Festa Della Donna at Cucina Enoteca Celebrates—and Helps—Local Women
With so many food events to choose from these days, here's one to flock to. Festa Della Donna at Cucina enoteca Del Mar. The March 12 late afternoon International Women's Day celebration features eight local women chefs paired with six women wine makers, a local small batch brewer, and a local distiller at eight stations throughout the restaurant. The event will benefit two women-focused organizations: the Lawyers Club of San Diego Fund for Justice and the Center for Community Solutions. Both serve at-risk women in San Diego County.
"Our connection to the Center for Community Solutions has been long term, personally and for our business," explained Urban Kitchen Group owner Tracy Borkum. "And the Lawyers Club of San Diego Fund for Justice also supports local women. It made sense to expand our Festa celebration to support both of them."
In fact, Borkum said, Urban Kitchen Group has been celebrating Festa for three years. The first year was a small tasting mixer. Last year, they held a seated dinner in Cucina Enoteca with about 60 people, featuring six local women chefs, including their own at the time, in support of the Center for Community Solutions.
"This year I really wanted to do something larger," Borkum said. "We're closing down the restaurant for the day and will hold the event from 4 to 7 p.m. Instead of a sit-down dinner, we'll have tasting stations. It'll be more casual, more social. I want to make it feel like a casual Sunday afternoon. Everyone will have an opportunity to meet these fabulous women."
And who are they? Here's a list of who will be feeding you:
Kelli Crosson, Chef de Cuisine | A.R. Valentien
Amy DiBiase, Executive Chef | Grand Restaurant Group
Gina Freize, Founder | Venissimo Cheese
Jenny Goycochea, Chef de Cuisine | Tasting Room Del Mar
Giselle Wellman, Executive Chef | Pacific Standard Coastal Kitchen
Karen Krasne, Owner/Chef/Baker | Extraordinary Desserts
Stefani De Palma, Chef de Cuisine | Addison
Isabel Cruz, Owner/Chef | Coffee Cup, Isabel's Cantina
Kerith Overstreet, Co-owner/Winemaker | Bruliam Wines
Megan Glaab, Co-owner/Winemaker | Ryme Cellars
Kathy Joseph, Owner/Winemaker | Fiddlehead Cellars
Pam Starr, Co-owner/Winemaker | Crocker & Starr
Emily Haines, Winemaker | Milbrandt Vineyards
Kristina Werner, Winemaker | Arrowood Winery
Laura Ulrich, Small Batch Brewer | Stone Brewing Co.
Laura Johnson, Owner/Distiller | You & Yours Distilling Co.
Live music will come from Steph Johnson Band and the Sounds of Our City Choir, a choir of homeless singers co-founded by Johnson and Nina Leilani last August. Additionally, attendees can participate in an art experience by helping artist Sohani Holland complete a texture/fiber piece. Holland will have another piece available for auction.
So, what is Festa Della Donna? It's Italy's version of International Women's Day, going back to 1945, when March 8 was officially established by the Union of Italian Women as a day to celebrate women. It's represented by yellow mimosas given by men to women and exchanged between women. While the day can be used as an excuse to go out with friends and enjoy themselves, it acknowledges the contributions women make to society and celebrates their achievements—and it's a day to remember the fights women have endured to achieve equal rights and what is left to do.
Festa Della Donna will take place on Sunday, March 12 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Cucina enoteca Del Mar (2370 Via De La Valle in Del Mar). Tickets are $68 plus tax in advance and $80 plus tax on the day of the event. You can purchase tickets on Urban Kitchen Group's website.