Pier del Sol Celebrates Decades of Longtime Support

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Oct. 6, 2017) – Sunday will be the 21st Pier del Sol, an annual event featuring the top chefs and restaurants in Los Angeles gathering together in a fundraiser for Special Olympics Southern California and its more than 31,000 athletes. In the previous 20 years, there have been 178 restaurants/chefs on record supporting Pier del Sol, and heading into this year’s event 11 return to celebrate at least a decade of service at the event.

“This is such a unique and fun event for us, and it relies on the support of the amazing chefs and restaurants,” said Bill Shumard, President and CEO of Special Olympics Southern California. “They give so much to our athletes.”

Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park has hosted Pier del Sol every year. In addition, Dandy Don’s HomeMade Ice Cream has been at every event, attending No. 21 on Sunday.

“Special Olympics is a creative act in the sense that it creates ripples throughout people’s lives,” said Don Whittemore, owner of Dandy Don’s HomeMade Ice Cream. It is about love. We love being a part of Pier del Sol every year.”

Chef Gerardo Ochoa has been at the helm of one of the most iconic restaurants in Los Angeles, El Cholo, since 2001. He has continued the tradition of the family owned company, including its role with Special Olympics Southern California. El Cholo enters their 20th year at Pier del Sol.

“I’m a father. To see the smiles on the athletes’ faces at Pier del Sol is very special for me because they feel special. We have a saying in Spanish, ‘Siempre dar una mano a alguien que lo necesite,’ always give a hand to someone who needs it,” said Ochoa.

Chef Alain Giraud, who was the honorary chef for the 20th anniversary in 2016, he returns for his 19th year at Pier del Sol.

“Special Olympics is an organization that is important to me and my family, and is a cause dear to our hearts,” said Giraud, who will represent newcomer Four Stars Private Cuisine at this year’s event. “I see how superb the teamwork is at Pier del Sol, and how happy the athletes and their families are in their participation. I also see the spirit of the organization through the eyes of my children. It is a wonderful thing.”

Others who will be celebrating at least a decade with Pier del Sol include Melisse (18th year), Pink’s Hot Dogs (17th), Melissa’s Produce (15th), Angelini Osteria (15th), Coca-Cola (14th), Clementine (12th), LA Prime Restaurant at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel (11th) and Mariasol (11th).

In addition, this year’s event will have 14 new restaurants and for the first time ever, Pier del Sol will feature beer and wine distributors. Themed Oktoberfest, this year’s event will include a beer and wine garden thanks to 3 Badge Beverage Corporation, Angel City Brewery, Coronado Brewing Company, The Dudes’ Brewing Company, Four Brix Winery, Goose Island Beer Company, Lagunitas Brewing Company, MacLeod Ale Brewing Company, Navarro Vineyards, Scholb, Three Weavers Brewing Company and Vinemark Cellars.

Here is an updated list of the restaurants coming to the 2017 Pier del Sol on Sunday:

Angelini Osteria (with Pier del Sol honorary chef Gino Angelini)
Angelini Alimentari (Chef Gino Angelini)
The Baklava House (Chef Mualla Bulut)
Bistro Mon Cheri (Chef Kimmy Tang)
BJs Restaurants (Chef David Vazquez)
Bubba Gump Shrimp Company (Chef Kelly Bowers)
Charcoal Venice (Chef Josiah Citrin)
Clementine (Chef Annie Miller)
Coca-Cola Company
Connie & Ted’s (Chef Michael Cimarusti)
Dandy Don’s HomeMade Ice Cream (Chef Don Whittemore)
Dulan’s on Crenshaw Soul Food (Chef Greg Dulan)
El Cholo Los Angeles (Chef Gerardo Ochoa)
Four Stars Private Cuisine (Chef Alain Giraud)
Fourth & Olive
Josette Bistro at Normandie (Chef Josette LeBlond)
LA Prime Restaurant / Westin Bonaventure Hotel (Chefs Joseph Mills & Carlos Bojorquez)
Luxe Hotel (Chef Olivier Rousselle)
Manhattan House (Chef Juan Torres)
Mari / inside Intercontinental Hotel (Chefs Jonathan Wood & Shane Hosac)
Mariasol (Chef Antonio Centeno)
Melissa’s Produce (Chef Tom Fraker)
Melisse (Chef Josiah Citrin)
Mzuma Kitchen (Chef Mualla Bulut)
Pinks Hot Dogs (Chef Richard Pink)
The Poke Shack (Chef Casey Parker)
Porta Via (Chef Peter Garland)
Providence (Chef Michael Cimarusti)
Sprinkles (Chef Candace Nelson)
Tanino Ristorante Bar (Chef Tanino Drago)
Terroni (Chef Stephen Murray)
Via Alloro (Chef Giacomino Drago)
Wetzel’s Pretzel
Wexler’s Deli (Chef Micah Wexler)
Zapien’s Salsa Grill (Chef Marco Zapien)

The restaurant tastings along with beer and wine garden are part of the VIP Brunch. The VIP Brunch ticket includes unlimited rides to Pacific Park and 12 game booth tickets. The special VIP Brunch will feature amazing food from L.A.’s top chefs and restaurants along with a beach top Beer & Wine Garden as part of this year’s theme, “Oktoberfest.”

Admission is $175 per adult ticket and $75 for children (ages 5 to 12 – available at the door on the day of the event only). Children under five are free, but will not receive a meal/beverage coupon nor game tickets.

General admission to the event is $75 per ticket and includes an unlimited ride wristband (valid all day after the event is over until the park closes), eight game booth tickets, and a meal/beverage coupon to be redeemed at the Pacific Park Food Plaza.

Pacific Park CEO Mary Ann Powell is this year’s Pier del Sol Honoree and Gino Angelini is this year’s Honorary Chef. Both will be honored during the event. Presenting sponsors of this year’s event are Westfield, JAKKS Cares and Wells Fargo.

To purchase tickets, visit SOSC.org/PierDelSol.


Special Olympics Southern California enriches the lives of athletes with intellectual disabilities through sports, health, and leadership programs. Special Olympics helps athletes become more independent, build self-esteem, and live healthier lives. They inspire people to open their hearts and create more accepting and inclusive communities. All Special Olympics programs are free to the athletes and their families. Special Olympics Southern California has earned a 4-star ranking from Charity Navigator for exceeding industry standards. This ranking is the highest Charity Navigator offers to an organization and is given because Special Olympics has demonstrated strong financial health and a commitment to accountability and transparency. Learn more at www.sosc.org.

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