Food, wine fundraiser expects large crowd


File Photo / The Advocate

Arlene Passini, Monticello Vineyards employee, pours a glass of red wine for Tammeil Gilkerson, vice president (center), and Vicki Ferguson, dean of student services (left), during the 8th Annual Food and Wine Event held in the Gymnasium on Sunday.

By Luis Lopez, Advocate Staff

Local restaurants, bakeries, breweries and wineries from all across the Bay Area will be participating in an event that unites the community while expanding opportunities for local students.

The Contra Costa College culinary arts department will hold its 12th annual Food and Wine fundraiser event April 28 in Fireside Hall from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door and will fund 10 culinary students on a three-week trip to Italy this summer.

“This is the 12th year in a row we are doing this event and every year it has been a success. Many wineries and vendors return for the event,” culinary arts department Chairperson Nader Sharkes said.

“The trip to Italy makes an impact in students’ lives. Some of them have never left Richmond. This fundraiser helps us provide them with the opportunity to visit culinary arts institutes in Italy.”

Financially, the event always lives up to expectations.

Culinary arts instructional assistant Angel Chau said, “Last year we made $59,000 from the event.”

The Food and Wine event is one of the more popular events at CCC with high attendance every year.

“Last year we had more than 800 people attend the event and this year we expect to have even more,” Chau said

Along with the delicious food and drinks, guests can expect live music, raffles and more. Each attendee will also receive a souvenir wine glass.

Instructional aide Erika Marks said, “For $5 guests can buy a key and have a chance to try to open a liquor cabinet. If their key opens the door, they win all the bottles inside.”

Some familiar faces will also be at the event including KTVU-Channel 2 news anchor Frank Mallicoat, who will be providing coverage of the event for the station.

“He has been here the past few years and helps provide coverage for the event and even emcees some of the raffles,” Marks said.

During the event, guests will be allowed to try delicious food, wine and beers provided by vendors such as Lagunitas Brewery, Peets Coffee, Bear Claw Bakery, Nothin’ Bundt Cakes, Up and Under Pub and Grill, Los Moles and other companies.

Culinary arts student Christine Sanok said, “At first you are kind of nervous, but when you talk to them, restaurants love the idea of being part of the event — or at least donating items for the event. Once a restaurant is part of the event, they love helping out.”