Hello my friends! Last weekend was pretty exhausting. Now thinking it all began a year ago – on July 20th, 2018 – at the annual Gracianna Winery Club Members dinner where I was their guest chef. Towards the end of that event, a guest came to congratulate me personally and thank me for the wonderful experience. She introduced herself as a member of the “Walk With Sally”organization and asked if I would consider donating a dinner to benefit one of their fundraising events. Without thinking twice, delightedly I said yes to the opportunity of helping others.
‘Walk With Sally’ is an organization that spreads hope through personalized mentoring and free community support for children who have experienced trauma through a parent, guardian or sibling’s cancer journey. They organize various activities and their aim is fundraising. This time at their annual auction event, they offered as a live auction prize one of my Peruvian wine pairing dinners for 10 guests. The best bitter was a wonderful and generous couple whose contribution will make possible that more children can endure the experience of having a relative with cancer.
So that’s how next to my biggest adventure partner – my beloved husband and best sous chef – last Friday we started our journey South. First, very early in the morning arrived to Santa Rosa Airport with our luggage full of special food supplies for this great dinner and after a short meeting with my dear friend Snoopy, we made our way to the beautiful city of Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles.
After arriving to the hosts beautiful mansion, we made a checklist of everything we would need in addition to what we had brought and hurried to a local Latin Market to get the fresh ingredients needed. We started our prep In their beautiful kitchen, were hosted to dinner and to sleep exhausted. The next morning, as soon as the sun came up, we began with the final preparation for this special dinner.
The table for 10 persons was elegantly decorated with Peruvian details, and a specially designed costumed menu was placed at each place setting for our guests to peruse what would be served a menu designed with so much love that included delicious appetizers, a first course, main course and a must-eat dessert, made with an exotic fruit from my beloved Peru. It was a selection of dishes full of amazing flavors, textures, scents and colors.
When the guests arrived, every dish was served with a story: one of my personal experiences and the other was of the dish itself transmitted from generation to generation. There was laughing, sharing of anecdotes and experiences while we all gathered at the dinner table abundant with delicious food and accompanied with amazing wines provided by the hosts.
It was such a beautiful evening, where I was so delighted to meet such wonderful and generous people. I was happy with our performance and most of all, in awe to know everyone was fascinated with every dish and pairing – and with this experience learn a little more about my country’s gastronomy.
Endless thanks to ‘Walk With Sally’ for giving me this wonderful opportunity to help. Your labor is unrivaled, you can count on me when needed.
Remember my dear friends, everything is greater when you do it with LOVE. Until the next story.