Artisan by Santa Barbara Catering catered the 2011 First Crush Charity Gala on Friday, October 21, 2011 at Tempe Center for the Arts.   Lauren Guthrie, President of the Tempe Community Action Agency Board, and Director of Sales & Event Production at Artisan by Santa Barbara Catering had this to say about the successful fundraising event “Artisan by Santa Barbara Catering is thrilled to be a Sponsor of TCAA’s First Crush Gala. This fabulous event raises valuable funds supporting the great work TCAA does in our community, and helping thousands of families every year!”

The profitable event drew over 250 attendees, and raised over $41,000 in funding for programs that help children, seniors, homeless individuals and working-poor families in Tempe.


North Patio

The festive setting at Tempe Center for the Arts allowed guests to mingle and dine inside the Lobby, and outdoors on the North Patio beside the sparkling Reflecting Pool.  The views of the newly-opened, brilliantly-blue Tempe Town Lake Pedestrian Bridge made the perfect backdrop to showcase this event.

Tempe Town Lake Pedestrian Bridge

Music was provided by renowned musician Alice Tatum and her Jazz band.

Alice Tatum Jazz Band

Guests were delighted with the menu featuring four food stations with ingredients inspired by Native American, Mexican and Southwestern cuisine, as well as a focus on local Arizona ingredients. Guests enjoyed:

– Pork, Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas made Tableside
– Dos Equis-Braised Beef Short Ribs and Poblano Whipped Potatoes Topped with Baby Arugula and a Dollop of Mexican Crèma

Sautéed Sweet Mexican Shrimp with Smoked Tomato Grits

– Sautéed Sweet Mexican Shrimp Served atop Smoked Tomato Grits and Petite Cilantro

Nopales Fritters with Chipotle Aioli

– Nopales (Cactus) Fritters Topped with Chipotle Aioli
– Sweet Potato & Green Chili Tamales with Ancho Braised Pork
– Sweet Corn Tamales with Queso Fresco
– Grilled Salmon Skewers with Lavender Butter Sauce
– Grilled Vegetable Platter, Finished With a Honey Glaze
– Local Tepary Bean Purée with Grilled Breads

Butternut Squash Soup Sips with Shredded Beef Empanadas

– Butternut Squash Soup Sips presented in Espresso Cups and Topped with Toasted Coriander and Crème Fraîche, and served with Shredded Beef Empanadas
– Local Citrus Fruit Salad including Tangerines, Tangelos, Oranges,
Grapefruit and Blood Oranges

Pecan, Brown Sugar and Sweet Potato Empanadas

Southwestern Dessert Minis:
– Pecan, Brown Sugar, and Sweet Potato Empanadas
– “Farmer’s Cheese” Organic Cheesecake Bites
– Tres Leches
– Caramel Pot De Crème
– Local-Date Cake

A very special thanks to the vendors who contributed to this event:

Action Wine
Alice Tatum Jazz Band
Aztec Specialty Produce
European Imports, Ltd.
Four Peaks Brewery
Pro Em Professional Event Management
Shamrock Foods

For information about being a First Crush Event Sponsor or volunteering at the Tempe Community Action Agency:

Tempe Community Action Agency (TCAA)
2150 E. Orange Street, Tempe, Arizona 85281
Telephone: 480 350 5822