Masters of Taste Exceeds $500,000 for Union Station Homeless Services

OUTLOOK photo Maestro restaurant owner Sergio Martinez and chef Elena Vega joined The Raymond owners Leslie and Rob Levy, who served as event chair of last week’s record-setting Masters of Taste fundraiser to benefit Union Station Homeless Services.
OUTLOOK photo
Maestro restaurant owner Sergio Martinez and chef Elena Vega joined The Raymond owners Leslie and Rob Levy, who served as event chair of last week’s record-setting Masters of Taste fundraiser to benefit Union Station Homeless Services.

The third annual Masters of Taste fundraiser was attended by approximately 2,500 guests and raised more than $500,000, a record-setting amount for Pasadena-based Union Station Homeless Services.
The event, held on the field at the Rose Bowl, featured more than 40 Southern California restaurants and 25 spirit brands and bars.
“The committee, volunteers, vendors and sponsors have given such unbelievable support to make this a success,” said Rob Levy, who has chaired Masters of Taste for the past three years and is also a Union Station Homeless Services board member. “We’ve gained momentum every year, and now it’s a great event that has become an annual tradition.
“The first year, we wanted to give it a shot. Instead of a gala, we wanted to create a great event to benefit a great organization. We all recognize that homelessness is a problem and we want to work toward a solution. This is geared toward a younger crowd who appreciate good food and good cocktails, and the people who attend Masters of Taste can feel good because 100% of the proceeds benefit a great organization working toward that solution.”
The event’s top sponsors were HomeStreet Bank, the Judith L. Chiara Foundation, Western Asset Management and Woodford Reserve.
Levy said having the event on the turf at the Rose Bowl, which has been selected as the premier college football stadium in the nation, has been a factor in the fundraiser’s success.
“It is such a great venue,” Levy said. “After having done this for three years, now we have credibility so vendors and sponsors are calling us because they want to be involved. Not many people get an opportunity to walk on the field at the Rose Bowl. All you have to do is get someone of the field one time and they’ll want to come back. It’s special.”

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