Sam ” The Cooking Guy” Zien and Alberto Cortés in a cooking demonstration.

Nearly 50 chefs from the region’s finest restaurants are preparing for San Diego’s original tasting event, Mama’s Day, which benefits Mama’s Kitchen and its mission to help local residents in need.

The annual fundraising event, held the Friday evening before Mother’s Day, is scheduled for May 10 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine.

“For the last three decades, Mama’s Kitchen has provided more than eight million meals to San Diegans vulnerable to hunger due to critical illnesses,” said Alberto Cortés, executive director of Mama’s Kitchen. “Our passion and mission to help our neighbors in need is exemplified at Mama’s Day where hundreds come to enjoy not only the delicious food, but also the great company of others that have the same passion for giving back to our local communities.”

The fundraiser raises critical funds for the organization’s mission to deliver three medically-tailored nutritional meals a day, seven days a week and free of charge to local women, men and children vulnerable to hunger due to HIV, cancer or other critical illnesses like congestive heart failure and Type II diabetes.

In 2018, Mama’s Day raised $170,000, which provided 58,000 home-delivered meals to Mama’s Kitchen’s clients. This year, the event aims to raise $220,000 to provide 75,342 meals to San Diego’s critically ill neighbors.

Attendees will enjoy an elegant evening of extraordinary cuisine with live music, and a variety of lawn games to play poolside, including ping pong, corn hole and more.

Presented by Nordstrom, hosted by Sycuan and supported by the Hay Foundation, Mama’s Day tickets are available for $150 per person and $175 at the door. A special group rate on a general admission 4-pack is also available for $500.

Mama’s Kitchen was founded in 1990 when volunteers from the AIDS Assistance Fund discovered that many of their clients were becoming too ill to take care of themselves. They realized that a reliable home meal delivery service was needed to ensure that these individuals would continue to receive nutritious, life-sustaining food.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.