Local nonprofit auctions off luxury culinary experiences

Supporters react to the winning bid for chef Walter Kiczek of Sand Canyon County Club at the feedSCV Chef Auction at the Sand Canyon Country Club on Thursday. Cory Rubin/The Signal

The cheering crowd of over 100 Santa Clarita Valley residents gathered at Sand Canyon Country Club on Thursday night to bid on a chance to get an exclusive experience with various luxury chefs.

The auction was hosted by feedSCV, a nonprofit that gives classes for people to learn to make healthy meals and fight local hunger.

Its featured auctionees were: Eve Bushman of Eve’s Wine 101; Chef Walter Kiczek of Sand Canyon Country Club; winemakers Steve Lemley and Nate Hasper of Pulchella Winery; Chef Anibal Hernandez of Egg Plantation; Chef Daniel Otto of Old Town Junction; Alex Armstrong of the Pacific Pizza Company; Chef Poonam Parashar of Parashar’s Indian Kitchen; Chefs Dustin Boole and Iris Sifuentes of Newhall Refinery; Chef Eric Tovar of Cathy’s Deli; Josh Phaneuf of Alchemy; and Scott Ervin of the Speakeasy Bakery.
The night was accentuated by bidders paying for private tastings at Newhall Refinery, wine-tasting classes, custom dinners, pizza-making sessions and more. End totals ranged from $600 to $7,000 for Otto to make custom meals for two parties of eight people each at the soon-to-be-open Old Town Junction.

Todd Wilson, feedSCV cofounder and president, thanked the crowd for coming and bidding, stating that proceeds were all going to help the homeless in the SCV.

“All of the funds that were raised tonight will be dedicated to the children of Santa Clarita who are coming to school hungry,” he said. “We’ll give them a full stomach on Monday morning.”

Guests were served empanada and egg roll hors d’oeuvres and access to a bar. Also available was a $20 wine pull with bagged wines ranging from $2-$150, a silent raffle with prizes such as tours of downtown Los Angeles and the Rose Bowl stadium and tickets to Dodgers and UCLA Bruins games. A $5 raffle was also available for a complimentary tour of Porto’s Bakery at either the Glendale or Buena Park location by co-owner Betty Porto.

As each chef was auctioned off, sometimes as fast as five minutes, Ervin, who is also feedSCV cofounder and CFO, said he was happy with the turnout.

“This was way beyond our expectations,” said Ervin, who put on the event with Wilson. “It’s our first event, so there was terror involved. We just weren’t sure what to expect.”

Wilson said he was pleased with the turnout.

“We’re a tiny nonprofit, we’re not well-known,” Ervin said. “But this turnout, with all the chefs that came — it’s the ‘Who’s who’ of Santa Clarita. It exceeded our hopes and dreams.”

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