Festival of food filling quickly
By: JEFF FRANK - Staff Writer
The decision on where to go out to eat on a particular day can be a difficult one.
Fine dining or fast food? Ethnic or American? Chop house, fish house or vegetarian? All those and more can make actually choosing a place to dine take nearly as long as the meal itself.
Once a year, though, the Escondido Rotary Club makes things easy, with its fifth annual Coeur de Cuisine Culinary Celebration. Pretty much everything north of a Big Mac and fries is represented among the 34 restaurants and 23 beverage providers from all over San Diego County serving up samples.
The 500 or so guests attending the 5 p.m. gala next Sunday at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido, will face options ranging from lobster and lamb to cheese and chocolate; all of them at once, should they desire.
Stomach capacity permitting, of course.
Event chairman Dan Sundquist has a suggestion where that's concerned: "Eat a very light lunch that day, but make sure you've eaten plenty the day before so your stomach is stretched."
Just what the nation's health-care providers want to hear.
The food festival has a philanthropical function, raising money for the club's foundation, which contributes annually to more than two dozen charities as well as funding $22,000 in scholarships for graduates of Escondido high schools.
"We probably will exceed $100,000 in monies for charities in Escondido (raised at the event)," said Sundquist.
Along with the food, the fun and the fundraising, the club will also honor the Wohlford family, whose contributions to the Escondido area go back to 1892. Those contributions include Alvin Wohlford's design of the system for bringing water for agriculture from Lake Henshaw to Lake Hodges in the late 1800s, a somewhat significant accomplishment.
Wohlford family members, pioneers in the agricultural community, were among founders of the Bank of Escondido, the Escondido Woman's Club, the Escondido Mutual Water Co. and the Escondido Rotary, for which Burnet "Wully" Wohlford served as president 80 years ago.
His son, Burnet "Tig" Wohlford remains active in the club and will be among 12 family members attending the gala.
"It looks like it's going to be a grand event," said Sundquist. "We have had many people participate in the last four years. It seems to be enjoyed by everyone."
Don't forget to bring your appetite.