Caught on Camera: Taste of Coronado 2018

Well….I woke up a few pounds heavier this morning, and my liver is still hard at work. But it was all worth it!

Last night’s “Taste of Coronado” was the best yet! The Coronado Junior Women’s Club organized another awesome event to benefit local nonprofits. From the Ferry Landing all the way to the other end of the island, Coronado’s most popular restaurants served up tasty bites, nibbles and refreshments for us to enjoy. See for yourself!

And we’ll call it a night! Thanks for reading.

Open Wide: Taste of Coronado Dishes Out the Best Bites on the Island!

It’s that time of year again! The kids are well into their school routines, there’s a lovely chill in the air and the Coronado party season is upon us! Nothing kicks off the festivities like a Taste of Coronado, one of my favorite events of the year. I caught up with Jessica Settle Cunningham from Coronado Junior Women’s Club to get the scoop on this year’s “Taste.”

“This is a favorite local event of the year,” says Jessica. “It can be a date night, a family night, a girls night, you name it. All are welcome to join in the fun!”

It’s all happening on Wednesday, October 10th from 5-9pm. Put on by the ladies of the Coronado Junior Women’s Club, a portion of this year’s event proceeds will benefit the Monarch School, a K-12 school designed to educate homeless youth; and Walk on Water, a national nonprofit that provides surf therapy to kids with disabilities.

So what exactly is “Taste of Coronado,” you ask? In short, it’s a chance to savor bites, sips, nibbles and samples from 30 restaurants and businesses in town. From crowd favorites like the Brigantine, Nicky Rottens, Stake, and McPs, from the Ferry Landing all the way to the other end of town, your $45 tasting card ($50 the day of) gets you more food and drink than you can shake a coconut crunchy shrimp at.

For guests 21 and over, be prepared to sip on champagne, beer and wine from participating businesses!

“This event really brings the community together, while experiencing the amazing local eateries and businesses AND giving back,” says Jessica.

Best part? If you’re too tired to walk (or you want to get from the Ferry Landing to uptown in a jiffy) you can hop on the complimentary trolley. It makes stops along the “Taste” route all night long, and is a great setting for an impromptu dance party (of course while you remain safely in your seats, ahem.)

New to this year’s lineup are El Roys Tequila Bar & Kitchen, Fonda Don Diego, the new Mexican Village, and Gelato Paradiso. In addition, Clayton’s Bakery & Bistro (they are opening in the former digs of Firefly on Orange) is joining in on the fun.


I’m dying to try dishes like Clayton’s Signature Monte Cristo with a side of fried pickles (yes, please!) and the Nicky Rottens mini Thai chicken lettuce cups. I’m also hoping the Brig serves up their mango ahi poke…after all, they won the “Crowd Favorite” award for 2017!

Some of my other favorite stops from last year include tasty and tender meat slices from Stake, a playful round of beer pong at Village Pizza Bayside, and even a shoulder massages at Coronado Bliss Salon.

Sadly missing from the lineup this year is Il Fornaio–which was often a crowd favorite. I hope they come back next year!

Also new this year, according to Jessica, one lucky winner who votes for their favorite stop will be selected on Friday, October 12th to win TWO FREE TICKETS to the 2019 events…just for voting!

Thinking about hoping on board the Taste train? Then don’t hesitate…buy your ticket now because every year this event sells out! Buy your ticket here and get more info on where to grab your tasting card.

Not sure? Check out my blog post and pictures from last year’s event.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for “Taste” news and updates!

Emerald C Dishes up Coronado’s First Farm-to-Table Art & Sensory Dining Experience

Would you like to dine on a 5-course gourmet meal with a local chef, chat with a celebrated Southern California artist, all while enjoying live music and wine with your friends? Without leaving the island?

If the answer is yes, check it out:  Emerald C Gallery is hosting Coronado’s very first “sensory dining experience.” A pop up dinner of sorts, it’s all happening in the Emerald C gardens on Saturday, October 6 from 6-9pm.

And what exactly is a “sensory dining experience?” According to Penny Rothschild and Mellissa McLane of Emerald C, it’s an evening designed to “merge the senses and encourage an intensified awareness,” enhancing appreciation and enjoyment, of not just art, food, and music, but the overall environment.

   The ladies of Emerald C.

“We really want to shake things up at the gallery, and do some different events,” says Melissa. “I have a friend who is a well-known artist in New York City, and he says these events are very popular at galleries and museums there. We thought…why not bring one to Coronado?”

And it just so happens Emerald C has a spacious gallery, and lovely, private garden…complete with sea breezes galore! The perfect setting for an artist reception and a delightful gourmet meal.

Penny Rothschild, gallery owner, thinks that Coronado is ready for a thoughtful, fresh event like this.

“Most of the people who live here are really seasoned travelers and they have a deep appreciation of art,” says Penny. “I think they are open to new ideas and are ready for something different and exciting!”

After all, this isn’t just your usual night out.

“This is a whole new experience, more than just going out to dinner,” says Melissa….”We really want to create a multi-sensory dining experience that is soulful and authentic…an evening that you won’t forget.”

When they arrive, guests will enjoy a cocktail reception with artist Kym de los Reyes, who is known for her energetic, colorful abstracts and impressionistic paintings. Kym has her work featured in galleries from Laguna Beach to Hawaii, and of course in Coronado at Emerald C.

Artist Kym De Los Reyes

“I’ve painted my whole life, it’s something I’ve always done. I feel called to paint, “says Kym. “I grew up in Southern California in a big family…we were always at the beach. It was optimistic in the 80s, and I think it’s really reflected in my work. I hope when people view my work they feel that joy.”

To learn more about Kym, see her website here.

Next, guests will move into the garden where they will be pampered by a five-course meal by vegan chef Cody Rush of Organic Memories.

 Chef Cody Rush

“My love for fresh seasonal produce started as a child from my family’s farm,” says Cody. “Using the same theme as farm-to-table, I take it a step further with chef-to-farm. Going to the farms directly, finding and picking the best quality produce around to specialize each dinner.”

Cody seeks to “send a ripple” into the world with his dishes, and shine the light on more organic and plant-based food choices.

Between the art, the music and the food, Penny and Melissa agree that the night will be unforgettable. “The experience is going to be magical,” says Penny. “Come let us pamper you!”

The ladies of Emerald C Gallery hope that you emerge from the experience with an “interconnectedness of your senses, and a deeper connection to those around you.” Sounds pretty sensational to me!

For a short time, tickets will be discounted by $100. Buy tickets here.

or call the gallery at 619-996-3315. Use the code FRIENDS to get the deal! (Tickets with code $125, normal price $225.) See you there!


This Year’s CSF Party Set to be Hotter than Havana!

Would you like a side of salsa with your auction?

If the answer is yes, it’s time to strap on some heels, tuck a flower in your hair and head to the hotter-than-Havana “Party at the Tropicana” at the Hotel Del Coronado. That’s right, it’s time for the 2018 Coronado Schools Foundation Benefit and Auction Gala…and this year’s soiree is sure to sizzle! It all happens Saturday, October 20th from 5-11:30pm.

So what inspired this year’s “Havana Nights” theme? If you’re thinking Camila Cabello, you’re right. According to co-chair Donna Salof, “I woke up in the middle of the night after hearing that song and thought it would be a really fun theme for the event.”

We couldn’t agree more!

Camila says, “Be sure to bring your manners, oh-na-na.”

So what’s new and hot this year? According to Leanne Anderson, Director of Development for CSF, this year ALL of the guests are invited to join the pre-party in the Hotel Del Garden Patio (previously just reserved by VIP ticket purchasers.) The Pre-Party at Club Havana will feature tray-passed hors d’oeuvres and wine selections from Skylark Winery.

“This is the first time ever we’ve partnered with a winery to upgrade the wines for the enjoyment of our guests,” says Leanne.

It just so happens that Skylark is owned by CHS grad Robert Perkins. I’ll cheers to that!

At 6pm, all guests will move into the Grande Ballroom for the “Party at the Tropicana.” This year everyone gets a reserved seat, so no mad rush for tables as in previous years.

“We’re also featuring a super-fun Passport game where guests will get the opportunity to purchase a passport and visit six different stations to complete their ‘trip,’” says Leanne. “Those who complete 4 of the 6 stations will be entered in a drawing to win a suitcase with a trip inside, and other goodies.”

Guests will enjoy a gourmet, four-course dinner with complimentary wine and beer before the live auction kicks off at 7:30pm. (Don’t miss guest star Carmen Miranda!)

Carmen says, “Be sure to bid on your favorite items during the live auction! Remember, all proceeds go to our Coronado schools!”

And what Havana night would be complete with out live music and salsa dancing? Grab your man and kick your heels up to an 8-piece band by Bonnie Foster Productions.

Less of a risk-taker on the dance floor and more of a gambler at the tables? Then hedge your bets at the Cuba Libre Casino instead.

Can’t wait to see everyone at Havana Nights! Be sure to tag your social media with #csfauction2018 and #getonyourfeet.

Still don’t have your outfit? Not to worry! Check out my “style brainstorm” on my blog for outfit inspo and dress ideas—guys looks included!

Style Brainstorm: What to Wear to Havana Nights CSF Gala?


Thanks for reading and see you at the Tropicana! For more info and tickets, click here:


Style Brainstorm: What to Wear to Havana Nights CSF Gala?

Forget East Atlanta! My heart is in Havana. At the Havana Nights-themed Coronado Schools Foundation Gala, that is!

The upcoming event—taking place on October 20th (at the Hotel del Grand Ballroom no less, so bring your manners, oh-na-na)—is getting me all hot and bothered. Not because I’m anxious about the sure-to-sizzle “Party at the Tropicana,” complete with fancy plated dinners, lots of wine and a nine-piece salsa band, but because…WHAT DO I WEAR?

I love the annual Coronado Schools Foundation Gala, and have attended every year with my husband since 2012. It’s amazing to share in such a festive, exciting event with our friends and community, and we are so happy knowing that all proceeds go back to our public schools. (And let’s get real, its fun to watch your friends from drop-off and pick-up get a little tipsy. They don’t call it “Mom’s Prom” for nothing!)

We’ve even taken to auctioning off a sunset boat ride aboard one of my husband’s larger French sailboats he has in stock through his business as a yacht broker. (So raise your paddle on that one!) And this year I plan to bid aggressively on the orthodontics package from Dr. Mullins because my braces-wearing 7-year-old has a least one more round of orthodontia ahead of her!

But let’s get to the important part. What do I wear? I mean, it’s a Havana Nights theme, so not any little black dress will do.

As usual, I have taken to the internet to find some fashion inspo for this event. (True, its only August, but September is a mess of back-to-school craziness and that bleeds into the pre-holiday cluster of October) and it’s time to get organized.

Here’s what I found!

This look kills me! If I could replicate it, I would.

Ahhh! Wear can I find this? Found on a UK website.

Super cute! Would be fun to twin it up with someone!

Love this A-line floral! Prob wouldn’t work for my body type, but would be cute on someone!

Love this playful take!

And this sassy look is amazing!

This dress makes me happy on so many levels. Must pursue.

Love this rockin jump suit!

And what about hair?

Obviously flowers are a must!

A bandanna? Yes, please!

And grapes? Not sure about that, but if you do it…I will high-five you!

And what about the guys! Ladies, we know its up to us, so how do we help our dudes channel their inner Andy Garcia?

White hot in this one.

Love the vest!

Ah! Perfection!

I die for the yellow.

Love the warm color of this jacket.

So that’s where I’m at! Any other smoken’ ideas, fit for a fun and frisky evening?

And stay tuned for more info on the upcoming Gala!

Buy your tickets here. This event sells out every year so don’t delay! See you at the Tropicana! (Oh-na-na.)