Empowering Youth Through Education

5th Annual Taste of Summer – Premier Food and Drink Tasting Event Benefitting the Fulfillment Fund

Honorary Host, Julie Chang and Honorary Chef, Nyesha Arrington help make this year’s Taste of Summer an unforgettable evening of extraordinary food, drinks & fun.

On Saturday, July 16th, the Fulfillment Fund Leadership Council hosted its Fifth Annual Taste of Summer, a one-night-only exclusive food and drink tasting event.

A Santa Monica sunset and the stunning atmosphere of The Victorian provided the perfect backdrop for what has become one of the hottest events of the season. Over 400 guests enjoyed samplings of delicious culinary fare and drinks from an array of renowned chefs, top-notch restaurants, wineries, breweries and beverage makers from across the city.

The event raised over $90,000, with all proceeds benefitting the Fulfillment Fund’s work to make college a reality for students growing up in educationally and economically under-resourced communities.

In celebration of the 5th anniversary, the Fulfillment Fund Leadership Council recognized one of their own, Todd Hawkins, as the event’s Special Honoree for his vision in creating the Taste of Summer event.

Returning as Honorary Chef this year was Nyesha Arrington of Leona restaurant, one of L.A.’s hottest chefs and a “Top Chef” alumna. Chef Arrington conducted a live “how to” demonstration of a summer ceviche inspired by her Peruvian travels. Guests were also treated to samples of this uniquely delicious dish.

The dynamic Julie Chang, Entertainment Anchor for Good Day LA & Fox 11 Morning News (and a Fulfillment Fund mentor) served as Honorary Host for the evening.

See all the fun from Taste of Summer by viewing our Facebook photo album.

The event’s footprint was extended this year to include the front lawn of The Victorian to make room for a new wine garden, expanded silent auction, sponsor lounges and a music stage featuring a live jazz band.  DJs Mark Chill and Matt Urbano kept the vibe lively indoors.  

In addition to Chef Arrington, other notable chefs who joined Taste of Summer this year included “Top Chef” alumna, Chef Elia Aboumrad of Cassell’s Hamburgers and Chef Jason Fullilove of Barbara Jean LA. Other participants included: Anheuser Busch, Basement Tavern, Blue Ribbon Sushi, Boisset Collection, Bombay Sapphire, Brouwerij West, Calamigos Wine, Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Co., Del Frisco’s Grill, Farm Fresh To You, Golden Road Brewing, Gustus Vitae, Iron Triangle Brewing Company, Kona Brewing Co., Malibu Café, Mike's Hard Lemonade - White Claw, Milk Jar Cookies, Sprinkles, Stone Brewing Co., Tasti D Lite Planet Smoothie, The Hive Organic Café, The Kroft, The Westroom, Tito's Vodka and Victorian Catering.

Sponsors of Taste of Summer included Recruiting Social, Vevo, Fullscreen, Kelton, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, 495 Communications and Equity Office.

The Fulfillment Fund thanks event chairs Jeremy Delaplane, Jackie Plaza and Holly Reid and the Taste of Summer planning committee for their hard work and dedication. Heartfelt thanks also to the sponsors, vendors, hosts, volunteers and especially all of the guests who attended Taste of Summer. Your support is helping students in our community get to and through college and achieve their goals.

Serving the Los Angeles community for 39 years, the Fulfillment Fund makes college a reality for students growing up in educationally and economically under-resourced communities. By providing a college access curriculum, college counseling, mentoring, scholarships and other individualized support, the Fulfillment Fund helps students get to college and realize their educational dreams. Nine in 10 Fulfillment Fund high school graduates go on to college, compared to only five in 10 low-income high school graduates nationally.