Charity Spotlight: Table for 10 Culinary Event Serves 300K for Charity

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Rachel Haggstrom (Balboa Bay Resort) with Chef Pascal Hohats (Cafe Jardin at Sherman Gardens) - Photo by Chris Trela
Rachel Haggstrom (Balboa Bay Resort) with Chef Pascal Hohats (Cafe Jardin at Sherman Gardens) – Photo by Chris Trela

A handful of Newport Beach chefs joined other OC culinary wizards to create extraordinary dining experiences during the annual Table for 10 charity event, orchestrated annually by KM Productions for deserving nonprofits in the area.

This 11th annual affair on March 5 welcomed 350 guests to the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa in Dana Point, where they were treated to a multi-course dinner (prepared tableside while guests watched) complete with wine and cocktail pairings along with festively-decorated tables.tft 7

The evening began with a cocktail reception featuring tray-passed hors d’oeuvres and libations, led by Cocktail Reception Hosts Pascal Olhats of Pascal and Café Jardin and Anne Manassero of Manassero Farms.

Chef Pascal Olhats (Cafe Jardin and Pascal) with Chef Pascal Gimenez (Café Beau Soleil in Fashion Island)
Chef Pascal Olhats (Cafe Jardin and Pascal) with Chef Pascal Gimenez (Café Beau Soleil in Fashion Island)

Artisan breads from Pandor Artisan Boulangerie & Café, as well as confections from Addington Confections and Sweet Charity Cookies, completed the offerings.

Once the ballroom doors opened, guests made their way to their respective tables to experience their meal, along with a live auction.

Newport Beach chefs participating this year included Pascal Olhats (Café Jardin at Sherman Gardens), Rachel Haggstrom (Balboa Bay Resort), Tony Trujillo (CUC!NA Enoteca), Andy Arndt (Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa), David Martin (The Pacific Club), Oscar Fonseca (Coliseum Pool & Grill at The Resort at Pelican Hill, Pascal Gimenez (Café Beau Soleil), and Chris Polley (True Food Kitchen).

Chef Blake Mellgren of Craft House
Chef Blake Mellgren of Craft House

I managed to snag a spot at the Craft House table. Craft House opened last year in Dana Point, and has been making a splash on the culinary scene thanks to Chef Blake Mellgren’s talents in the kitchen. Those talents were on full display at the Table for 10 event. 

The Teen Project's Founder Lauri Burns with Vanessa Gray, who spoke at the event about how the nonprofit had saved her life. Photo: Tony Lattimore
The Teen Project’s Founder Lauri Burns with Vanessa Gray, who spoke at the event about how the nonprofit had saved her life. Photo: Tony Lattimore

Tickets for this unique culinary experience were $500 per person. The event raised over $300,000 to be split between two charities: The Teen Project and Vocational Visions.

An event highlight was the testimony by Teen Project Founder Lauri Burns and Vanessa Gray, who said the Teen Project saved her life. Growing up in an abusive home, Gray aged out of the foster care system at 18 and was on the streets for five years before she found a home, drug treatment and a scholarship for technology school through the nonprofit. Today, she is employed in marketing with a management company. “I now know my purpose in life,” she said.

For more information, visit tableforten.org.

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