Oct. 25, 2012
By Maria Saint, OVN correspondent
“Eat, drink and be merry” and help good causes at the same time at the Rotary Club of Ojai’s 12th annual Taste of Ojai. Held on the 10th green at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, this year’s event runs from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday.
“It’s a real social engagement,” said Peter Bowen, Rotary’s event chairman. “People have had their summers, the children are back at school and they’re sort of getting back in gear. This is a great time for people to get together who haven’t seen each other for a while. … It’s just a great way of reminding everyone how beautiful Ojai is and it’s a great way to catch up and celebrate where we live.”
There will be more than 25 local restaurants, as well as local wineries and breweries. Vendors include Agave Maria, Bad Wolf BBQ, Boccali’s, Casa Barranca Winery, Feast Bistro, Il Giardino, La Piu Bella Tavola, Lori’s Original Lemonade, Ojai Ice Cream, Old Creek Ranch Winery, Sakura Ojai, The Ranch House and Vino V.
Bowen said vendors will provide a 1-ounce portion of whatever item it is they will serve at the Taste of Ojai for each guest.
“The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa will be featuring items from its three restaurants. They’re in the VIP tent, but they’re going to be showcasing items you can find at their restaurants of Maravilla, The Oak Grill and Jimmy’s Pub,” he said.
“We certainly encourage attendance because the proceeds from our Taste of Ojai go to the Rotary Club of Ojai’s Educational Foundation, which does a world of good for this small community,” said Kelly Randall, Rotary Club of Ojai’s president. “It’s a really fun day — a food-filled, fun afternoon and well worth the price of admission, and I know if you come, you will enjoy it.”
The Taste of Ojai is the club’s annual fundraising event, according to Bowen.
“It’s in an effort to showcase the beauty of the Ojai Valley and its products and services to a degree, but a celebration of giving everyone a chance to taste the magic of what’s happening in this valley from a culinary standpoint, from a vintner’s standpoint, a brewery’s standpoint and all the while generating money for the Rotary Club of Ojai’s Educational Foundation and charities,” he said.
The event is strictly for adults; no children or pets.
“A ticket is $65 — all the food, the beverage, the entertainment and it’s a three-hour celebration of the beauty of the Ojai Valley,” Bowen said. “I strongly encourage everyone to get tickets prior to the event. We may have a few available at the door, but we are limited to 500 people. The VIP tent has 200 and that is already sold out. There’s 300 tickets for the general admission, which you’re getting a taste of all those vendors and there’s live music by Sgt. Pepper.”
Tickets are available at the Attitude Adjustment Shop (646-1109) and the Ojai Valley Chamber of Commerce (646-8126). Visit www.tasteofojai.com for more information.