Chairman of the Board of Directors, Arthritis Foundation, Rowland W. (Bing) Chang, MD, MPH, and President & Chief Executive Officer of the Arthritis Foundation Ann M. Palmer were among the VIP guest at the Arthritis Foundation Taste of the Town kick-off event hosted by Automotive Partner BMW Santa Barbara. Returning honorary Co-Chairs Tina Takaya and Richard Yates of Opal Restaurant & Bar, were joined by John O’Neill of Banc of California to address the large crowd. Opal’s delicious appetizers were paired with a bevy of Honorary Vintner Jim Clendenen’s Au Bon Climat wines throughout the event.

Arthritis Foundation Executive Board Chairman Rowland W. (Bing) Chang

Michal Wiesbrock, Executive Director of Arthritis Foundation Central Coast announced the dates of September 7 for the 37th Annual Connoisseurs’ Circle Gala Dinner & Auction at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort, followed by the September 9 annual Taste of the Town at Riviera Park. 2018 youth honoree is Shannon Morehouse, and 2018 honoree artist Chris Potter’s painting will be auctioned at the Gala.

Honorary Event Co-Chair Richard Yates, Opal Restaurant & Bar

The two extraordinary gastronomique events for Taste of the Town include a Connoisseur’s Circle Gala Dinner & Auction Friday, September 7 at Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort, which will feature the talents of Chef Matt Johnson, San Ysidro Ranch, David Rosner, Monarch at the Montecito Inn, Steven Giles, formerly of Sage & Onion and Le Garoche London, David Cecchini, Cecco Ristorante and a guest chef from Hilton Hotels & Resorts. The culinary delight dinner will be served in the Rotunda and will be paired with wines from Au Bon Climat.

Katie O’Hara, Marketing Director, for Jim Clendenen Honorary Vintner Au Bon Climat

On Sunday, September 9 the Riviera Park overlooking the city will be the site of the Taste of the town featuring the finest restaurants, caterers, wineries, breweries and spirits providers, with a silent auction, photo booth and live jazz.
Arthritis Foundation Central Coast Local leadership Board members for 2018 include Pam Tanase, Amy Leong MBA, Karen Anderson, R.N., Miriam Parsa, MD, Laura Kath, Deborah Deneaulf, L. Mae Chandler, Thomas Ferro, MD, William Gallivan, Jr. MD, Susan Lemon, DO, Kristi Jena, C.J.Ward, Lynn Yekiazarian, Douglas Tucker.
All proceeds from these events support Arthritis Foundation services and programs. For detailed information and tickets please visit:

By Bonnie Carroll

Bonnie Carroll has been a food/travel/lifestyle writer since 1983. She is the founder & publisher of Bonnie Carroll’s Life Bites News (, does travel, entertainment and food reporting on local Radio/TV, and contributes to a variety of national and international travel/lifestyle publications. She is a member of IFWTWA and NATJA. Contact her at