Nick Verreos with Brooke Burke-Charvet: 29th Annual California Spirit Gourmet Garden Party to Benefit The American Cancer Society, Pacific Design Center
This past Sunday, I was invited to be the Auctioneer at the American Cancer Society's California Spirit XXIX Gourmet Garden Party Fundraiser at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood. My dad is a cancer survivor and therefore being part of this event and doing this for my dad--and for The American cancer Society--was important for me.
Pacific Design Center--2013 California Spirit Gourmet Garden Party
Brooke Burke-Charvet and Nick Verreos--29th Annual California Spirit Gourmet Garden Party to Benefit The American Cancer Society, Pacific Design Center
The event honored John Shaffner and Joe Stewart - Production Design by Shaffner/Stewart ; and Philomena McAndrew, MD and Solomon I. Hamburg, MD, PhD-Tower Hematology Oncology Medical Group. Dancing With the Stars co-host and cancer survivor Brooke Burke-Charvet received the Society’s Inspiration Award. Now, I had no idea (until I arrived) that I would also be introducing--and presenting--the beautiful Brooke Burke-Charvet with this "Inspiration Award" as well as doing my auctioneer duties.
(Left to right) Nick Verreos, "California Spirits" co-founder and co-host Barbara Lazaroff and David Veneziano, Executive Vice President of The American Cancer Society--29th Annual California Spirit Gourmet Garden Party to Benefit The American Cancer Society, Pacific Design Center
The California Spirits "Gourmet Garden Party" was founded in 1984 by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck along with Barbara Lazaroff, who owns and has designed top restaurants including the original Spago Beverly Hills, and Sherry Lansing, former CEO of Paramount Pictures and former president of production at 20th Century Fox.
Executive Vice President of The American Cancer Society David Veneziano and actress (and TV Icon!) Heather Locklear--29th Annual California Spirit Gourmet Garden Party to Benefit The American Cancer Society, Pacific Design Center
I was very excited to see that lots of the guests dressed in their best "Summer Elegant' attire for the event (yes, I was secretly doing my own red carpet commentary!) but when I spotted actress and TV icon Heather Locklear, I almost lost it! She looked AMAZING. The event brought out some of the finest LA chefs and winery reserves who set up "booths"--very Haute Cuisine booths-- for the guests to sample some of the best cuisine L.A. restaurants and vintners have to offer.
Portabello and goat cheese salad at Nonna of Italy
Speaking of cuisine, guests were treated to LA’s finest cuisine from the kitchens of; Chinois on Main CUT , The Foundry on Melrose, Hotel Bel-Air , Mozza, Nonna of Italy, Patina, Red Seven, RivaBella , Rock Sugar, Spago Beverly Hills, Wolfgang Puck Catering and WP24. Vintners from Bishop's Peak, Bonny Doon Vineyard, Dragonette Cellars, Foxen, Inception, Krupp Brothers, Malibu Vineyards, Rock Sake, Talley Vineyards and Topanga Vineyards were also there.
A "trio of sashimi" from Chinois On Main (left) and marinated scallop, compressed watermelon, vadouvan and toasted coconut from Patina Downtown LA (right)
Lentil salad with pistachios, cauliflower, lamb belly, and vinaigrette courtesy of The Roof On Wilshire
Delicious Chinese Chicken Salad and beef shish-kabob from Chinois On Main (left) and lamb belly bahn mi (right) from Executive Chef Matt Bencivenga of Wolfgang Puck Catering
After all the food (and wine tasting), it was time for me to do the special Cancer Callenge Auction, as well as to introduce and present Brooke Burke-Charvet with the American Cancer Society's "Inspiration Award"--Here are some pics:
"Inspiration Award" recipient Brooke Burke-Charvet and Nick Verreos--29th Annual California Spirit Gourmet Garden Party to Benefit The American Cancer Society, Pacific Design Center