CARE Chef Advocate, Antonia Lofaso, Hosts Brunch in Venice, CA

CARE Chef Advocate, Antonia Lofaso, Hosts Brunch in Venice, CA

9/5/16

Over the summer, I had the fantastic opportunity to help organize a brunch for current CARE advocates and potential new supporters. The goal of the brunch was to introduce CARE to a broader group in the Los Angeles area and inform them in more detail about some of the amazing work that is being done on the ground.  In the days leading up to the brunch, some of the Los Angeles area advocates were also able to schedule in-district meetings with some of our local members of congress including Karen Bass and Brad Sherman.

Luckily, we were able to hold the bunch at the amazing Top Chef contestant and restaurant owner, Chef Antonia Lofaso’s Venice area restaurant called, Scopa.  Not only was Chef Antonia gracious enough to host us, she also spoke about the Learning Tour to Mozambique she took with CARE and entertained us with stories about her experiences there. The 28 or so attendees included a wide range of individuals coming from the worlds of music, television, business, politics, and everywhere in between.  We also had a great contingency of loyal CARE advocates who were able to speak to some of the newcomers about their previous experiences with CARE, including the annual CARE conference in Washington, D.C.   We were very happy to have a staff member from Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office in attendance.  It was especially satisfying to be able to publicly acknowledge the Senator’s office and ask to pass along our thanks to the Senator for her support on the Global Food Security and REACH acts. 

During the first hour of the brunch, we had the opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet new people and throughout the second half, we had the great pleasure of listening to Chef Antonia speak about her trip to Mozambique.  One of my favorite moments was when Chef Antonia demonstrated how to use the coconut grater that she brought back from her trip. The grater is actually something like a stool with a sharp spikey metal tool that sticks out at the front. Antonia showed us how the women in the village would sit on the stool and grate the coconut into what she described as coconut shavings of the “perfect” consistency.

My hope is that the brunch served as a vehicle to inform more people about the work that CARE does and grow our group of Los Angeles area advocates.  I know there are many people in the community that share my passion for empowering women and girls in developing countries and given the opportunities, would love to learn more and become more involved with CARE in various ways.  I love the possibilities that are explored when a diverse group of people with different talents comes together out of the same passion and concern for others in our global community.  

By Kristen Pratt, CA-30

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