Seventh annual Taste of Temecula Valley ‘best ever,’ organizers say

Jenn Sevilla of Crab Boil Catering holds a crawfish at their vending tent during the Taste of Temecula fundraising event, April 29. Proceeds from the event hosted by the Temecula Education Foundation benefit science, visual and performing arts programs for students in the Temecula Valley Unified School District. Shane Gibson photo
Jenn Sevilla of Crab Boil Catering holds a crawfish at their vending tent during the Taste of Temecula fundraising event, April 29. Proceeds from the event hosted by the Temecula Education Foundation benefit science, visual and performing arts programs for students in the Temecula Valley Unified School District. Shane Gibson photo

“We’re excited we had a successful seventh annual Taste of Temecula Valley,” Event Chairman Mark Katan said, “Every year it gets better and better. This one was the best ever.”

This year’s TOTV event attracted 4-5,000 attendees and 66 vendors participated, including numerous local restaurants, 12 fine wineries and 10 craft breweries. Over 225 volunteers served between the two days, including school district employees, union members and teachers.

Approximately 250 visitors enjoyed the VIP experience: all-you can eat/drink and reserved concert seating. Award-winning Executive Chef Duane Owen from Pechanga Resort and Casino and his staff of 50 chefs, cooks, and servers once again exceeded expectations with culinary delights like Alaskan King crab legs, sushi, pasta bar, salad bar, filet mignon steaks. World-renowned Executive Pastry Chef Jean-Jacques Granet provided a panoply of creative desserts.

Friday night entertainment opened with McKenzie O’Coyne, followed by the beach rock band from San Diego, Safety Orange. Headliner for the evening was Lee Rocker, founding member of the Stray Cats.

Entertainers are all contestants for the upcoming inaugural Wine Country Music Awards to be held Nov. 5 at Wilson Creek Winery. The event will also benefit the Temecula Education Foundation. Entertainment partner Golden Crown Productions helped to spotlight the WCMA contestants.

Saturday’s entertainers were Noah Turner, American Idol contestant Lindsey Carrier, The 4019’s, Hay Maker, Alaina Blair, Tahiti Dancers, Dr Funk Mind Body Soul, Nick Arriola and Safety Orange.

The full-day Saturday tasting event – restaurants, caterers, wineries, microbreweries, desserts – featured family-friendly attractions from artisan booths to Fun Zones with Jolly Jumps and the Jolly Express trackless train.

“Whatever reason you come to Taste of the Temecula Valley, we want everyone to know we do this for the kids. The funds we raise go right back to TVUSD classrooms to benefit students with education and curriculum enrichment,” Katan said.

The Temecula Education Foundation provides Curriculum Support Grants to local educators, focusing on visual arts, performing arts and sciences. Since 2011, TEF has awarded over $100,000 in education grants. TEF also provides accelerated summer high school courses for TVUSD students. For more information, visit www.temeculaeducationfoundation.org.

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