Published on November 18th, 2014 | by Maiwenn Regnault0
Can’t wait for La Soiree, THE San Francisco gastronomy and wine show of the year!
This year, the BayLive team is lucky enough to attend La Soiree once again, the French-Californian gastronomy and wine show organized by the French American Chamber of Commerce of San Francisco.
The event will be held at Terra & Mer Gallery on November, 21st, 2014. We sat down with Sophie Woodville Ducom, Executive Director, for more insight on the event.
BayLive: Sophie, can you tell us what La Soiree is and what we should expect during that evening?
SW: “The idea behind La Soiree is to gather the French-American community around the best gastronomy and wines products from France and California, definitely a must for any food and wine enthusiast! From 7pm to 9:30 pm –as early as 5:30 for VIPs- our guests will be able to discover amazing wineries, winemakers, food exhibitors and renowned chefs. After that, everyone will be invited to join the dance party with our favorite DJ, DJ Aykut, and enjoy a sparkling open-bar.”
BayLive: Is there going to be any other kind of entertainment?
SW: “Of course! This year the theme is Cinema, From Cannes to Hollywood… Be ready to join a red-carpet / cinema Soirée! As always, La Soiree is more than just a show, it is our annual fundraiser and we want to make sure it is a success. We started the online auction a few days ago, people can bid for restaurant dinners, hotels, weekend getaways, wine, and much more. There will also be a raffle to win round-trip tickets to Paris and Club Med vacations. We are also proud to support the new generation of gastronomy and wine professionals by hosting two competitions with the American Culinary Federation (ACF) and Sonoma State University.”
BayLive: Can you tell us more about the ‘behind the scenes’? The preparation it requires?
SW: “Many people do not realize how much preparation this type of event requires. With close to 1,000 people gathered: exhibitors, chefs, competition judges, sponsors, partners, media, vendors… This is a huge event to organize for such a small team. We do everything in-house. The Chamber is fortunate to have a very dedicated team that puts in countless numbers of hours to make this annual fundraiser a success. Johanne Mamet is the lead project manager on all the 100 events of the Chamber, including La Soiree. She does an outstanding job organizing and coordinating every single detail of this event. We are lucky to have her on the team. Allow me to actually take this opportunity to thank her and all the team of the FACCSF!”
BayLive: How does this event benefit the FACCSF?
SW: “The FACCSF is a non-profit organization. In this regard, being its Annual Fundraiser, La Soiree is the most important event of the year for us. The FACCSF has 300 contributing members and over 5,000 people who interact every year by attending our events and benefiting our services every year.
We support people in their job hunts, entrepreneur setting up in the bay, CEO through our CEO Circle, executive women through a specific club, Interns through the J1 visa program, large companies through our benefactor membership. We inspire the business community through the FABA (French-American Business Awards). We foster and engage the community through 100 annual events and through every single company and individual who enjoy the community we are building and want to give back to the community.
But we can do better. Our fundraising event represents only 15% of our annual budget. We still need to work on explaining why we need this support and this event to grow, which is because this community can only grow through the people who build it with us. It is great being independent and not funded by the government, it is also a great challenge. We are confident we will be able to keep engaging this community more every year and La Soiree is THE time of the year to do this.”
Thank you very much Sophie, we’ll post a new article after La Soiree to share our thoughts and pictures. See you there!
Detailed program and tickets here
Ticket prices: General Admission: $65 for members, $90 for non-members / Dance Party: $45