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Saturday, February 23 , 2019, 11:29 am | Fair 57º


Fork & Cork Fundraiser Helps Foodbank of Santa Barbara County Take a Bite Out of Hunger

Benefit event features an array of wine and food tastings served by local restaurants and vintners

Carly Marguez, left, Constantina Gomez, Kelly Paganelli and Irving Reyes at the Fork & Cork fundraiser to benefit the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.
Carly Marguez, left, Constantina Gomez, Kelly Paganelli and Irving Reyes at the Fork & Cork fundraiser to benefit the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

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Nearly 600 food and wine aficionados savored tastings from an array of select wines and gourmet dishes prepared by more than 20 Santa Barbara County chefs, restaurants, caterers and vintners at the Fork & Cork benefit for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

The Montecito Country Club served as the venue, which offered supporters panoramic views of the Santa Barbara coastline along with catchy DJ music, fantastic wine and food, fun games, and a chance to bid on one-of-a-kind auction items.

Proceeds benefited the Foodbank, which is part of Feeding America, a nationwide network of 200 foodbanks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs that provide food and services to hundreds of thousands of people each year in 50 states.

The process of getting food to hungry Americans requires a robust infrastructure and sophisticated management to secure donations from national food and grocery manufacturers, retailers, shippers, packers and growers, government agencies and other organizations.

The donated food and grocery products are then distributed to the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County and other foodbanks. The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County distributes food and grocery items through food pantries and meal and snack programs that serve families, children, seniors and others at risk of hunger.

Feeding America development manager Erika Weiss traveled from Feeding America’s national office in Chicago to observe and support Fork & Cork. Along with enjoying the sunny California weather, Weiss was impressed with the large community support of the event.

“This is so impressive how the South Coast region embraces the need to address hunger in this community. Together, we can truly make a difference to help families and individuals in need,” she told Noozhawk.

Major sponsors included the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Foundation, Green Hills Software, Cox Communications, 805 Magazine, First Click, Samy’s Camera, Produce Available, Irene Hoffman, The Berry Man, vCore, Courtland Dane, Merrill Lynch and many others.

Food purveyors included Blue Owl, Blush, Ca'Dario, Cielito Restaurant, Duo, Empty Bowl Gourmet Noodle Bar, Finch & Fork at the Canary, Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore, Industrial Eats of Buellton, Jessica Foster Confections, Julienne, Los Arroyos, Montecito Country Club, Patxi's Pizza, Rori's Artisanal Creamery, Sama Sama, Santa Barbara Yacht Club, Succulent Café, The Secret Ingredient, The Pasta Shoppe, Via Maestra 42 and Whole Foods.

Event leadership included Mickey Neal, Elise Geiger, Todd Atkins, Michael Blackwell, Irene Hoffman, Clarissa Nagy and Catherine Wastweet.

Participating wineries and sips included Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards, Ampelos Cellars, Ascendant Spirits, Beckmen Vineyards, Blair Fox Cellars, Caribbean Coffee Company, Casa Dumetz Wines, Cutler´s Artisan Spirits, Consilience, Marianello & Tre Anelli, CORE Wine Co., Deep Sea by Conway Family Wines, DV8 Cellars, Falcone Family Vineyards, Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard, Foley Estates Winery, Island Brewing Company, Kaena Wine Company, Kenneth Volk Vineyards, Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards, Pegasus Estate & Winery, Scott Cellars, Silver Wines LLC, Summerland Winery, Turiya Wines, The Real McCoy Rum, Water Store, William James Cellars, Whitcraft Winery and Zaca Mesa Winery & Vineyards.

Annually, the Santa Barbara Fork & Cork honors a local chef and winemaker for the contributions they have made toward advancing their respective crafts as well as their efforts to support for the local community, including the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. This year, the FoodBank honored Justin West of Julienne Restaurant and Blair Fox of Blair Fox Cellars.

For more information about the Foodbank, visit 1525 State St., Suite 100 in Santa Barbara, call 805.967.5741 or click here.

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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