Cooking Up Dreams

By on May 9, 2019 in Giving

The annual Cooking Up Dreams fundraiser was a sweet success! Participants enjoyed a night of dining, dancing, and fun prizes. Most importantly, Family Service Agency (FSA) received the support needed to continue serving at-risk children, families and seniors.

Each year, Cooking Up Dreams invites guests and celebrity judges to sample dishes prepared by Santa Barbara’s hottest chefs and restaurants. After the tastings, the best dishes are awarded People’s Choice or Judges’ Choice awards.

Geneva Ives, manager of marketing content for Yardi, served as a guest judge. Ives regularly writes about the local food and wine scene to support restaurateurs and food producers. She freelances for USA Today’s “10 Best” column and recently published the book, “Eats and Eateries of Santa Barbara.”

Ives recalled what she looked for in noteworthy bites. “When I’m eating, I look for food that satisfies but also intrigues. A perfect bite is like a perfect glass of wine. You’re looking for aromas, flavors and textures that are distinct but blend together perfectly.”

She added, “There were quite a few tasty bites at Cooking Up Dreams, but the two that stand out in my memory are the Dungeness crab-topped Kennebec potato chip from Finch & Fork and the ponzu scallops on the half shell from Bluewater Grill.”

Peter Cham of Finch & Fork ultimately took home the The Judges’ Choice Award for crustacean dip. People’s Choice Winner was Damien Giliberti of The Outpost at the Goodland. Attendants raved over his Pork Belly Bao Buns.

“I always love participating in events that celebrate and explore Santa Barbara’s thriving food culture. The fact that this event was hosted by the FSA to help children, families and seniors in need made it even more worthwhile,” said Ives.

While flavors danced on their taste buds, guests danced to the tunes of DJ Scott Topper. Guests also participated in an energetic live action or opt for the calmer pace of the silent auction.

The night also served to honor the longstanding relationship between Yardi and Family Service Agency.

“We’re also thrilled to be honoring Yardi this year,” said Sandy Nordahl, event co-chair. “Yardi has been a long-time FSA supporter and really cares about the well-being of families in our community. Yardi Systems Inc., a longtime supporter of FSA, will serve as Honorary Chair.”

Gordon Morrell, executive vice president at Yardi received the honor on the company’s behalf. The sold-out event raised more than $100,000 for FSA. Proceeds will fund mental health and family support programs for multiple generations of recipients.

Yardi is Energized for Good! Join us. Make a donation to Family Service Agency.