Compassion is the main course on the menu for this year’s Under The Toque, a unique dining experience that will benefit Long Beach-based non-profit Mental Health America of Los Angeles (MHALA).

The event takes place at the Long Beach Airport Marriott Hotel on Monday, October 7 at 5 pm. Each of the twelve participating chefs will provide a dining theme for two ten-person tables, with food and décor to match. There will be a silent auction during cocktail hour and a live auction after dinner.

Each year, MHALA serves over 9000 people: transition-age youth, veterans and their families, and many who are or have been homeless. MHALA has an office in Downtown Long Beach and is the driving force behind The Village, the Downtown center which offers its own menu of assistance programs for individuals with mental health needs. The revenues generated from Under The Toque all go directly toward boosting these programs.
“Under the Toque is a unique dining experience that serves to showcase the culinary talents of our local chefs and their level of dedication to the people of Long Beach,” said Dr. Christina Miller, President and CEO of MHALA. “We are so thankful for their generosity in helping us raise much-needed funds for MHALA’s services and programs.”
All chefs involved are donating their time and food for the event. The Marriott has donated its cocktail and ballroom space as well.
“I started this fundraising event in 2016 because I valued what MHALA brings to our beautiful city and after the first year I joined their Board of Directors,” said Silvano Merlo, who is also Chair-Elect of the DLBA Board of Directors and General Manager of the Courtyard Marriott in Downtown Long Beach.
“This event provides much-needed funds to support programs which are dedicated to the assistance and vitality of people living in the City of Long Beach who are in need,” said Merlo.

MHALA prides itself in seeking out potential members where they are, and providing them with short, medium and long-term solutions to their life challenges. Under The Toque goes a long way each year to keep this movement energized.
“Each of us can play a vital role in the empowerment of so many individuals with mental health needs,” said Dr. Miller. “I am so grateful to every participant, sponsor and guest of Under the Toque for having a direct impact on our community.”