Thirty chefs cook up a storm for Escondido Rotary Club's 'Coeur de Cuisine'
By: SUZI CAMP - For the North County Times
ESCONDIDO ---- The 79-year-old Escondido Rotary Club's very first try at a new fund-raiser this weekend was a complete sellout and huge success! The "Coeur de Cuisine," translation: "heart of the kitchen," event was held Feb. 8, at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. The Rotary represents charities like the Boys & Girls Club and Palomar Family YMCA. It is hoped that the Coeur de Cuisine will become a major gala of the winter season, replacing the Felicita Pageant of years past.
Thirty chefs prepared appetizers, entrees, and desserts, and twelve wineries poured two types of wine during the dinner. Carlton Greenawalt, chef at 150 Grand in Escondido, prepared a smoked-duck taco with a blood orange and strawberry salsa. Zoran Lakovic, owner of Carmela Cocina Italiana in San Marcos, served up veal sautÈed with honey and mushrooms, fresh spinach and Italian herbs. Other participating restaurants were Bernard'O from Rancho Bernardo, His Place Coffee House in Escondido, Indigo Grill in downtown San Diego, and Top of the Cove in La Jolla. Wineries ranged from Bernardo Winery, Fallbrook Winery, and San Pasqual Winery, to Shadow Mountain and Twin Oaks.
In addition to being the first fund-raiser of its kind, the Coeur de Cuisine was also a vehicle to honor the life of one of the most beloved men in all of Escondido, and an 18-year member of Rotary ---- Bill Brecht, who passed away early last year. There were family and wedding photos, and other memorabilia from Bill, surrounding a beautiful chocolate heart, signifying the "heart" he had for his community, sitting atop a chocolate pot and ladle with the Rotary and BMW symbols appearing on it, which was created by Chuao Chocolatier. Bill's widow Jeanelle and son Tim were in attendance.
Mrs. Brecht said: "The evening was a great success, and the tribute to Bill was a very special way to honor him."
Musical groups Quasar and the Hidden Valley Brass Quintet entertained guests.
Auction items included sports tickets, golf, diamond rings, wine, and trips to Hawaii and the Caribbean. Emcees were Jack White, who writes for the San Diego Business Journal, and Ted Owen, publisher of the Business Journal.
Event chairman Dick Daniels said: "This is a big step for the Escondido Rotary and the city of Escondido, as well as the California Center for the Arts. We are trying to bring upscale events and highlight good restaurants to the community. In addition, Bill Brecht was a friend to many in this room. I couldn't be happier."