This is one event that folks look forward to all year long. More than 650 citizens converged upon the Halecrest Swim and Tennis Club in Costa Mesa last week to sample "Wild and Crazy" tacos prepared by 28 local star chefs. It was the 18th annual Share Our Selves (SOS) "Wild &Crazy Taco Night" with an amazing array of culinary delights all donated, helping to raise $34,890 in support of the SOS Orange Aid Project. Orange Aid, founded by restaurateurs Hal Rosoff and Michael Kang, food columnist Marla Bird, Taco Bell executives John Martin and Jonathan Blum and SOS former executive director Karen McGlinn collects food from restaurants, grocery stores, caterers and bakeries to distribute to local low income residents. The project gives out approximately 250 bags of groceries each day.
The overflow crowd sampled a grilled Korean short rib taco made by Carlito Jockson of the Yard House, a Cuban duck taco by Alan Greeley of the Golden Truffle, a bratwurst taco prepared by Mark Gagnon of Newport Beach Plaza and a mesquite grilled swordfish taco prepared by Lynne Campbell of The Quiet Woman. Other favorites included Jason Kordas of Jason's Catered Events preparing a Mongolian beef taco, Marco Zapien from Melissa's Produce with a wild mushroom picadillo taco and Paul Buchanan of Primal Alchemy Catering making a Texas Longhorn lengua taco that had the crowd raving. Major Orange Aid sponsors include The Taco Bell Corp., Hoag Hospital, Rutan and Tucker LLP, Anne Cress, Matt and Jill Stewart, and the Frome Family, among many others. Dedicated committee members organizing the massive event and deserving praise include Minnie Ballard, Bill Cowles, Elizabeth Evans, Julie Larson and Louise Stewardson — to name only a few.