Monday, July 23 , 2018, 4:48 am | Fair 66º


Cooking Up Dreams Co-Chairs Announced

Meredith Garofalo and Emily Nordee have been named event committee co-chairs for Cooking Up Dreams, a benefit for at-risk youth served by Family Service Agency to be held March 31 at Fess Parker Doubletree Resort, 633 E. Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara.

Meredith Garofalo Click to view larger
Meredith Garofalo (Family Service Agency)

Garofalo is a meteorologist and reporter for Newschannel 3. Her forecasts can be seen every morning on KEYT and Fox 11. She also produces Meredith's Weekend Picks, a weekly segment on Fridays, reporting on community events and other features.

Garofalo is passionate about giving back to the community, donating time to such causes as Big Brothers Big Sisters (where she is also an Advisory Council Member), Boys & Girls Clubs, Make-A-Wish, Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, and the American Red Cross.

She also enjoys giving classroom talks to students including career days at local high schools.

Emily Nordee Click to view larger
Emily Nordee (Family Service Agency)

She is an accomplished singer and actress, performing at local charity and community events. In September 2013, she starred as Rizzo in Grease and was a finalist in the 2014 Star Voice Competition.

Nordee is the public relations director for Evans Hardy + Young, a local communications agency specializing in food and hospitality.

As an industry expert, she has been behind many successful national marketing campaigns and events including the California Walnut Board, Little Caesars Pizza Veteran’s Program, the James Beard Foundations Awards and Campari USA — The Year of the Negroni.

She is a passionista of food and beverage. If it’s happening in the food or wine world, she has probably heard about it, knows the people behind it or is making it happen herself.

“We are very fortunate to have two experienced and dedicated professionals leading our signature fundraising event,” said Lisa Brabo, executive director.

“Our event committee is putting together a unique event that is certain to be a great way to have fun while helping at-risk kids achieve their dreams,” Brabo said.

The Cooking Up Dreams fundraising event features a culinary competition between leading local chefs. Celebrity judges and up to 300 guests will taste the food made by each chef to vote on the top dish for the People’s Choice and Judge’s Awards.

Guests will also enjoy complimentary wine (provided by Grassini Family Vineyards and Touring and Tasting) and beer, full bar, music by DJ Scott Topper, silent and live auction, a red carpet entrance, and a photo booth experience by RUMOR Photo Media.

Competing chefs and restaurants include: Angel Oak at Bacara Resort & Spa, Boathouse at Hendry's Beach, Chef Michael Hutchings, Convivo, Finch & Fork, First & Oak at the Mirabelle Inn and Les Merchands Wine Bar.

Also, Nimita's Cuisine, Oveja Blanca/Black Sheep, Patxi's Pizza, Persona Woodfired Pizzeria, Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro and Santa Barbara FisHouse

This year, the event is being presented by Union Bank. Additional sponsors are:

Les and Zora Charles, John and Jill Bishop, Michael and Marni Cooney, Jim and Shirley Ann Hurley, Bob and Susan Manning, Montecito Bank & Trust, Maryan Schall, Jeff Slay/Woodruff-Sawyer FKA Neovia, Bergquist Wang, LLC, Tim and Ginny Bliss and Hugh and Kelly Boss.

Also, Bunnin Chevrolet Cadillac, Liz and Andrew Butcher, Coast Village Chevron Wine, Grotto, Foundation for SBCC, Ghita Ginberg, Jim and Chana Jackson, Jim and Mary Morouse, Price, Postel & Parma, LLC, Sybil Rosen, David L. Smith and Fred and Jane Sweeney.

Proceeds from Cooking Up Dreams support Family Service Agency’s youth enrichment programs including Big Brothers Big Sisters, school-based counseling, and youth behavioral health— all programs targeting low-income at-risk youth who, with the help of counseling and mentors, are able to improve their personal growth and academic experience.

For more about the event, to buy tickets or become a sponsor with reserved seating, visit

— Marianne McCarthy for Family Service Agency.


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