The 2015 PPLA Food Fare is slated for March 5, 2015 at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif.
For a second straight year, the Planned Parenthood Los Angeles Food Fare will take place at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif.
Tickets for this much-awaited Thursday, March 5 event are now available via www.pplafoodfare.com or by calling (213) 284-3300.
Despite a busy schedule, Planned Parenthood Los Angeles CEO/President Sue Dunlap was courteous enough to discuss the Food Fare with us. She talked about the venue and proceeds, among other things.
Living Out Loud: Please tell us about the venue, Barker Hangar.
Sue Dunlap: Food Fare is returning to the historic Barker Hangar in Santa Monica for the second year in a row, and we can’t wait. The space is very modern and open (meaning no long lines for food!), and it allows guest to take advantage of every tasting offered. The event is typically attended by 1,500 guests and over 150 chefs and vendors—so this industrial space is perfect because it fits us all under one roof.
LOL: How will the proceeds be used.
SD: Every year, Food Fare raises nearly $1 million to support the essential care and education programs Planned Parenthood Los Angeles (PPLA) provides to the community. Last year, we provided health care to nearly 150,000 women, men, and teens—services people rely on us for include birth control, life-saving cancer screenings, breast exams, and STD testing and treatment. In addition to operating 19 health centers around the County, we also make it a point to reach out to our communities with health information: last year, we reached nearly 12,000 middle and high school students with accurate, unbiased sex education, and we also worked with 11,000 parents and adults to give them the tools they need to have important conversations with their teens about sex. The funds raised at Food Fare are what makes this work possible.
LOL: PPLA Food Fare will showcase over 150 of Southern California’s best chefs, restaurants and caterers. How were they selected/approved? And what are some of the challenges PPLA faced in organizing/prepping with so many entities involved?
SD: As you can imagine, an event of this size takes a LOT of work. In this case, that work is done almost entirely by volunteers. These incredible women – nearly 200 of them!— are known collectively as the Planned Parenthood LA Guild, and they have been the driving force behind Food Fare for 35 years now. They are the ones selecting vendors, wrangling auction items, decorating the space, and staffing the event—I’m constantly impressed with their passion, creativity, and energy. In terms of the selection process, participants come in two ways: 1) the Guild comes up with a list of participants that they would like to approach and invite them to attend, and 2) participants who have heard about the event approach us. So the community support extends even beyond the Guild!
LOL: On top of consuming delicious foods and drinks, those attendance can share some time with the chefs, including Brooke Williamson and Nick Roberts. Would you consider that a “treat” for the public? SD: I’m a big fan of Top Chef, and it’s always slightly frustrating to watch the chefs make beautiful food but never be able to taste it. So the opportunity to not only meet Seattle season’s runner-up, Brooke, but actually taste her food is a real treat, indeed. In addition to Brooke and Nick, guests can chat with and sample food from other world-renowned chefs who are also past Food Fare honorees (and a few are also former Top Chef contestants!), including: Celestino Drago of Drago Centro; Joe Miller of Joe’s Restaurant; Suzanne Goin of AOC, Lucques and Tavern; Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken of Border Grill; and Alain Giraud of Maison Giraud.
LOL: Share with us a little bit more about the sweepstakes taking place on site. How does one enter to win?
SD: There is a Wine and Spirits Silent Auction and a Dream Experiences Auction, the latter of which guests can bid on a number of exclusive experiences. For the foodies, you can win an in-home cocktail party with Chefs Brooke and Nick for 20 of your friends, and a Paella party for 30 guests at your home by Chef Joe Miller. Items are won by the highest bidder. At Raffle for Choice, guests can buy tickets ($10 each) to win some truly incredible items– including a trip to Paris for 4 nights, or trip to Maui for 4 nights, or 1 week in Ireland. There will be a drawing for the winners at the end of each session. I plan to toss in at least a few raffle tickets for that Maui trip!
LOL: The Fare is to entertain a day and night session. What’s the difference?
SD: We wanted to give guests the ability to choose which session was most convenient for them. The evening session is a bit more lively, with more libations offered and more restaurants participating: 60+ in the evening vs. 40+ during the day. The Wine and Spirits Auction and Raffle for Choice have different items for the day and evening sessions. The Dream Experiences auction spans both sessions. The Beer Garden is only during the evening session—I guess 10am can feel a little early for that type of refreshment.
LOL: What are some of the things that YOU are looking forward to the most?
SD: It might sound trite, but I really do look forward to seeing the community come together in support of Planned Parenthood – it’s a huge statement about the vital role our health services and education programs play. I’m so inspired by the dedication of the Guild who organizes this spectacular affair. Oh, and I look forward eating.
LOL: Why should our readers/followers attend the Fare?
SD: For Angelenos who love food and wine and want to support Planned Parenthood, you won’t want to miss out. It’s a beautiful space, tons of incredible food (which you never have to wait in line for!), and a chance to connect with other supporters of women’s health. It’s a great event to bring friends to—make sure you give yourself enough time to make a few rounds of the building! It really is one of the most fun charity events I’ve been to—I promise that it won’t disappoint.
LOL: Anything else to add?
SD: For tickets, visit www.pplafoodfare.com or call (213) 284-3300. Tickets are $150 for the daytime session (11 a.m. – 2 p.m.) and $250 for the evening session (6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.). Tickets will also be available at the door. Online tickets sales close on Tuesday, March 3rd at 5:00 p.m.. I hope to see you there!