'Taste of Pacifica 2' a showcase for art and food

"The Taste of Pacifica 2" takes place in Pacifica this Saturday at Nick's Restaurant from noon to 3 p.m. Sponsored by the Pacifica Chamber of Commerce, the event invites you to come and sample gourmet selections from 13 of Pacifica's finest restaurants.

Restaurants participating are Nick's (crab sandwich appetizer), Moonraker (smoked salmon ravioli), Lighthouse Café (teriyaki chicken and Lighthouse prawns), Ristorante Mare (tortellini Mare), La Playa (assorted salsas and chips), Rock 'n' Rob's (Western burger), Acapulco (chicken tamales), Ash's Vallemar Station (leg of lamb and mashed potatoes), Dallas' Place (pasta with sautéed chicken), Food Town Deli (calzone with pepperoni or sausage and Hye Roller sandwich), Tam's (chicken wings), Mazzetti's Bakery (assorted pastries), and Colombo's Deli (assorted cheeses and breads). There will also be wine tasting (Chuck Gust is personally selecting an assortment of chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, merlot and Sangiovese wines). Lyrique will provide the music.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the Chamber office in Rockaway Beach or by phone (VISA/MC accepted) 355-4122. Chamber president-elect Chris Porter has organized this popular event for the second year in a row.

In addition to fine food and drink, ticket holders to the "Taste of Pacifica 2" event will be treated to an outstanding selection of art by local and regional Californian artists. The theme for this year's event is "Pacifica and Beyond &emdash; An Artistic Journey Along the Central Coast."

Highlighting coastal land and seascapes from Mendocino through Big Sur, local resident and curator Ward Walkup is especially excited about the diversity and quality of this years show.

Established local artists are well represented. Recent works by master watercolorist Jim Torlakson will again be on display as well as many high standard works by members of the Art Guild of Pacifica.

Of particular interest however will be the participation of Santa Barbara's acclaimed "Oak Group." Founded by 93-year-old landscape artist Ray Strong, the Oak Group is a loosely associated collection of artists who have dedicated themselves to the pursuit of artistic excellence and the preservation of that which provides their livelihood- the California landscape. Typically, 50% of all proceeds from formal Oak Group shows are donated to conservancy causes to preserve open spaces, endangered environment and continued public access to threatened areas. For example, in a highly successful 2 day show in Nicasio in April, the Oak Group and the West Marin Artists combined to raise over $60,000 for the Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT).

Oak Group member Michael Drury served as juror for the Art Guild of Pacifica's Fall Show last year. But aside from Michael, works by Oak Group members have never been on display in Pacifica until this time. Pacifica art lovers who appreciate fine landscape paintings should not miss the opportunity to view and perhaps purchase one of the quality paintings which will be on display. Participating Oak Group artists include Manny Lopez, Whitney Brooks Abbott, Arturo Tello, Karen Gruscka-Tello, John and Larry Iwerks, Skip Smith, John Comer, Chris Chapman and Michael Drury. All artwork will be for sale and the pleasant ambiance of fine food, art and wine should provide a pleasant afternoon for all those fortunate enough to attend.