Taste of the Bay to benefit scholarships

At Taste of the Bay, 500 guests will sip, snack and schmooze, with treats such as dumplings and chocolate-covered strawberries as far as the eye can see. But all the merriment is for a good cause: The event is San Francisco State University's biggest fundraiser of the year.

Crowd of people mingle at Taste of the Bay 2012.

Taste of the Bay draws hundreds of guests to enjoy San Francisco's culinary delights and support the College of Business. (Image from Taste of the Bay 2012 by Frank Jang)

The 18th annual Taste of the Bay will be held Wednesday, Nov. 12, at City View at METREON, an event hall with a garden terrace overlooking downtown San Francisco. The evening's goal? To raise money for student scholarships and other needs in the College of Business, such as support for the Vista Room, the on-campus lab restaurant where students train in food and beverage management. Last year, Taste of the Bay raised approximately $145,000. Event chair Jenny Whitney, an SF State senior, said she is hoping to beat that record by reaching $150,000.

A variety of gourmet nibbles will be served by representatives from 17 local restaurants, including such well-known eateries as Café Claude, M.Y. China, TRACE and Hillside Supper Club (whose chefs were recently featured on Zagat's San Francisco 30 Under 30 list). A special treat this year will be hundreds of oysters courtesy of Hog Island Oyster Co. Local wineries and breweries will pour their wines and beers, with staff on hand to answer questions.

Tarts and chocolate-covered strawberries are arranged on a platter, served at Taste of the Bay 2012

Seventeen local restaurants will serve a variety of delicious morsels. (Image from Taste of the Bay 2012 by Frank Jang)

The fundraiser is both run by and directly benefits SF State students. Whitney oversees a committee of 16 who not only get the satisfaction of raising scholarship funds for their peers but also the life experience of organizing a major event.

Whitney, who studies hospitality and tourism management and plans to pursue a career in event planning, said that working on Taste of the Bay gives SF State students an advantage when job hunting.

"A lot of people have experience with hospitality, but running an event of this caliber, you don’t usually get that in a college setting," Whitney said.

Taste of the Bay takes place on Wednesday, Nov. 12, at City View at METREON (135 Fourth Street) from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $100 and can also be purchased at the door for $150. A portion of each ticket purchase is a tax-deductible donation.