By Miriam Raftery
August 28, 2011 (Mt. Helix) – Hot August nights in East County are accompanied by some of the season’s most alluring events. Last night’s HeART of Mt. Helix combined music, art, food and wine in the ampitheater atop Mt. Helix—all to benefit the Mt. Helix Park Foundation.
But the most spectacular attraction proved to be Mother Nature, as twilight melded into sunset, transforming sky into a panoramic palette and the cityscape beneath into a glittering backdrop beneath a canopy of stars.
Entertainment ranged from soul music by the Chris Breeze Band to Crew, a unique percussion group that utilizes everyday objects to create exciting rhythmic routines. Other groups performed everything from jazz to classic rock.
Food stations were equally tantalizing. Auntie M’s Cup ‘n Cake Bakery served up the latest rage, frosting shooters, along with mini-lemon cupcakes.
Chef Jeff Rossman, cookbook author and owner of Terra American Bistro, signed copies of his book while dishing up samples of organic, farm-to-table fresh fare (lemon avocado oil-grilled flank steak with avocado chimichurri and local farm fresh vegetable salad).
Riviera Supperclub offered tastes of their famed bacon-topped chocolate cake, while Anthony’s had shrimp cocktails and Rubio’s prepared garlic-herb-shrimp gourmet tacos.
Other options included Mexican, Italian, Irish and Middle Eastern cuisine from local restaurants, as well as an array of luscious desserts.
Among the most popular dishes on this sultry summer's eve was a cool and refreshing watermelon salad by BMH Italian.
Ballast Point Brewery and Artesa Wines poured beer and wine for the occasion, while Alchemy Restaurant concocted “flapper” cocktails, perhaps in preparation for neighboring La Mesa’s upcoming centennial celebrating the city’s founding during the heyday of ragtime, jazz, and yes, the Charleston.
Auction prizes ranged from a catered dinner party in the famous Johnstone rotating house on Mt. Helix to original art painted live at the event by artist Chuck McPherson.
Jewelry, a spa retreat vacation at Rancho La Puerta, various vacations, wine, golf, and parties everywhere from wineries to the San Miguel Fire Station were all auctioned off at this sumptuous summer’s end event.