The courtyard area outside Temecula’s City Hall building was filled with the smell of food as multiple restaurants and wineries set up shop for a good cause.
The fourth annual Taste of Temecula Valley Event ran from 11 a.m. through 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 26 and more than two dozen restaurants, six wineries and 10 microbreweries were giving out samples of their culinary creations. Guests could also dance and groove throughout the course of the day as local bands performed a number of hits from the ’70s and ’80s.
The event’s proceeds went to benefit the Temecula Valley Excellence in Education Foundation (TVFEE), which provides mini-grants to teachers at area schools who may not be able to complete certain projects or get students necessary supplies without supplemental funding, according to Event Chair Mark Katan.
Katan has been involved with the Taste of Temecula Valley festival since its very beginning. He was one of the people that devised the idea for it five years ago when the TVFEE members were trying to come up with a good fundraiser to benefit students. In that initial year that he devised the idea, he wasn’t able to get the support he needed to make it a reality, but he was able to the following year.
Since that time the event has been going strong and growing, according to Katan.
He said that one of the positives has been the ever-increasing variety in terms of food and beverage choices. “The increasing variety is probably the biggest thing,” Katan said. “There’s a diverse group of restaurants that’s just amazing; there’s sushi, there’s African food, there’s Indian food and the major wineries are here, too.”
Many of the restaurants and wineries that attended the event were there for the very first time. Mama’s Cucina Italiana represented Pala Casino at the event and Lead Chef Luciano Cibelli was whipping up a variety of culinary creations to tantalize taste buds such as lobster ravioli.
In addition to the pasta, Cibelli concocted a three item dessert menu which consisted of classic European treats like pana cotta, cr