Piles of dishes clatter behind the red big curtains and dozens of waiters, as chefs and their assistants try to move around the small back room, quickly coming in and out of the kitchen. Assembly lines surround three tables, where one by one, each chef adds a piece to the dish. Caramel. Powdered sugar. As they prepare for the finale, they swiftly clean the small white plates. No one hesitates. It’s time for dessert.
On October 15, Girls Inc. hosted TASTE, an annual culinary event at the Rotunda building in Oakland, representing East Bay local food, wine, spirits and a cause: to raise money for their Oakland programs that help girls with literacy, leadership and college readiness.
A group of female culinary experts consisting of twelve chefs, eight mixologists and four sommeliers gathered together, making four-course dinners for more than 400 guests. Tickets were sold at $300 each, raising more than $500,000 according to Julayne Virgil, CEO of Girl’s Inc.
Among the organization’s participants, “One hundred percent of Girls Inc. seniors enroll in college and 97 percent are the first in their families to do so,” said Virgil.
Girls Inc. will be hosting another fundraising event March 31, 2017 called “The Strong, Smart and Bold Luncheon,” which is an annual luncheon at the Greek Orthodox Theater to celebrate women having an effect in the community.