The Crowd: Taco fiesta raises money for SOS Orange Aid project

This is one event that folks look forward to all year long. More than 650 citizens converged upon the Halecrest Swim and Tennis Club in Costa Mesa last week to sample "Wild and Crazy" tacos prepared by 28 local star chefs. It was the 18th annual Share Our Selves (SOS) "Wild &Crazy Taco Night" with an amazing array of culinary delights all donated, helping to raise $34,890 in support of the SOS Orange Aid Project. Orange Aid, founded by restaurateurs Hal Rosoff and Michael Kang, food columnist Marla Bird, Taco Bell executives John Martin and Jonathan Blum and SOS former executive director Karen McGlinn collects food from restaurants, grocery stores, caterers and bakeries to distribute to local low income residents. The project gives out approximately 250 bags of groceries each day.

The overflow crowd sampled a grilled Korean short rib taco made by Carlito Jockson of the Yard House, a Cuban duck taco by Alan Greeley of the Golden Truffle, a bratwurst taco prepared by Mark Gagnon of Newport Beach Plaza and a mesquite grilled swordfish taco prepared by Lynne Campbell of The Quiet Woman. Other favorites included Jason Kordas of Jason's Catered Events preparing a Mongolian beef taco, Marco Zapien from Melissa's Produce with a wild mushroom picadillo taco and Paul Buchanan of Primal Alchemy Catering making a Texas Longhorn lengua taco that had the crowd raving. Major Orange Aid sponsors include The Taco Bell Corp., Hoag Hospital, Rutan and Tucker LLP, Anne Cress, Matt and Jill Stewart, and the Frome Family, among many others. Dedicated committee members organizing the massive event and deserving praise include Minnie Ballard, Bill Cowles, Elizabeth Evans, Julie Larson and Louise Stewardson — to name only a few.


Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts hosted the 2011 Women in Focus conference inviting six prominent women filmmakers to discuss the state of the art. Moderated by Dawn Hudson, executive director of "Film Independent," panelists included Susan Cartsonis, producer of "What Women Want," writer/director Shana Feste, responsible for the film "Country Strong"; director Mary Lambert of the "Pet Cemetery" movies; and the producer and director of the Los Angeles Film Festival, Rebecca Yeldham. Also attending the conference was Fox Searchlight Pictures president Nancy Utley, responsible for "127 Hours" and "Black Swan," and Mandalay Pictures President Cathy Schulman, who supervised "Crash" and "The Illusionist."

The tone of the conference was "fighting to fight for ourselves," or in other words working to create the best possible film as a cohesive unit of artists with a purpose.

"Think about what you want to say, not what you think others want you to say," Lambert said. Your body of work is your voice. Think about what you want to say in your life."

With independent filmmaking becoming more the norm, the panelists shared insight into the collapse of the economic model that sustained the major film studios for decades. The afternoon conference was sponsored by Dodge College patrons Twyla Martin, Bonny Schumacher and Harriet Sandhu.


Thursday is the 14th annual Newport Home and Garden Tour featuring seven distinctive homes and an all-day open house at the Molly Wood Garden Design Center. Noted designer Barclay Butera will host an afternoon reception in-store at his Westcliff headquarters in Newport Beach, and a special luncheon has been donated by Stonefire Grill for all of the touring design aficionados. Some last minute tickets may be available at Barclay Butera Interiors, Feathers on 17th Street in Costa Mesa, The Gatehouse also on 17th Street in Costa Mesa or at Marmi Shoes in Corona del Mar Plaza. You may also go online at or call (949 642-6255.

Tickets are priced at $65 and all funds will go to supporting programs helping the students and teachers at Newport Harbor High School. Dedicated Diana Long, executive director of the Newport Harbor Educational Foundation, will join a massive committee of volunteers and sponsors once again make this annual event possible.

THE CROWD runs Thursdays and Saturdays. B.W. Cook is editor of the Bay Window, the official publication of the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.

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