Another Successful Best of San Benito County Food & Wine Event for Emmaus House

The Best of San Benito County Food & Wine benefitting The Emmaus House presented its third annual event on Sunday at San Juan Oaks Golf Course with great success.

The Best of San Benito County Food & Wine benefitting The Emmaus House presented its third annual event on Sunday at San Juan Oaks Golf Course with great success.  Supporters arrived to an elegant fall atmosphere for the late afternoon affair. Tables for the gourmet, five course pairing meal were displayed with elegant fall décor including a flower display in pumpkins with paper flowers hand made by residents of the Emmaus House.   The event, which is dedicated to raising funds to support safe refuge for women & children escaping domestic violence showcased sentimental items throughout. In addition to the handmade paper flowers, tables also included quotes from women and children from the Emmaus House on how they were benefitting from the organization.

Guests of the event enjoyed a locally inspired menu with course after course of mouthwatering fare by chefs from the local area and each paired with local wines.  A tasty fresh Dungeness crab salad by chef Daniel Mendoza of Gilroy’s Hilton Garden Inn included local Swank Farms vegetables and was paired with a Donati Vineyards Chardonnay.  The epicureans present were delighted to find the menu also included distinctive items such as a tasty wild salmon with parsnip puree and plum reduction made by Doug Kuerschner III of Carmel Valley Ranch & Country Club.  After each course, the chef and vintner representative treated the crowd to the details on the course pairing.  Ella King, of Ella’s Italian Restaurant even brought her new baby out with her for her presentation of the starters menu she created.

Between courses the guests were moved by a touching speech given by a woman who had been affected throughout her life by domestic violence, including the loss of her mother.  While she had been through great tragedy, she focused on how organizations, such as the Emmaus House helped her become and remain a survivor and break the cycle of violence in her family.  The event also featured a silent and a live auction that was highlighted by two quilts with squares made and inspired by residents of Emmaus House, which received a lively bidding competition.

Since opening its doors in 2006, The Emmaus House, has been a home for women and children to heal and begin a life free of violence.  They have just welcomed in their One Thousandth member from the San Benito County community.


Carla Thorning is a Hollister native and mother of three. She is a Development Consultant for BenitoLink and a Realtor with Bertao Real Estate Group. She has a professional background in marketing and real estate and is also a graduate of Colorado State University. She serves as the Vice President of the Kelly Marie Freitas Memorial Fund, an endowment fund of the Community Foundation for San Benito County. BRE #01495211