An Epic Party for a Good Cause

For the last several years my friend Richard Villa and I (sometimes also assisted by our friend Patrick McClenahan) have provided special multi-course, wine pairing dinners for live auctions in some of our favorite charities.  These events have a dual purpose; to provide vital funding and also to give supporters of the charity an evening to be together enjoying each other’s company.

Elizabeth House in Pasadena, California provides vital services for homeless, pregnant women and their children.  The winners of this particular auction came to Richard’s home this last Saturday night and it was a lovely, cool California evening for what can only be described as a feast.

When every dish had been whisked away and the glasses emptied we all sat back and enjoyed each other’s company until well into the evening.  An Epic Night indeed for a very good cause.

Pausing the slideshow and advancing the images forward will let you read the captions if you have any interest.  Each dish is designed to be about 2-3 bites.  The plates are small and this exaggerates the size of the courses.

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The Evening’s Menu.

Guests were greeted on the lower patio and enjoyed a light summer cocktail.  Then came upstairs to the courtyard.  Once seated, the served courses were.


  • Salmon Tartar with Crema, Srirachi
  • Vichyssoise (Cold Potato Soup) with herbed crostini
  • Buratta Caprese over Avocado& Basil Cloud with Aged Balsamic Vinegar
  • Charcuterie of Handmade Cheese and Dried Meats


  • Lump Crab Cakes over Seasonal Greens with Red Pepper Remoulade
  • Chilean Sea Bass over Wilted Spinach and Wild Mushroom Grits with White Wine Buerre Blanc
  • Summer Lamb with Mint/Basil Pesto and Roasted Smashed Baby Potatoes, Crema, Pancetta


  • Olive Oil Cakes with Strawberry Sauce, Sorbet

2 thoughts on “An Epic Party for a Good Cause

  1. An EPIC evening indeed Jim!! The menu and pairings were perfectly delightful. Even better was the time together afterward. Thank you to everyone, just SO fun.

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