Taste of Beverly Hills event overlooks L.A. Foodbank as worthy beneficiary

September 3, 2011

Nothing to divert you on this three-day holiday weekend? In L.A. with an extra $150 to spend, try the Taste of Beverly Hills: a 4 day culinary spectacular which has kicked into full gear. The Los Angeles Times is the mastermind behind this restaurant and wine marketing extravaganza.

http://events.latimes.com/taste/

From Rodeo Drive to The Studios at Paramount to Downtown L.A., The Taste is a four-day food and wine extravaganza, celebrating all things epicurean. This unprecedented event will showcase a star-studded cast of celebrity chefs at nine signature events over Labor Day weekend. Event tickets are all-inclusive and offer everything from unlimited tastings of delectable chef creations from 40 of L.A.’s best restaurants plus unlimited tastings from some of the top wineries, breweries and distilleries, to amazing demos by celebrity chefs, live musical entertainment, fascinating panel discussions and much more.

The celebrities include Susan Feniger (Border Grill, Two Hot Tamales), Giada de Laurentiis, Duff Goldman, Roy Choi (Korean BBQ Taco Truck King). I would love to go out to Beverly Hills, be willing to brave parking challenges and just walk around to see which restaurants were there but this does not appear to be a street fair but rather an expensive fundraiser.

While it might be a fundraiser, I was not convinced that the named beneficiaries were the best ones served in Los Angeles – where our programs to help the hungry are the leading ones in the nation. Ticket prices include a donation to benefit the following “charities”: Beverly Hills Education Foundation (supporting 6 schools all in already richly endowed Beverly Hills), LA Conservancy, Collins College of Hospitality Management- Cal Poly Pomona, Share Our Strength (a national culinary fundraising organization) and Los Angeles Times Family Fund (which doesn’t list any volunteer opportunities, any individual results, or any facilities where people can go for help).

I love food festivals, I love the visionary chefs who inspire and delight me, and I also am disappointed in the Los Angeles Times for not going the extra step to name community-based organizations in Los Angeles – who are really helping others against all odds – as the event beneficiaries. For shame!

Where is the L.A. Regional Foodbank?

http://www.lafoodbank.org/

They offer volunteer opportunities and spend very little of their donation funding on publicity, or management salaries. If you really want to help the hunger program in a community-based program, forgo the Taste of Beverly Hills and give to the L.A. Regional Foodbank.

Where is P.A.T.H. (People Assisting the Homeless)?

http://www.epath.org/index_01.php

Started in Los Angeles to give people in need a hand up, not a hand out, P.A.T.H. is helping answer the needs of those who may otherwise be dumpster diving in those alleys of Beverly Hills. They also have volunteer opportunities.

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