opportunities are still available by calling Asher Garfinkel at 805.563.4685.
Taste of the Town tickets purchased in advance are $125 per person; tickets at the door will be $140 if available. Tickets are limited, so early reservations are encouraged by calling the Arthritis Foundation at 805.563.4685 or by reserving online by clicking here.
— Asher Garfinkel is executive director of the Arthritis Foundation.