A Chef's Delight Was Fabulous!

by Karen Dea

"The recent 13th annual 'A Chef’s Delight' was fabulous", exclaimed Tamiko Wong, Executive Director of the Oakland Asian Cultural Center (OACC)!

"I think the atmosphere is better this year; maybe because the crowd is a little bigger thanks to our Groupon promotion", WS photographer Roland Hui expressed as he shared his wonderful pictures of the event.

"The youth volunteer’s eagerness and willingness spread the positive momentum to all the volunteers", optimistic volunteer co-chairs, David Chang and Clayton Yukumoto said smiling. The following outstanding youth volunteer groups gave their best: AYSC, Rotaract, Asian Network Group, UC Berkeley Pills, and AACO.

In its infancy, I suggested the name, "A Chef’s Delight", as it represented twofold; the cooking delight of the professional chef and the everyday home chef. Just like Wa Sung, a professional organization with grass roots foundation. This was my 12th year co-chairing 'A Chef’s Delight' and I learned from the past to hold less committee meetings if I was to remain friends with the WS committee members that were composed of seasoned and new wonderful co-chairs!

Vendor co-chairs Donna Chan Chu and Raymond Tang, managed existing vendors along bringing on board close to a dozen new wine & food vendors and this year we experience more of an Asian blend & fusion of flavors. Nancy Chang happily commented,"it was a perfect blend of flavors and variety". Quady Winery, made a special promo code for our event, called QWEVT13 to be used online when ordering their wine and your shipping cost is only 1 cent. I was recently told that many attendees have ordered using the special promo code!

Our ticket handlers Cindy Quon and Adrienne Fong monitored EventBrite, PayPal, general sales and this year we introduced a new ticket strategy, Groupon, which attracted 90 sales! Along with PR announcements, Emily Onglatco, shouted out to various media and social networks to generate attendance sales. Close to 360 tickets were sold! There were many new faces enjoying their first time at 'A Chef’s Delight'.

The past 'A Chef’s Delight' events included venues at: OACC, Rotunda, Oakland Hilton and Scott’s Seafood Restaurant and magically they were decorated with an awesome theme by the best WS decorator, Cyndee Lim. This past weekend, she did a phenomenal tropical theme that transported you to another world once you stepped in to the auditorium. Cascading sheer fabrics with metallic floral design balloons swept the grace of the stage occupied by the VIP reception and jazz entertainer Kevin Kooyumjian. Accenting the auditorium decorations was Adrienne Fong’s vendor table decorations which matched the Tropical theme with fans, palm trees, wine glasses and of course a placard advertising the vendor’s name.

Over 70 silent auction items were showcased in our make believe atmospheric outdoor cafe scene (room 4 & 5) with the Bons & Sons band serenading the sit down crowd! The items were donated by many various sources and were organized and done splendidly by Gloria Gee, Laura Chan, Peggy Woon and Lily Young.

This fundraiser was for the Wa Sung Community Center and the co-beneficiary is the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, besides ticket sales and silent auction, the major fundraising income is corporate sponsorship and Friends of Wa Sung. Nancy Chang and Karen Dea extended out to the health services arena and WS membership for new corporate sponsors and maintaining the past donors. When the two was in conversation with anyone, they approached them for corporate sponsorship, fifty percent said yes and the other said maybe next time! With a watchful eye on the math and staying with a conservative budget, this year 'A Chef’s Delight' proudly met our goal of $30,000 gross!

I always refer to the phrase, it takes a village to make 'A Chef’s Delight' happen successfully and the co-chairs of the village were mentioned above and the other following portion of the village deserves kudos:

~Event coordinators - Karen Dea and Clayton Yukumoto

~Committee members- Terry Bautista (OACC), Cimberly Eng-Tamura, Susie Farris, Richard Fong, Audrey Huie, Alex Lock, Arnold Mew, Jeff Quon, Allan Wong, Nora Yee and Cheryl Yukumoto.

~Special thanks to ALL the VOLUNTEERS, vendors, silent auction donors, corporate sponsors, Friends of Wa Sung and the Oakland Asian Cultural Center for allowing us to utilize their facility.