UCSD hosts Celebrity Chefs Cook Gala

“Bella Notte,” the Moores UCSD Cancer Center’s 27th Annual Celebrity Chefs Cook Gala, was an evening to savor. Held at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina recently, the event offered guests an international gastronomical adventure to the Italian Mediterranean with a reception showcasing 11 leading chefs in a ballroom transformed into a Wine Grotto.

Among the great chefs of La Jolla were Orion Baillet of Azul, Giuseppe Ciuffa of Giuseppe Fine Catering, Jean Michel Diot of Tapenade, Stephen Window of Roppongi, Jason Knibb of Nine-Ten, and Damaso Lee of Trattoria Acqua. Some of the chefs came from as far away as Minnesota and Tecate, Mexico, and the cuisine was scrumptious. The fare at the reception was paired with fine wines from around the world.

If that wasn’t enough to satisfy the delighted crowd, a sit-down dinner created by the Sheraton’s Executive Chef Steve Black followed. La Jolla’s own Anne Otterson was Honorary Chair of the successful event (although she was out of the country and couldn’t attend). Sue Kalish chaired and Joy and Fred Frye served as food and wine chairs. Last year’s affair netted the Cancer Center more than $1 million for cancer research, clinical care, and prevention programs.

The large local guest list included Sheila and Jeff Lipinsky, Wanda Kaufman and Richard Levi, Jeanne Jones and Don Breitenberg, Carol and Jeff Chang, Eric Otterson, Chancellor Marye Anne Fox, Dick and Judi Freeman, Fred and Angel Kleinbub, Cinda Lucas and Duane and Renee Roth.