|(l to r) Jon Holman, Judith Gasson, Steve Mosko, Dana Walden, Gary Newman|
A celebration of the great flavors of France heralded the 19th Annual Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation’s (JCCF) “TASTE FOR A CURE,” Friday, April 25, 2014 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Each year, exceptional wines from a designated area are paired with regional cuisine prepared by award-winning chefs to create what has been called “among the finest gourmet events of the year!” and consistently named in Bizbash Magazine’s “Southern California’s Top 100 Events” as well as a Top 10 ranking in “Food, Wine and Hospitality.”
The evening honored Sony Pictures Television President Steve Mosko with the Gil Nickel Humanitarian Award, named in memory of JCCF supporter Gil Nickel, proprietor of Napa Valley’s Far Niente, Nickel & Nickel and Dolce wineries, who lost a courageous battle against melanoma in 2003. Joe Cohen, Jon Holman, Larry Maguire, Gary Newman, Jay Sures and Dana Walden were Dinner Co-Chairs. More than $700,000 was raised for cancer research.
“Glee” star Lea Michele welcomed the more than 450 guests who had earlier savored the very best of French wines and delicacies. Fourteen of France’s most prestigious wineries shared their premiere vintages at the pre-show gourmet food and wine tasting reception. Six regions of France: Loire Valley, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Rhone, Provence and Champagne were featured, showcasing vintages including: Château Beaulieu, Château de la Clapière, Château Paveil de Luze, Château Plince, Château Puynormond, Château Suduiraut, Domaine de Cristia, Domaine Drouhin Vaudon, Domaine du Vieux Lazaret, Domaine Georges Brunet, Domaine Reverdy-Ducroux, Jean-Claude Boisset, Joseph Drouhin and Lanson Champagne. Award-winning Napa Valley wineries and long-time event supporters Far Niente, Nickel & Nickel, Dolce and EnRoute served as honorary wine partners.
Beverly Wilshire Hotel’s distinguished Executive Chef Gilles Arzur, a native of Brittany, led the list of award-winning chefs bringing their finely honed talents to the evening’s gastronomic portion, featuring a palate of gourmet edibles from the delicate to the hearty. Highlights included: Royale Sea-Bream and Seafood Provencale; Artichoke and Celeriac Tartlets, Seared Duck Breast and Hazelnut Vinaigrette; Mussel Beignets in a spicy Lemon Sauce and St. Emillion Braised Eel Ragut with Spring Vegetables. Among those offering their signature selections in addition to Arzur were: Christian Andre Monchatre, Executive Chef, The Pacific Union Club, San Francisco; Pascal Frapech, Executive Chef and owner/founder of PF Culinary Services and Vittorio Lucariello, Executive Sous Chef, Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
Adding to the entertainment portion of the evening, “How I Met Your Mother’s” Alyson Hannigan introduced actor/comedian Tom Papa whose stand-up routine was greeted with laughs and applause. A show-stopper was “Glee’s” Darren Criss who belted out “Crazy Love” and “Let It Be.” Criss then asked the audience if someone would donate to the cause to hear his “Glee” co-star Lea Michele perform a song with him. Co-Chair Dana Walden bid $5,000 to hear Darren and Lea sing “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.”
|Chef Vittorio Lucariello
||Glee's Lea Michele
and Darren Criss
|(l to r) Tom Papa, Alyson Hannigan |
and Joel McHale
Dinner Co-Chair, UTA Managing Director and Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation Vice-Chair Jay Sures poignantly related the story of his own father’s valiant battle against Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, one he lost eight years ago. Sures praised the work of the doctors and staff at UCLA for the support and care shown to his father. He went on to recognize Judith C. Gasson, Ph.D., Director, UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, lauding her as "a visionary leader who has overseen an all-star team of doctors, researchers and staff for nearly 20 years. These individuals devote their lives to turning the tide against cancer and they are seeing results.”
“Community” co-star Joel McHale did the honors, introducing the man-of-the-evening, Sony Pictures Television President, Steve Mosko, recipient of the 2014 Gil Nickel Humanitarian Award. The late Gil Nickel’s wife Beth and their nephew Erik Nickel joined in the applause welcoming Mosko to the stage. In accepting his award, Mosko detailed the devastating role that cancer had wrought in his own family.
A highlight of the evening was the always eagerly awaited live auction overseen by Jeff Tanenbaum. The one-of-a-kind lots drawing fierce bidding included: a “walk on” role in ABC-TV’s “The Goldbergs;” a “Wines of France Instant Cellar,” featuring a collection of 96 bottles of the fine French wines featured at the night’s event; “The Robb Report ‘Car of the Year’ Exclusive Judging Experience,” affording the winning bidder the opportunity to help select the 2015 Car of the Year while enjoying a two-night stay at Meadowood Napa Valley and a private tour and tasting at Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel wineries and, most eagerly anticipated… a “Wine-Lover’s French Travel Package to Paris, Champagne and Burgundy” featuring luxurious stays in each of the three locales along with exclusive visits to Lanson, Boisset, Four Seasons George V Paris, a host of unique wineries and “Van Cleef & Arpels VIP Parisian Experience” including visits to the L’Ecole Van Cleef & Arpels and a private tour of Les Atelier Van Cleef & Arpels at their flagship Place Vendôme boutique.
Additional auction items are available online, including So You Think You Can Dance tickets, American Idol XIII Finale and After Party Passes, and a visit to the set of The Americans. Visit www.tasteforacure.com for complete details and bidding information.
UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has more than 240 researchers and clinicians engaged in disease research, prevention, detection, control, treatment and education. One of the nation's largest comprehensive cancer centers, the Jonsson center is dedicated to promoting research and translating basic science into leading-edge clinical studies. In July 2013, the Jonsson Cancer Center was named among the top 12 cancer centers nationwide by U.S. News & World Report, a ranking it has held for 14 consecutive years. For more information on the Jonsson Cancer Center, visit our website at http://www.cancer.ucla.edu.