Front Burner Holds Delicious Food Festival at Carnitas' Snack Shack | Raises over $3,000 to Support Medical Needs of Kitchen Staff

Casanova's shrimp ceviche and a Societe The Publican

May 22, 2013

On Tuesday, May 14th, foodies and philanthropists flocked to the 2nd Annual Front Burner Fund Food Fest at Carnitas' Snack Shack for a heartwarming fundraiser with the goal of assisting back of the house kitchen staff with necessary health costs and emergency medical needs.   This benevolent charity, founded just last year by several San Diego culinary leaders, has hosted some fun events to raise money and awareness, and this was the kickoff event of the 2013 year. Fifteen chefs, caterers and restaurants were spread out around the crowded outdoor patio of Carnitas' Snack Shack, each offering unlimited tastes of top notch dishes.

Of the scrumptious, sweet and savory bites being offered, personal favorites included Casanova Fish Taco's refreshingly delicious shrimp ceviche and Beaumont's Chef George Morris' crispy pork belly with crisp, cool watermelon.  The 'winning' chef of the evening, chosen by local celeb-chef Sam the Cooking Guy, Tommy Gomes of Catalina Offshore, and San Diego Magazine's food writer/editor, Troy Johnson, was Chef Eric Manuel of Firefly at The Dana on Mission Bay for his delectable take on a steak taco.  While we agreed that the steak within the taco was fantastic, we were infatuated with George Morris' pork belly dish (as were many others), and of the belief that for such an event, all participating food vendors should be honored for their contributions.  

A crew of culinary powerhouses!
Front Burner Fund Co-founder, Chef Julie Darling takes great pride in the work she performs to ensure that each and every integral member of the restaurant industry is cared for, and revels in the support that the community has demonstrated:  "Chefs are barraged with daily tasks to help all kinds of charities raising funds all over the city.  It's heart warming to see everyone come out and support a charity that benefits the chefs and all back of the house employees."

Co-founder Ron Troyano of Alchemy hopes that the Front Burner Fun will bring the community closer together and is "hopeful that it will also bring some much needed awareness to the cause and the medical needs of our local culinary talents."  And this event did just that.  Everyone hobnobbed, imbibed, indulged, and socialized on a beautiful San Diego evening, while learning about how the Front Burner Fund has served to fill a void.

Beaumont's Chef George Morris' pork belly
Tickets for the event were $25 in advance and $35 at the door and included unlimited eats and a drink of choice, a small price to pay for some classy grub in a fun setting to aid these oft-forgotten back of house employees.  Several San Diego craft beers were being poured at the festival, as well as locally sourced wines.   Over $3,000 was raised for the Front Burner Fund from this event.

Local chefs and back of house staff can apply for a grant from Front Burner Fund by writing a letter detailing their reason of need to Ron Troyano at [email protected] or Julie Darling at [email protected].  

For more information, visit Front Burner Fund online and stay tuned to SanDiegoVille for details on the upcoming Taco Fiesta this summer!