CPAF Gala – A Sneak Peek at What’s to Come on Friday, September 22

Gala - Sneak Peek!

CPAF Gala – A Sneak Peek at What’s to Come on Friday, September 22

The CPAF Gala for Change is coming up soon on Friday, September 22 – here’s a preview of the evening:

6-8PM Food Tasting & Silent Auction

A reception featuring dishes prepared by 12 of SoCal’s finest restaurants – get your taste buds ready! Learn more about our Culinary Partners below.

8-9PM Program & Awards Presentation

Our theme is Together We Rise, in celebration of CPAF’s recent integration with Asian Pacific Women’s Center (APWC) – we united to expand our capacity to serve the community.

We are pleased to announce ABC7’s David Ono will serve as emcee for our gala this Friday. David Ono is the co-anchor for ABC7 Eyewitness News at 4pm and 6pm. He also anchors with Coleen Sullivan on Eyewitness News on KDOC-TV at 7pm.

Join us as we honor Susan Hirasuna, anchor/reporter, Fox11 News, Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Nixon Peabody LLP with our Champions for Change award for their incredible volunteer spirit! Read more about our honorees here.

9-10PM Live Band Entertainment

The Inspiration is a dance band with a full-on horn section playing funk, disco, soul and rock to make for a high-energy performance for this gala. Band Leader Tony Ryan has also served as The Inspiration’s musical director for the past two CPAF galas. We are grateful for The Inspiration’s continued support to CPAF.  We are thankful to all the band members for their donation of their talent, time and effort to bring fun and joy to our gala again this year.

TICKETS ON SALE NOW: CPAF Gala General Admission tickets are $200 and reserved seating tickets are available at $500. For a complete listing of sponsors, participants and to purchase tickets for this year’s event, visit the CPAF gala page.

Food Tasting Reception Sneak Peek: Featuring Our Culinary Partners

We are so thankful to our Culinary Partners who are donating delicious food AND their time and talent to make our food tasting an delightful experience! Learn more about their culinary specialities below.

Returning Culinary Partners

Ayara Lūk

Ayara Lūk is a pop-up operated by Chef Vanda Asapahu, who also owns Ayara Thai and they return to participate in their 3rd year with CPAF’s gala. Their changing menu is small and curated to feature favorites from Ayara Thai and they feature environmentally-conscious ingredients. They were one of the first restaurants to introduce the Northern Thai style curry noodles dish soi koi to Los Angeles.

Read more about Ayara Lūk here.

Barbara Jean

Barbara Jean serves quintessential Soul Food with a focus on the roots of African American cooking.  Long time supporter of CPAF, Chef Jason Fullilove is also known for dinner series called RED at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) created tasting menus and meals directly inspired by current art exhibits, live readings and the films of Stanley Kubrik & Danny Boyle.

Read more about Barbara Jean here.

Chicas Tacos

Chicas Tacos is a downtown taqueria inspired by the food of the Valle de Guadalupe region and Carmela (a.k.a. Chica), the woman who inspired the restaurant’s bold flavors of Mexico.  Three native Californians – Chris Blanchard, Jon Blanchard, and Nico Rusconi who opened Chicas, grew up traveling to Mexico as kids where they cultivated the appreciation of the food of the region.

Read more about Chicas Tacos here.

House of An

The House of An has a culinary approach is based on the principles of Eastern Medicine, rich in anti-oxidants and healthy herbs, made from the finest ingredients, used only when they are in season and at their freshest. This family business comes from three generations of women from Vietnam who rose from the loss of home and country with the fall of Saigon to their relocation to America and building a multi-million dollar food and hospitality empire — their restaurants include Tiato in Santa Monica, Crustacean in Beverly Hills, and Anqi in Orange County.

Read more about House of An here.

Osteria Vicario

Chef Matt Dhillon and Osteria Vicario have participated in the CPAF Gala in both 2015 and 2016. Their menu changes often to showcase the best of what is in season.

Read more about Osteria Vicario here.

Phorage

Chef Perry Cheung heads up Phorage, a Vietnamese eatery offering fresh, local and sustainable ingredients.  Cheung was recently just on  Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay and also won on The Esquire channel’s Knife Fight and Culinary Battles 2014.  This is their third year joining us for the CPAF Gala.

Read more about Phorage here.

TikiFish

New Chef Lionel Killens focuses on reintroducing bright coastal flavors to Los Angeles and recently opened a Playa del Rey location.  He returns this year to CPAF to bring the flavors and beach vibes of Hawaii and Mexico with favorites like ceviche and poke that goes beyond the usual tuna and salmon.  Tikifish builds in the DIY concept where to can personalize bowls from a variety of rotating fish and sauces, with options for uni, crab salad, and more.

Read more about TikiFish here.

New Culinary Partners

Chaya Downtown — Chef Inoue continues Chaya’s legacy as a pioneer in Franco-Japanese cuisine. He has also introduced a Japanese fish market program to the restaurant, with a renovated Kaisen raw bar and tableside whole fish presentations.

Commerson is a centrally-located, late-night spot with gorgeous ambiance and they serve American fare.

Read more about Commerson here.

Emporium Thai Cuisine

Emporium Thai Cuisine focuses on Southern Thai cooking and is a family owned business that has been voted best Thai food by Thrillist, LA Magazine, and the Culture Trip.  They support the local growers and nearby farmer markets where they get their fresh seafood, meats and produce daily.

Read more about Emporium Thai Cuisine here.

Gloria’s Restaurant & Bar

Gloria’s Restaurant & Bar serves a wide array of Mexican cuisine and are known for their parrilladas and their special off-menu ceviche that includes guacamole, “the way Juan eats it.” They also serve amazing chicharron and tripe so be ready for a food adventure.

Learn more about Gloria’s Restaurant and Bar here.

Red O features Mexican dishes as well as prime steak and seafood and an extensive tequila selection, brought to you by Rick Bayless, who carries the title of Bravo’s 2009 Top Chef Master.

BEVERAGE PARTNERS

Special thanks to our Beverage Partners for providing tasty drinks for our guests!

Peking Tavern

  • Participated 2014; and again in 2016 with baijiu cocktails – we are excited to have them back!

Ketel One

  • Participated every year since first food tasting (2014)
  • Signature cocktail Violet’s Ketelit’s purple in commemoration of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October)

Lotte Beverage America

  • Beer and soju pair well with the special dishes at our reception

Mira Laguna Wines

  • New this year – looking forward to this lovely syrah from Solvang!

 

DESSERT PARTNER

Café Dulce

Café Dulce is a Little Tokyo/DTLA Arts District staple that serves coffee and desserts.  You might remember when they made bow-topped Hello Kitty donuts and lattes during Hello Kitty’s Hungry Hunt, as part of the Hello Kitty 40th Anniversary Celebration.  Donut flavors include options like Green Tea Brick Toast, Red Bean Roti, and seasonal Pumpkin Spice Roti. Congrats to Café Dulce – soon to open location #3 at USC Village!

Read more about Café Dulce here.

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You Matter

Two Words That Can Change a Life

Elaine Mayumi Whitefeather and CPAF's Community Engagement Manager Christine Lee
Elaine Mayumi Whitefeather and CPAF’s Community Engagement Manager Christine Lee

“You Matter.” Those two words changed Elaine Mayumi Whitefeather’s life when she thought she hit rock bottom.

Elaine’s first memories of surviving childhood abuse, racial violence and sexual assault traced her back to when she was only three years old. Her perpetrators included her own father, people from a religious institution and strangers. She grew up during the height of racism when being of mixed races (Black, Native American, and Japanese) meant not being treated as an equal in America. Elaine noted that she was 10% white, but no one addressed this fact and treated her as a third-class citizen. She was told that God didn’t listen to her prayers, so she learned to rely solely on herself every time she faced any abuse or discrimination.

Elaine recalled a day when she was molested, raped and severely injured by multiple men. When she eventually stumbled home with two broken feet, her mom told her to not let her father see her in such a disgraceful state. “I learned to put makeup on that day,” she said. “I never learned to put on makeup to look pretty. I wore makeup to cover up my bruises.” There was no one to comfort Elaine or to simple tell her that what was happening was wrong.

Elaine Mayumi Whitefeather addresses the Blue Shield of California Foundation's invited guests at the Peer-Led Institute in Berkeley, CA
Elaine Mayumi Whitefeather shares her story in Berkeley, CA

When Elaine was 20-years-old, she had 33 arrests and a couple of failed suicide attempts. “I was afraid of living,” said Elaine. “Death meant the end of it all. No more fear. Death was peace to me.” However appealing the idea may have been, suicide was not an option for her on the day she decided to drown herself in a river.

Elaine said she felt someone touch her shoulders as she was walking into the riverbed. She turned around and saw a white man with tears in his eyes. He told her the two words that planted a seed in her heart. “You matter.” It was then that she realized that she had to value herself in order to save herself.

The man she met that day happened to be a visiting professor. He called a professor from her university and told him that there was a girl with a broken heart and a wounded spirit that they need to support. He built a bridge for her to get out of the darkness. It was from there that her healing journey began.

Elaine Mayumi Whitefeather addresses a room filled with invited guests of the Blue Shield of California Foundation
Elaine Mayumi Whitefeather addresses a room filled with invited guests of the Blue Shield of California Foundation

Decades later, Elaine Mayumi Whitefeather has worked tirelessly in human service work, dedicating a majority of her time in the field of domestic violence. Elaine received a standing ovation after her speech at the Communities Empowered for Systems Change, A Peer-Led Institute presented by the Culturally Responsive Domestic Violence Network.

CPAF took part in this two-day gathering in Berkeley, CA made possible by the Blue Shield of California Foundation. CPAF and other agencies exchanged their experiences and ideas in working with marginalized communities. The foundation launched the Culturally Responsive Domestic Violence Network in 2012 to support underserved communities that are often overlooked.

Stories like Elaine’s resonated with a majority of those in the audience, as we were reminded that roughly 80% of the attendees were domestic violence survivors themselves. “Social justice always starts by those who were affected,” Elaine said. “Domestic violence isn’t something you get over. Your power is in your pain. Your pain will lead you to your greatest purpose if you follow it all the way through.”

Elaine’s life exemplifies how a person can transform his/her negative experiences into opportunities of empowerment. We at CPAF came out of the meeting re-energized and re-focused. We are here to continue our work to encourage and build bridges in support of our API families. Our goal is to have more survivors like Elaine share their stories and help end domestic violence in their communities.

CPAF Group at Blue Shield of California Foundation meeting in Berkeley, CA
CPAF Group in Berkeley, CA