Lifehouse Celebrates 70th Anniversary at Great Chefs and Wineries Gala

Betty Yu, Nancy Dow Moody, Huey Lewis and the Lifehouse Performers. Photo: Drew Altizer

Lifehouse, a Marin County-based nonprofit organization dedicated to providing support services to individuals with developmental disabilities, celebrated 70 years during its recent Great Chefs and Wineries Gala on April 13. The elegant affair, featuring culinary delights and fine wines from 50 of the Bay Area’s most renowned chefs and wineries, took place at the Festival Pavilion in Fort Mason, and raised more than $800,000.

As in years past, rock legend Huey Lewis served as honorary chair, Insalata’s chef Heidi Krahling was culinary host, and Sid Sall chaired the wine committee. Betty Yu from Channel 2 Fox emceed the evening. Local favorite Pride & Joy entertained the crowd, along with individuals whom Lifehouse supports who performed a fun and energetic dance routine choreographed by Tara-Caprice Broadwater of Love2Dance Novato.

Gabriel Alamilla, Yoshi Tome and Jeffrey Mendez. Photo: Ando Caulfield for Drew Altizer Photography

The festivities begin with guests dining on small plates expertly prepared by chefs from some of the Bay Area’s best restaurants. Guests enjoyed delectable bites with the accompaniment of tastes from an impressive lineup of 25 elite wineries. Other libations include lattes and cappuccinos from Red Whale Coffee, beer and cider from Fort Point Brewery, tea from The Republic of Tea and martinis created by “Marin’s favorite barfly,” Jeff Burkhart.

Following dinner, guests filtered into the elegantly appointed ‘ballroom’ behind a beautifully illuminated installation by Uesugi & Associates Architects to enjoy fine cheese from the Ital Foods with crackers provided by Rustic Bakery, and a dessert bar created by Blooming Cakes, Fiorello’s Artisanal Gelato, Table Culture Provisions, Point Reyes Cheese Co, Rubicon Bakery and Woodlands Bakery while enjoying the evening’s live auction and performances.

Michael McQuilkin, Alexander McQuilkin, Erin Loftus-Sweetland and Mark Elias. Photo: Ando Caulfield for Drew Altizer Photography.

All proceeds from the event benefit Lifehouse, one of the Bay Area’s most respected agencies, providing residential and support services to over 375 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Marin, Sonoma and San Francisco counties.

Lifehouse Performers. Photo: Drew Altizer

“We are grateful to have the energy of Huey, Chef Heidi, Sid and Committee Co-Chairs Eileen Kilgariff and Erin Loftus-Sweetland behind our spectacular culinary event, in addition to the enthusiasm of the restaurants, wineries, sponsors, staff members and volunteers who came together to present this special celebration for Lifehouse,” said Nancy Dow Moody, Lifehouse President and CEO. “Lifehouse is proud to have presented our Great Chefs and Wineries to a sold-out crowd this year. We celebrated 70 years of providing support services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) throughout the Bay Area. I am grateful to our community partners who really stepped up this year to make our event the best ever. I am thankful to all who attended and supported Lifehouse in celebrating our 70th year!”

Jim Sides, Sharon Sides and Huey Lewis. Photo: Ando Caulfield for Drew Altizer Photography

Chefs and restaurants in this year’s Great Chefs & Wineries included: Chef Joseph Offner, Bar Sprezzatura; Chef Robert Price, Buckeye Roadhouse; Chef Enrico Filippelli, Cerri Catering; Chef Joanne Weir & Chef Candy Diaz, Copita Tequileria y Comida; Chef Donna Seymour, Cucina SA; Chef de Cuisine Colton Hays, EPIC Steak; Chef David Haydon, Il Davide; Culinary Host Chef Heidi Krahling & Chef Taylor Carnes, Insalata’s; Chef Mike Rosenthal, La Societe; Chef Amelito Ochoa, Left Bank Brasserie; Chef Frank Villa, Marinitas; Chef Parke Ulrich, Mersea; Chef Damien Duenas, Morton’s Steakhouse; Chef Nic Montanez, Peju; Chef Austin Perkins, Perkin’s Catering Co; Chef David Lugo, Perry’s; Chef Brandon Breazeale, Petite Left Bank; Chef Ben Balesteri, Poggio Trattoria; Chef Matthew Curry, Sam’s Anchor Café; Chef Yoshi Tome, Sushi Ran; Chef Stephane Saint Louis, Table Culture Provisions; Chef Adriano Dela Rosa, Tadich Grill; Owner Ver Chan Waller, Yank Sing.

Participating wineries included Crocker & Starr, Dry Creek Vineyard, Duckhorn Vineyards, Dutton- Goldfield Winery, Elaine Wines, HALL, WALT, BACA, Hundred Acre Wine Group, Grgich Hills Estate, JAX Vineyards, Keenan Wines, Kendric Vineyards, McPrice Myers Wines, Merry Edwards Winery, Papapietro Perry Winery, Michael Mondavi, Peju Winery, Pride Mountain Vineyards, Round Pond, Schramsberg, Schweiger Vineyards, Silver Oak & Twomey Cellars, Thirty-Seven Wines, Westwood Wine Estates.

Photos: Drew Altizer Photography

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Donna Glass
Donna Berry Glass is a freelance writer, editor and communications professional in Marin. When she’s not writing, hiking up steep hills, driving her kid to sports practice or whipping up her famous banana bread, she and her family spend time in their cabin in Lake Tahoe. She avidly supports the California Academy of Sciences and the Child Mind Institute.