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CUISINE DEL SOL Cookbook Reflects International Special Olympics

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(Gerry Furth-Sides) Celebrating 20 years of food, fun, and sport, CUISINE DEL SOL is a cookbook that combines recipes from Los Angeles’ celebrated chefs, restaurants, and food purveyors supporting Special Olympics Southern California at the annual Pier del Sol fundraiser.  The event takes place on October 8th this year. For more info about SOSC and the event: www.sosc.org

We received a very special, very moving  introduction from the SOSC core team at Melissa’s Produce, a sponsor for many years.  Each member had their prepared remarks on cards so they would be able to express themselves but not go overtime.

Pier del Sol is held at the iconic Pier on Santa Monica’s beautiful ocean front, and it is the largest annual fundraiser benefitting the region’s Special Olympics Southern California athletes.  Book editors, Michelle Brien (left) and Laurie Ann Marie (middle), along with contributing Chef-owner Peter Garland of Porta Villa in Beverly Hills, took great care to sign their books on the their individual pages.  The cookbook includes the bio and stories of many of the long-time supporters of the event.  It was a signal of what was to come.

Lauren Ann Marie and Peter Garland “sign their pages” –

SOSC ambassadors Eddie and Marco

The team included two Olympians and spokesmen, Eddie and Marco, who proved to be humble, friendly, entertaining and brief!  Eddie (left) told us he works at the Ralph’s at LaBrea and then because “he’s a numbers guy,” reported the exact number of shopping carts – and got a big laugh.  The two SoSC representatives are also to be commended because they can get anywhere in using public transportation!

Marco and Robert Schueller of Melissa’s

Restaurateur and SOSC supporter Peter Garland of Porta Via and The Bar Room in Beverly Hills shared his insider tips for the kale salad CUISINE DEL SOL. It all “starts at the top” and Peter heads a Porta Via professional staff makes you feel so at home you’re just happy to be there even without the food.  ( www.portaviabh.com )

I am not at all a fan of kale –  even wasted as a catering table decoration.  Then a decade ago, Henry’s (now Sprouts) offered a kale smoothie demo.  Delicious!   The chef who created it  told us to “massage the leave with olive oil” before using cooking.   The next wonderful kale dish I had was actually the Porta Via Kale Salad at the LA TIMES TASTE.  When I asked Chef Peter about  massaging, he told us to just “take the vein in the middle out and it will be fine.”

Other local chefs who have lent their support over the years include Gino Angelini, Michael Cumarusti, Josiah Citrin, Brooke Williamson & Nick Roberts, Alain Giraud, Sherry Yard, and Melissa’s Chef Tom Frake, who prepared a Fall Harvest Salad.

Gazpacho Soup from Melissa’s Produce Chef Philip Kastel

Chef Said Le Febre’s royal Truffle Honey Laced Fried Chicken


Pacific Park (SM) Funnel Cake Cupcakes

A plate of food from the Cuisine del Sol Cookbook!


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Gerry Furth-Sides

Gerry Furth-Sides

Content Editor/Columnist

Photo-journalist Gerry Furth-Sides has been covering the ethnic and American culinary scene in California since it first came into prominence 25 years ago.