This year’s Taste of Santa Monica turned the Santa Monica Pier into a place of haute cuisine with almost 40 booths serving a variety of delicacies.
The 2,000+ attendees had the opportunity to sample a variety of dishes as well as the chance to see some cooking demonstrations presented by chefs from local culinary schools and Santa Monica restaurants, which included the preparation of Eggplant Napoleon, celery soup and fish tacos.
Green practices were also an integral part of the event. Literature from the event’s host, the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce (SMCC), stated, “All event materials and programs…are printed on 30 percent post-consumer recycled paper, and exhibitors are encouraged to use green products, follow composting procedures for food materials, recycle in on-site bins and reduce their overall trash.” In addition, the event program noted that all participating restaurants were “trained by the City in pre-event meetings on the upcoming citywide polystyrene ban.” Lastly, the event posted information on green practices that attendees can implement at home.
The Victorian at Heritage Square Restaurant’s Director of Special Events, Aleta Slayton, told the Mirror her restaurant has been participating in the Taste of Santa Monica since it started six years ago. “It’s a lot of fun, great exposure and a great environment to be on the Pier.”
Bart McBhail, the Area Director for the Daily Grill, noted that having a booth is “a great way to interact with the community.” The Grill’s decision on what to serve was based on what did well at charitable events.
Santa Monica resident Jeannie Collins mentioned that this is the second time she has come because she “loves the food and being outdoors right on the water.”
First – time attendee Marvin Tabangay came up from Torrance because he heard about the Taste of Santa Monica from some friends. He pointed out before coming, “A lot of the restaurants I knew about in Santa Monica were on the Third Street Promenade, but now I know about a lot of other places to eat.”
This year’s event also included music played by Route 66 and for the third year in a row, a Wine Garden offered wine tasting from a variety of wineries.
The event is the SMCC’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Profits from the ticket sales, the silent auction and the raffle help support community programs sponsored by the Chamber that include the at-risk job fair and the annual nonprofit and health festivals.