Miss A Columnist

Melissa Curtin covers charity and style related events and loves to cover LA's best in beauty, fashion, and culture. She is an educator who recently returned to the classroom to motivate and inspire third graders at a private school in Pacific Palisades. In 2012, she launched an educational T-shirt line called Wear2learn. When she is not working out, hiking a canyon, or at the beach, she is writing. Her latest dream come true has been travel writing for Johnny Jet.

After teaching in the Maryland public school system for almost a decade, she left the conservative East Coast environment in Washington, DC for West Coast living. Eager for adventure, inner growth, and a new environment, she packed her car and took to the open road on her own landing in her new home - Hollywood, California. As a Connecticut Yankee at heart, she has now lived in Los Angeles for six years surrounded by the stars.

Melissa graduated from Gettysburg College with a double major in psychology and art history. Soon after, she earned a Master's Degree in education. Melissa traveled around the world on Semester at Sea, and earned a Fulbright Scholarship which enabled her to teach in England. A lust for travel and learning has fueled her globe trotting ever since. Some of her favorite destinations are Costa Rica, Thailand, Fiji, Morocco, Vietnam, Belgium, Italy, Sicily, Prague, Egypt, Australia, Greece, and Paris.

Los Angeles has won over her heart. She is constantly taking advantage of what LA LA Land has to offer - new boutiques and restaurants, finding great deals, discovering new hikes and beaches, music, and West Coast fashion.

Project Angel Food Hosts Second Annual Delish Fundraiser In Hollywood

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Writer Melissa Curtin with Brian Lee sampling food bites to benefit Project Angel Food. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)

Project Angel Food, the beloved Los Angeles non-profit, hosted its foodie fundraising event, “DELISH – party with culinary experiences” on Sunday evening, September 29 at the new Siren Cube at Siren Studios in Hollywood. All proceeds from the event benefited Project Angel Food and its meal prep and delivery program. The mission of Project Angel Food is to nourish the body and spirit of men, women, and children affected by HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses. Volunteers and staff cook and deliver free and nutritious meals prepared with love throughout Los Angeles County, acting out of a sense of urgency, because hunger and illness do not wait. Their motto – “For Life, for Love, for along as it takes.”

The fabulous food frenzy event was co-hosted by Annabeth Gish from FX’s latest hit “The Bridge” and Hollywood insider John Mcllwee. Additional members of the host committee include Bill Damaschke, Lisa & Dave Dinsmore, Kacy & Kirk DeMicco, and Sheraton Kalouria.  Music was provided by celebrity disc jockey DJ ID Required. DELISH was sponsored by Tortilla Republic West Hollywood, Brown-Forman Beverages and Time Warner Cable.

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Cheesecake bites from The Cheescake Dude in LA. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)

DELISH featured endless food and drink stations serving so many tasty treats and delicious drinks that after four or five stations, I felt like I needed to be wheeled out. It was a really neat experience to sample food from various restaurants, bakeries, shops, and company’s signature products. Tickets to the event were $100. Not only were attendees sampling bites, but guests were inspired to create new dishes, and learn the “how-to’s” of turning simple dishes into memorable ones. Culinary experts and ace mixologists were on hand to guide guests as they mixed and matched their picks of the many food and beverage options available.

It’s fun to sample a variety of small bites of food, like having your own personal tasting menu. Some of my favorites treats were cold flavorful teas from the Tea Bar by Bird Pick, Pinot Grigio by Drew Barrymore (yes, the actress) which you can buy at Bevmo, Activate water (vitamins shoot down into the water from the cap), cheesecake in mini cupcake bites (some with green tea, blueberry sauce, and banana/nutella in the middle) from The Cheesecake Dude, exquisite chocolates by MarcoPaolo, Fluff Ice (Thai tea flavor) from Lamill Coffee Fluff, beef, pork, and turkey flavored jerkies from Krave Jerky, carnitas and sweet potato hibiscus flower tacos from Tortilla Republic (To die for!), and angel food cake with your choice of filling and topping.  My friend Brian’s favorite bite was the spicy ahi roll from Rock Sugar Pan Asian Kitchen and I saw him get excited about the empanadas from World Empanadas and the BBQ short rib from Star King Korean BBQ.

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Drew Barrymore pinot grigio wine (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)

Project Angel Food Bakers via chefs and volunteers also bakes Thanksgiving pies for $20 – Angelic Apple Crumb, Perfectly Pumpkin, and Heavenly Chocolate, all for a a good cause – Project Angel Food. You can pick up the pies in Hollywood Tuesday, November 26 – Thursday, November 28. If you order more than ten, free delivery options are available.  Email suzanne@angelfood.org or order online at www.angelfood.org to buy a pie that helps others. The travel safe attractive box comes with a tent card for display noting your kind gesture of caring.

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Project Angel Food (Photo Credit: Melissa Curtin)

This year’s DELISH had an increased number of food & beverage providers and a new children’s section which I found delectable.  I left with a big candy bag and memories of my favorite childhood candy. They were even giving away Easy-Bake Ovens to the first 25 ticketed kids in attendance. For this year’s DELISH, the growing list of featured participants included: Activate Water, Art of Tea, Barrymore Wine, Bird Pick Tea & Herb, Chambord, Dassai Sake, Deep Eddy Vodka, Early Times Fire Eater, El Jimador, Epicurean Events Los Angeles, First Crush Winemaking, Fluff Ice, Frosted Cupcakery, Golden Greek Produce, Handsome Coffee Roasters, Jack Daniels RTD, Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey, Kitchen 24, Lybations LLC, Marco Paolo Chocolates, Marino Ristorante, Mark & Stephen’s, Mwokaji Cakery, Pop Chips, Pretzel Crisps, Project Angel Food Bakers, Project Angel Food Kitchen Cabinet, Rock Sugar Pan Asian Kitchen, Star King Korean BBQ, The Cheesecake Dude, The Shugah Mama, Tortilla Republic West Hollywood, Ventura Limoncello, and World Empanadas.

The night was a celebration of delectable treats all for a good cause – Project Angel Food.

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Tortilla Republic (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)

 

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