Category Archives: Food and Wine

Roozbeh Farahanipour’s Mary and Robbs Westwood Cafe

(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS) — Los Angeles, CA — Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020 — Mary and Robbs is a neighbourhood coffee shop in Westwood. The new owner, Roozbeh Faranipour, just opened the cafe for sidewalk dining. Mary and Robbs has a reputation for serving gourmet American bistro fare. Mary and Robbs has the best breakfast in Westwood Village. Roozbeh is well known in the Westwood community. He is the owner of the Delphi Greek restaurant which is a few doors down from Mary and Robbs. Roozbeh is the president of the West Lost Angeles Chamber of Commerce and president of the L.A. chapter of the California Restaurant Association. 

I stopped by Mary and Robbs for breakfast this last Tuesday. It was standing room only in the outdoor dining area. Roozbeh was very busy making sure everything was just right. I got a chance to speak to David Hekmat.David has owned Mary and Robbs for 41 years. He bought the restaurant from the previous owner in 1979! David picked Roozbeh to run Mary and Robbs and keep all the traditions, the staff and the same menu. Roozbeh told me that the Pulled Pork Sandwich is is his favourite item on the menu and that I’ll have to come back sometime and try it. For vegetarian options, Mary and Robbs offers the Beyond Burger. I can wait to try both of them!

The Eggs Benedict is a specialty here. Mary and Robbs uses a family recipe. I saw some the diners eating the Eggs Benedict and the Omelette s. They looked so good. Mary and Robbs is now offering delivery. You can call the restaurant at (310) 478-3822. They are also using Uber Eats, Postmates, GrubHub, and Doordash. 

I stopped by Mary and Robbs early. I wanted to try the basic breakfast with eggs, hash browns, bacon and toast. It was so good. I would describe the food as gourmet diner food. The staff here is very consistent and they use the very best ingredients. The bacon was crispy, the eggs were cooked perfectly. I’m so excited to have a destination breakfast spot. It’s great that a community leader like Roozbeh has taken over Mary and Robbs traditions. The staff is enthusiastic and ready to get back to work. Once the pandemic ends, we’ll all be able to sit in the comfy booths and dine at the lunch counter. 

The Hollywood Press Corps highly recommends Mary and Robbs. Stop by when you’re on the Westside of Los Angeles.

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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Home Delivery from Delphi Greek Restaurant and Bar

(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS) — Delphi Greek Restaurant and Bar in Westwood is taking orders for delivery and take out. Please support small businesses by ordering lunch today. In these difficult times of Coronavirus 19, being a good community member means staying at home. The Delphi Greek restaurant is known for making quality food for events, catering and dining in. But with an order to stay home, they have switched to making take out and delivery.

Owner Roozbeh Farahanipour

We got a chance to swing by Delphi Greek for a gyro and a delicious Cold Combo. Everything was so fresh. The Cold Combo features Tzatziki, Mlitzanosalata, hummus, tabouli,kalmata olives, pita bread and sliced cucumber. If you’ve never tried these items, heres a run down. Hummus is made with garbanzo beans and lemon juice whipped together.

Delphi’s hummus is delicious. The great thing about getting the Cold Combo delivered is that you can snack on all the different sauces. Another super tasty item is the Melitzanosalata. This is a Greek style babganoush and eggplant whipped together with greek yogurt and tahini. This has such a clean and delicious taste. The Tabouli is really good. Cracked wheat with tomatoes, parsley, green onions and mint. The Tabouli has a very unique flavor. It’s like a little salad with lots of flavor. The Tzatziki is one of my favorites. Greek yogurt, grated cucumber and a touch of mint.

If you get a chance to have a meal delivered from Delphi Greek Restaurant, you’ll be glad you did and you’ll be supporting the local community.

Order delivery at the Delphi Greek Restaurant here:
http://www.delphigreek.com

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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Legacy Charitable Foundation

 

The “Legacy Charitable Foundation” held its fifth annual Holiday Masquerade Ball on December 8 at The Majestic Downtown in Los Angeles.

In an effort to support “Echoes of Hope” which serves communities by helping children, youth and young adults in need by eliminating barriers and assisting them to reach their full potential, the Holiday Ball encouraged giving with this event which included, open bar, full sushi bar and catered dinner. Aside from creating awareness, the organization raises funds to bridge the gap between those in need and support the programs that help them strive.

The Legacy Charitable Foundation assists our community by promoting social welfare and supporting other non profit organizations with an emphasis on improving health research such as Alzheimer’s and cancer, homeless assistance organizations, disabled or sick youth, foster youth, education, financial literacy, low income family residences and overall well being of all people that are in need of hope. The evening climaxed with an electrifying performance by CeCe Peniston, (Best known for her hit single “Finally”) and other number one hits.

 

Attendees walking the red carpet included, CeCe Peniston who also performed later in the evening, actress Paloma Movales, actress Chanel Minnifield, Dr. Lisa Masterson of “The Doctors”, comedian Patrick Neal, Pol Atteu and Patrick Simpson of “Gown and Out in Beverly Hills” with their lovable dog “Snow White”, Celeste Thorson of “The Have and Have Nots”, Zack Levy of Legacy Foundation, Abraham Mehrian Chairman of The Legacy Foundation, Giovanna Healy Founder of “Sisters of Strength”, Jennifer Brown Legacy President, Bill Mena board member of Legacy Foundation, Gonzalo Cruz Schiavone board member and Sylvia Valdiva of The Legacy Foundation. Holiday season is a time for reflection and giving and giving they did.

American Music Awards pre party and gifting suite

The Kimpton La Peer Hotel in West Hollywood was the location for an American Music Awards pre party on November23, 2019. Hosted by GBK Productions, appetizers and fine wine was served as celebrities from many genres were gifted high end products from vendors with an eye on Hollywood.

A full DJ set was performed by Jes Danz and dancing was not only allowed, (This was not Footloose) but encouraged. The after party spilled into the bar and pool area as the evening grew late with several live acts performing for the enthusiastic crowd.

Stars from Ozark, Days of Our Lives, American Idol, Good Girls, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, The Office, Grey’s Anatomy, Shameless,  Entourage, Stumptown, Arrested Development, Famously Single and others attended and partied the night away with great eats in their belly, love in their hearts and a cache of gifted goodies.

All photos by Bennartz

PITCHOUN BAKERY IS OPENING ITS SECOND LOCATION AT THE BEVERLY CENTER

Los Angeles , CA – August 27, 2018 – Downtown LA favorite Pitchoun Bakery is opening a new location on the ground floor of the Beverly Center during the mall’s ongoing multimillion-dollar renovation.

This is a family-owned business run by husband-and-wife team Frédéric and Fabienne Souliès, Pitchoun! (which means “kiddo” in French) is the result of the couple’s deep passion (and history) for bread and baking.  Having grown up in his grandfather’s bakery, Frédéric comes from a long line of French bakers and farmers. Fabienne inherited her knowledge of Mediterranean cuisine with an Italian twist from her parents.  

Illustrator Hubert Poirot-Bourdain

Backed by a supporting cast of experienced French chefs, Pitchoun! deftly brings French savoir-faire and culinary techniques to California. With a seemingly endless array of delicacies, there is a little something for everyone. Pitchoun! has become an ideal spot to pop in for a morning coffee, pick up some pastries for a sweet snack, dine in for a casual meal or enjoy an afternoon drink and cheese plate.

The Grand Opening celebration with all-day drinks & mini bites , as well as an opportunity to win a private special pastry lesson with Pitchoun’s Chef for 3 hours, on a recipe chosen by the winner, a beautiful fine gourmet gift baskets (value $100), and a Boiron Basket of Health. All proceeds from the tickets sales will benefit the Pediatrics Department at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. 

This amazing event takes place on;

Thursday, September 6, 2018, | All Day Event: 7am-4pm | Ribbon Cutting Ceremony: 3 pm |

VIP Reception: 4:30 pm-7: 30 pm | Pitchoun! is a proud member of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

Pitchoun Bakery is located at the Beverly Center at 8500 Beverly Blvd in Los Angeles

Check out the website for Pitchoun here 

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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CONCERN FOUNDATION’S 44TH ANNUAL BLOCK PARTY RAISES $1.8 MILLION FOR CANCER RESEARCH

(Los Angeles) – Saturday, July 14th 2018 – The Hollywood Press Corps attended the Concern Foundation’s 44th Annual Block Party on the backlot of Paramount Studios. This was in the heart of Hollywood on the foundation’s 50th anniversary. Themed this year as Cancer Crusaders, the highly anticipated and sold-out event hosted 4,000 guests, successfully raising $1.8 million for cancer research through ticket sales, donations and bids on auction items.

All guests had a chance to experience over 70 restaurants, caters, and beverage vendors including Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Fogo de Chao, Dulan’s Soul Food, Button Mash, Fresh Brother’s Pizza and Pink’s Famous Hot Dogs. The night was filled with interactive entertainment such as casino-style gaming, a celebrity bar hosting actors Lili Bourdán (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, THE NUN), Gabe Jarret (REAL GENIUS) and Chad Johnson, the original TV Batmobile, and live and iconic Super Hero “streetmosphere”. For the 14th year in a row, The Best of LA® on Los Angeles Magazine’s street featured lounges, photo booths, food stations, beauty stations and gift bags sponsored by Infiniti.

As a focal point for the evening’s festivities, the live auction lead by lifestyle expert and entertainment reporter, Mar Yvette, presented guests with the option to bid on prizes including VIP tickets to a taping of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”, VIP tickets to the 2018 American Music Awards, a six-night vacation in Maui, and Dodger Dugout seats. Following the auction, John Ferdenzi of Town and Country Event Rentals was honored with the Spirit of Concern award. Recognized for his dedication and commitment to Concern Foundation, John Ferdenzi has been a valued member of the extended Concern family for more than two and a half decades. He has given his time and creative talents to assist at various Concern Block Parties and annual holiday events.

This year, in connection to the theme, the foundation was happy to honor Dr. Jay & Kris Calvert and family as this year’s “Cancer Crusaders” for their participation in helping to conquer cancer through research. Honored on stage alongside his family, Dr. Jay & Kris Calvert openly shared their personal experience with cancer. The Calvert’s 10 year old son Ace was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at age 4 and while today he has beaten his cancer, ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) can always return and he is never truly cured. This is a major reason he and his family feels so strongly about raising money to help find a permanent cure. Jay himself was a young scientist who could not get funding early in his career as a molecular biologist and he personally knows how important our mission to supporting young investigators is to jump start researcher’s careers. Dr. Jay Calvert has been consecutively named one of Los Angeles Magazine’s “Super Doctors” in 2014, 2015, and 2016. He has appeared on multiple hit television programs including CBS’s “The Doctors” and OWN’s “Dr. Phil”.

Cancer survivor/superhero. Photo by Marie Gregorio-Oviedo

Concern Foundation is proud to have these members of the community serve as this year’s honorees. Their personal connection to the fight against cancer and philanthropic actions alongside the non-profit organization is sure to help make this year’s Block Party a success.

Concluding the event, Derek Alpert stated, “Having the honor to be on stage to welcome and see nearly 4,000 of the true super heroes all gathered together helping us raise funds to conquer cancer is a very emotional thing for me. It’s such a blessing to be able to help orchestrate this event each year and to bring together four generations of donors, five decades of cancer researchers that Concern has funded all surrounded by a tremendous outpouring of love and support by our local business community that donate their time and talents so that we can give as much money as possible to support cancer research.”

Concern Foundation’s mission is to conquer cancer by providing essential funds to support the early, yet critical, stages of discovery. Since its inception in 1968, Concern has raised and awarded $63 million to 750 gifted cancer scientists around the world.

For 50 years, Concern has pioneered the advancement of cancer immunology—the study of the relationship between the immune system and cancer—a field that is now widely acknowledged to hold the most potential for discovering treatments and preventions for cancer.

The Tom Nolan Band entertained the crowd with the soulful sounds of Jazz, Blues, and R&B.

Publicist Ed Solarzano.  Photo by Marie Gregorio-Oviedo

Check out the website for the Concern Foundation here.

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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Gourmet Italian Food in Osaka

HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS – OSAKA, JAPAN – There’s an Italian restaurant in Osaka known as Osteria Leb that is getting a lot of buzz in Hollywood, California. Osteria Leb is the perfect place for an authentic Italian business lunch or a relaxed dinner with wine recommendations from the staff. There are dishes from Sicily and flavors from Firenze. It’s all in beautiful Osaka amongst the tall buildings and near the Dojima river.

Dustin Brown from the Hollywood Press Corps (L) with Mr. Yamada (C) and Yuriko (R) at Osteria Leb in Osaka, Japan

Created in 2014 by Mr. Yamada and his wife Yuriko, Osteria Leb never disappoints when it comes to fresh and delicious dining. The restaurant is located in the upscale neighborhood of Nakanoshima, Japan. Its a cozy, welcoming atmosphere and can accommodate individual diners or they take reservations for groups. Osteria Leb is perfect for the locals who stop by and also ideal for visitors from other countries.

The antipasti course for our recent lunch

We began our foodies dream meal with a fresh salad. Known in Italy as antipasti or appetizer, this antipasti delivers in spades. I know it’s hard to make a salad sound like a tasty experience, but in a city like Osaka, where fried food is a local tradition, the salad that Mr. Yamada prepared was real fresh and full of flavor. There are different textures in the salad, a tiny fish to add a salty flavor, and just a little piece of bread.

The pasta at Osteria Leb features authentic Italian flavors

The pasta dish that we had for lunch featured the authentic flavors of Italy. Known as a primi in Italy, its recommended to start your meal in Italy with a small “primi” pasta course. Mr. Yamada prepares the pasta himself while you munch on the salad. The portions at Osteria Leb are generous and I ate every morsel. The textures of the pasta and the subtle Italian spices combine to make an enjoyable dining experience. The smells that fill that cozy eatery are just so pure and familiar.
An osteria in Italy is a place where people gather to enjoy wine and eat simple food. The meat course at an Italian osteria is called a secondi. We chose the pork secondi and we weren’t disappointed. The smell of olive oil being warmed as Mr Yamada prepared our secondi was just so appealing. It made me so hungry. Mr Yamada purchases the freshest meat and fish for his restaurant.

Our secondi course, or second course, was expertly prepared

For desert, we had the tiramisu. The desert course was presented with such a flourish. It looked like a work of art. The scoop of gelato was perfect on this hot sunny summer’s day.

The dessert at Osteria Leb looked like a work of art

Between preparing luxe fare for anyone who stopped by, I had a chance to speak with Mr Yamada. He told me about his recent trip to Italy to sample food and grappa in Verona, Firenze and Rome. He’s been preparing luxe offerings at Osteria Leb for about seven years. His goal is to see everyone smiling when they come in to dine at Osteria Leb.
The Experience Magazine highly recommends Osteria Leb to anyone living in Japan or visiting Osaka. This is a unique dining experience in the heart of Osaka.

Check out the website in Japanese here;

http://osterialeb.jp

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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Authentic Greek Food at Delphi Greek in Westwood

Los Angeles, Ca – May 31st, 2017 – The Hollywood Press Corps stopped by The Delphi Greek restaurant in Westwood for a delicious press dinner. Roozbeh Farahanipour and his wife, Rana, are well known in the West Los Angeles restaurant scene. The Delphi Greek has been providing quality food in Los Angeles for over 30 years. Roozbeh became the owner of this West Los Angeles eatery in 2009.

Roozbeh Farahanipour

Roozbeh Faranipour is the nicest guy I know in West Los Angeles. Roozbeh loves his restaurant and the food he serves. As soon as we arrived for the press dinner, Roozbeh poured me a big glass of Retsina wine. The word retsina comes from the word resinated. Retsina is a famous wine in the Mediteranean region for its pine flavor that originally came from the pine resin that was used to seal the cask. It has a strong taste and its flavor is used in Greek food.
I have to say, my favorite thing about Delphi Greek are the cold appetizers. I don’t know a place that does Hummus and Tabouli better. I could eat just pita with hummus and tabouli at Delphi Greek it’s so good. Hummus, of course, is just Garbanzo beans whipped up with some lemon juice. The hummus is super fresh at Dephi Greek.

The appetizers were so delicious and freshly made

The Tabouli has wheat, tomatoes, onions, parsley, lemon juice and olive. So tasty. We ordered another pile of warm pita bread so we could eat all of the appetizer plate. We were also treated to Tzatziki, which is one of my favorites. Tzatziki is yogurt, cucumber and olives. Again, no one does Tzatziki as good as Roozbeh and his culinary team. Also on the cold appetizer plate, you simply must try the Melitazanosalata. This is a Greek style babghanoosh. It’s eggplant whipped with yogurt and tahini. All the appetizers were so good. We were drinking our wine and saying, “Opa!” which is the Greek way to celebrate life.

The lamb at Delphi Greek was high quality meat grilled perfectly

As the press dinner proceeded, we were treated to the flaming cheese dish that is a popular Greek appetizer. The dish is called Saganaki. It’s quite a spectacle to see the server light a pan of cheese on fire and sear the cheese at your table. It has a European flavor that’s not common in the states.The Delphi Greek delivers this dish with a flourish and its fun to see everyone’s reaction to the flaming cheese.

Dustin Brown (L) from the Hollywood Press Corps and Roozbeh Farahanipour (R) proprietor of the Delphi Greek restaurant in Westwood, Ca

Being a soup lover, I had to try the Avgolemono. This is a traditional Hellenistic, or Greek, lemon chicken soup. The Delphi Greek does a great Avgolemono. So fresh and just the right amounts of key ingredients. The Avgolemono paired well with the Retsina wine.

For a main course, I tried the lamb. This featured four pieces of lamb marinated in olive oil. This was so delicious. The meat at Delphi Greek is so fresh. I don’t know how Roozbeh does it, but he buys the highest quality meat. The pork chop is also expertly made, and a bit of a top dish at Delphi Greek.
The one thing that would surprise people to know about Delphi Greek is its connection to the local political scene. Assemblymen, diplomats and the West Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce often eat at Delphi Greek.

The desserts at Delphi Greek are tasty traditional recipes

Thanks to Roozbeh and his entire staff for putting on a Press Dinner. The food, the company and the journalists were so much fun. Stop by to Delphi Greek in Westwood soon!
Check out the website here;

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Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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The Cookie Kahuna is Back and Baking Up a Storm


The Cookie Kahuna and his new bride Carol are an inspiration to romantics everywhere. The Hollywood Press Corps was invited into their home to talk about love, life, and the resurgence of the perfect cookie.

Wally Amos and His Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies
Wally Amos and His Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies

You may remember Wally Amos from the 70’s when he became the “Famous Amos” cookie mogul. He was a warm, young, caring entrepreneur who conquered the world with his amazing little chocolate chip cookies. After taking a break from the world of baking, Wally Amos has decided to jump back into the kitchen with both feet and his original crunchy cookie recipe.

Wally Amos taking pride in his famous cookies
Wally Amos taking pride in his famous cookies

Amos prides himself with his all natural ingredients, including his high quality chocolate chips from Guittard Chocolates, and his vanilla bean extract. He proudly tells us that the very first ingredient in his chocolate chip cookies is “chocolate,” a statement very few cookie companies can make.

As we sat in his kitchen and got a first-hand lesson in “how to roll the perfect cookie”, we were entertained with the story of how the two love birds met and married. Carol recounted every detail down to a loving message left on her voicemail by Wally. He jokingly denied it ever happened so she grabbed her phone and played the message on speaker for all of us to hear. Wally’s eyes lit up and a giant smile grew on his face as he admitted he did, in fact, say those wonderful things.

Wally and Carol Amos rolling cookies together
Wally and Carol Amos rolling cookies together

They met in late January and were married by the end of February. When asked why they moved so quickly, their response was, “Why wait? We’re not getting any younger!” Wally will be 80 soon and Carol turned 70 this year. But when the two look into each other’s eyes, eternal youth seems from them.

As the cookies came out of the oven, Carol enticed us to enjoy at least 18, since she had already had that many before we arrived. She continued to eat them, and continued to up our target number as the meeting continued. Batch after batch came out of the oven and we each continued to toss dozens of the Cookie Kahuna’s masterpiece into our mouths.

A special batch of cookies made with love
A special batch of cookies made with love

We learned that Amos had been invited to go on “Shark Tank” to pitch his new cookie business to the team. He was going to pass on the idea but Carol convinced him that it was part of his destiny, so he decided to move forward.

After eating at least two or three dozen cookies a piece, and enjoying numerous stories of wedding bliss from our newlywed couple, it was time to go. The warmth of the Amos house didn’t come from the cookie oven, but from the cookie Kahuna and his new wife themselves. It was a true pleasure to meet them both and we can’t wait for the new brand of cookies to make their way to our grocery store shelves soon!

Check out the Cookie Kahuna website here;

http://www.cookiekahuna.com

Judy Hansen Pullos

Judy Hansen Pullos

Judy is a journalist and photographer. She lives in Southern California.

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Magical Evening at the 11th Annual East Honolulu Food Festival

The Hollywood Press Corps had the pleasure of attending the 11th annual East Honolulu Food Festival was held at the Star of the Sea Church and School on April 30th from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. They were host to nearly 2000 islanders and their guests who were invited to taste dishes from More than 20 chefs and restaurants are participating including:  A Cup of Tea, Bellini Bistro & Bar, Big City Diner, Café Julia, Da Spot Health Foods and Juices, Dave & Busters, Gourmet Goods & Sekiyas, Great Harvest Bread Company, Il Gelato, JJ’s Bistro   and French Pastry, Kahala Nui, Kahi’s Kitchen, Kakaako Kitchen, Kona Brewing Company, Maile’s Thai Bistro, NOSH Hawaii, Organic Surfer Chef, Panda Express, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, and more.  Even wine enthusiasts were taken care of by Young’s Market Company and Kona Brewing Company who provided bottomless wine and spirits.

Hollywoodpresscorps Editor Dustin Brown with the chef from Kahala Nui
Hollywoodpresscorps Editor Dustin Brown with the chef from Kahala Nui

Each Chef prepared delicious signature dishes such as Mongolian rack of lamb (Kahala Nui), Chef Russell Siu’s (Kakaako Kitchen) cowboy chili and nachos, Big City Diner’s kalua sliders with their famous BBQ sauce and pineapple cole slaw, and more.

Kai's Kitchen Kalua Pig with Lomi Salmon Kabobs
Kai’s Kitchen Kalua Pig with Lomi Salmon Kabobs

The school grounds were beautifully decorated with white tents and checkered table clothes. Each patron wore their best “cowboy” outfits and those who didn’t come prepared were offered a bandana to wrap around their neck in old western fashion. This year’s theme, “Paniolo Night,” featured fun and energetic entertainment by Dita Holifield’s Hillbilly House Band and Kona Winds. The dance floor was packed with dancers of all ages and sizes.

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People from all around the island gathered to enjoy great food and entertainment

In addition to the amazing food, drinks, live music and dancing, there were free games and rides for keikis, and a silent auction that included travel/hotel packages. Proceeds from the Food Festival will go to the Star of the Sea Youth and Homeless Ministries and provide students with classroom smart boards, playground equipment, and new computers.

Nosh Brazilian Hot Cheese Bites
Nosh Brazilian Hot Cheese Bites

It was a magical evening with fabulous food, lots of wine and spirits, and wonderful people gathering together from around the island and a great way to taste a few of the local favorites while supporting a worthy cause.

 

 

Judy Hansen Pullos

Judy Hansen Pullos

Judy is a journalist and photographer. She lives in Southern California.

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