Move Over Margarita! Mexican Food has a New Dinner Partner

2008-07-18 20:00:00

Move Over Margarita! Mexican Food has a New Dinner Partner

    Fine Wine and Mexican Cuisine are Featured at East LA Meets Napa - a

         Celebration Benefiting AltaMed Health Services Corporation



    LOS ANGELES, July 18 /EMWNews/ -- AltaMed Health Services hosted its

third annual East LA Meets Napa celebration featuring more than 20 Latino

owned/managed wineries, Latino wine makers and 20 Los Angeles area Mexican

restaurants. The event was attended by more than 1,000 wine and culinary

enthusiasts who enjoyed great music, food from some of the best

Mexican/Latin restaurants in the city and wonderful conversation in one of

Los Angeles' most historic venues -- Union Station. The celebration speaks

to a trend among aficionados of Mexican cuisine to choose wine over beer or

margaritas to accompany their meal.



    Many of the business owners that showcased their products share an

immigrant experience, with some of the winemakers working their way up from

the fields. The event provided these entrepreneurs with the opportunity to

come together to support AltaMed's mission of providing quality, culturally

relevant health care to underserved populations throughout Southern

California.



    "This year's event has been the most successful yet and we expect the

attendance to keep growing," said Castulo De La Rocha, AltaMed CEO. "These

Latino entrepreneurs and event sponsors are not only here to showcase their

products, they are supporting our organization's programs and our mission

to provide quality health care to underserved communities in the Southern

California region."



    In 1990 there were just a few Latino-owned vineyards and today there

are well over 15 and growing each year. One such success story is that of

Ceja Vineyards. In 1983 Pedro and Amelia Ceja with other family members,

pooled their resources and invested in fifteen acres in Carneros. Coming to

the United States as farm workers, the family has worked hard over the

years for Ceja's stellar reputation.



    "Robledo Family Winery is a strong supporter of AltaMed and this

event," said Vanessa Robledo, spokesperson for Robledo Family Winery. "We

believe in what they are doing for Latino families and other diverse

communities by providing critical health services."



    In addition to Robledo Family Winery, other participating wineries were

Alex Sotelo Cellars, Carneros della Notte, El Centauro del Norte, Frias

Family Vineyard, J Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Karl Lawrence Cellars, Mi Sueno

Winery, Renteria Wines, Ceja Vineyards, Sequoia Grove Vineyard and Two

Wives.



    "We are presenting guests an opportunity to try something that they

perhaps have not tried before," said event co-chair Ricardo Robles,

President of La Reina Inc. a manufacturer of Mexican food products. "Wine

can be fantastic with traditional favorites such as ceviche and even tacos.

We are trying to introduce people to something new, elevating great Mexican

food so that it is on par with great French or Italian cuisine."



    Several wonderful restaurants provided food samplings including East LA

mainstays like Tila's Kitchen, Tacos Baja, Homegirl Cafe and El Siete

Mares. Rounding out the list are the soon to open Rivera Restaurant in

downtown Los Angeles by renowned Chef John Rivera Sedlar, La Casita

Mexicana in the city of Bell, Phlight in Whittier, palate food + wine by

Chef Octavio Becerra, Cook's Tortas, El Portal Yucatan cuisine in Pasadena,

and chocolates by D's Delights.



    Proceeds from the event benefit AltaMed Health Services. AltaMed Health

Services, a private nonprofit organization, is a major provider of health

and human services in the Greater Los Angeles area and the largest

Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in the State of California. The

mission of AltaMed is to provide high quality, coordinated, comprehensive

health and human services to the underserved in Southern California, with

particular attention to Latino and multi-ethnic populations. AltaMed began

as the East Los Angeles Barrio Free Clinic in 1969, a volunteer-staff

storefront providing basic medical services. Today AltaMed's service area

extends beyond the immediately surrounding East Los Angeles area to the

Southern California region.





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