I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Leah DiBernardo for a few years now. Not only are her skills in the kitchen unparalleled, she’s one of the most passionate and insightful people I have ever met. This Saturday night, she is part of the team that will debut Hands For Haiti at South Coast Winery in Temecula. She’s one of five amazing chefs preparing a top shelf dinner for the children of Haiti. I spoke with Leah yesterday to find out more about what she is doing and why. Her words express it best:
“As to why we are doing this, and the inspiration derived… simply, the children.
It is estimated that there are over 200,000 children sold into slavery or human trafficking if you will. Since the earthquake, ‘Save The Children Foundation’, estimates that one million unaccompanied Haitian children are vulnerable for trafficking right now. I for one, will not stand by and just read the statistics anymore. I have to do something. Through this dinner, my fellow chefs, farmers, artisans and local wine country colleagues are reaching out to make a change, and to create on-going awareness of what is happening to our world community of children. I do not plan on stopping here.. Truth be told, there are millions of children living in and with horrid conditions… Sudan, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, China, Afghanistan… and right here in our own back yard.
My personal goal and mission is to raise awareness and $ thru artisan dinners over the next 18 months - gather the people around the table, serve local wholesome slow food, paired with artisan wines and craft beers, then have the conversations. These meals bring people together, and through the convivial bread breaking moments, we can then spotlight a child related issue, create awareness and effect change!
These are the kind of conversations that we all need to be having! My 7 year old daughter said it best, “momma.. we are neighbors, it doesn’t matter where you live, we should all – always help each other because it’s not right to be a child that only has pain”. That my friend… is the perspective of a 7 year old girl that has the luck… to live in our town.. Temecula.”
Leah will be in good company Saturday.
Leah Di Bernardo- Delyte’s
Creole sauced prawns, on grilled crostini with wild greens
South Coast GVR
Duncan Firth-Barona Valley Ranch
Haitian Inspired Snapper, Griot, Picklese Plantain Chip Garnish
South Coast Dry Riesling
Chef Dean Thomas – South Coast Winery Vineyard Rose Restaurant
Shelton Farms Chicken “Deux Methodes”
Neuske Bacon, Parsnip Puree, Taggiasca Olives, & Garlic Chives
Paired with South Coast Winery Wild Horse Peak Sangiovese
Chef Michael Mc Donald – The Fish Market
Artisanal California Cheese Course
Paired with South Coast Winery Big Red Table Wine
Bernard Guillas – Marine Room La Jolla
Kona Kahlúa Chocolate Tart
Fallbrook Macadamia Pot de Crème
Organic Blackberry Port Gelato
Chef and Host of Delyte’s Green Table
Executive Chef, South Coast Winery
Executive Chef, Top of the Market
Executive Chef, La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club
Chef De Cuisine, Barona Resort & Casino