The lovely table settings promised a memorable meal, and did not disappoint. Photo: Emilie Raguso
The lovely table settings promised a memorable meal, and did not disappoint. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Supporters of Alameda County’s Meals on Wheels program came out in droves last Friday night to Oakland’s Scottish Rite Center to raise money for the agency, which feeds homebound seniors throughout the county.

Organizers announced Thursday that a total of $225,000 was raised, via auctions and donations throughout the night.

The event, dubbed “Five Star Night,” was Meals on Wheels’ 26th annual benefit. Berkeleyside Nosh proud to sponsor the event. Attendees heard stories about how the agency’s work benefits seniors, both through providing nutritional meals — more than 2,100 warm meals each weekday — and also by offering social interaction with volunteers who deliver the food. This year in particular, the non-profit reported needing more help than ever, according to agency Executive Director Cindy Houts: “With the potential for sequester cuts, funding for 50,000 meals might be cut,” she said. “We need to be ready to fill that gap.” (Scroll down to see photographs from the event.)

Alameda County Meals on Wheels held its 26th annual benefit to support hungry homebound seniors April 26, 2013, at the Scottish Rite Center in Oakland. Photo: Emilie Raguso
The Alameda County Meals on Wheels Five Star Night menu. Photo: Emilie Raguso
From Pican Chef Sophina Uong: Hickory smokes sturgeon with lemon cream, sweat pea puree, sorghum gastrique, tarragon and popped sorghum seed. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Ozumo Chef Barry Shinto: Aka miso-braised lamb with spring vegetable risotto and shiso gremolata. Photo: Emilie Raguso
McLaughlin coffee with chocolate-dipped almond biscotti from Semifreddi’s. Photo: Emilie Raguso
From Market Hall Bakery: Flourless chocolate mousse cake with chocolate sauce and almond brittle. Photo: Emilie Raguso
From Flora Chef Rico Rivera: Buttermilk panna cotta with rhubarb sorbet, strawberry, raspberry meringue and oat crisp. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Wine from Narsai David‘s personal cellar, dishes prepared by some of the East Bay’s top chefs, a delicious four-course dinner and an auction with prizes such as a  romantic getaway to Paris were all part of the festivities. David has been hosting the Five Star Night since the beginning, and all the chefs and staff involved donate their time.

The line-up of chefs included Louis LeGassic of Bay Wolf; Rick Hackett of Bocanova (read why Hackett thinks  chowder will be the next big thing); Rico Rivera of Flora; Alan Carlson of Italian Colors; Haig Krikorian of Lalime’s; Chris Cheung of Marica Seafood; Neucimar Dias da Silva of Market Hall Bakery; Barry Shinto of Ozumo; Sophina Uong of Picán (read why their cocktails are worth a detour); Luis Rodriguez of Picante; Scott Shaffer of Saags Specialty Meats; Robert and Mica of Savoy Events; and Tom Frainier and Michael and Barbara Rose of Semifreddi’s.

Narsai David, top chefs, turn out for Five Star Night [04.10.13]
Bites: What’s new in East Bay food, XIX [04.25.13]

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Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist...