Top Chefs Benefit Luncheon 2017 | Mission Dolores Academy

San Francisco's Celebrity Chefs Whip it up in the Kitchen for Mission Dolores Academy!

Charles Phan of The Slanted Door, winner of the prestigious James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant, orchestrated yet another chef dream team in support of inner-city students as San Francisco’s leading chefs were in the kitchen for the fifth consecutive year in support of Mission Dolores Academy and this innovative K-8 school’s effort to provide a world-class, technology-rich education to inner-city students.

The school’s annual Top Chefs Benefit Luncheon featured a three-course culinary concert exquisitely orchestrated by Charles Phan of The Slanted Door, with contributions from Phan, Mourad Lahlou of Mourad, Mark Sullivan of Spruce, Cyrille Pannier of the Four Seasons Hotel, Gerald Hirigoyen of Piperade, and Lisa Vega of Dandelion Chocolate.

At the event, the school was proud to honor Kate Kelly and Tom Klein for their many years of support to the school. A Bay Area native, Kate enjoyed a nearly three-decade career as an Emmy Award-winning reporter and anchor at KPIX.  Prior to this year, Kate graciously volunteered as emcee for all 15 of the school’s previous luncheons!  Tom is a fourth-generation California farmer, and has been Proprietor of Rodney Strong Vineyards since 1989 and also serves as Chairman of the Board for The First Tee San Francisco. Rodney Strong generously donated the wines to compliment the luncheon.

The event was presided over by the school’s founder Father Charles Gagan as emcee, and was attended by over 400 of the City’s top business, civic, and philanthropic leaders including Mayor Willie Brown, several members of the Board of Supervisors – President London Breed, Malia Cohen, Asha Safai, Jeff Sheehy, and Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White.

The highlight of the luncheon, as always, were the students of Mission Dolores Academy! Guests had the opportunity during the reception to meet with students, listen to musical performances from the String Program and the Kindergarten class, and enjoyed an inspirational speech from Class of 2016 alumna Jadelynn Johnson, now a Freshman at University High School.

Guests bid on a number of exciting packages including a private SFMOMA experience, whiskey tasting and dinner at Hard Water, a Big Sur off-road and helicopter adventure, a private dinner at Mourad with chauffeured Bentleys, a medieval Tuscan getaway, and a private dinner prepared by beloved clergy Fr. Xavier Lavagetto and Fr. Charles Gagan.

 A huge thank you to our donors, teachers, staff, parents and guardians who so generously supported the luncheon. Funds raised at the luncheon are essential in providing scholarships and offering tuition assistance to MDA families.  

Thank you to our 2017 Sponsors

Magna Cum Laude 


Susan & Bill Oberndorf

Diamond Sponsors


In honor of Jan Buckley

Louise M.Davies Foundation

Dignity Health

Dana & Bob Emery

Millicent & Bob Lalanne

Deborah Lee Minor


Platinum Sponsors


Joey & Bill Buckingham

Sue & Todd Carter

Alicia & Philip Hammarskjold

Michele & Chris Meany

Yvonne & Angelo Sangiacamo Family Foundation


Gold Sponsors


British Motor Car Distributors

Angela & Christopher Cohan

​Heidi Cortese

Joey Hardin

Cecilia & James Herbert

Kate Kelly & Tom Klein

Mary Jo & Dick Kovacevich

Margaret Mak & David Lichtman 

Joy & Thomas Mistele

Anna & Mason Morfit

Cristina & Robert Morris

Dona & Peter Newell

Janet & Clint Reilly

Strategic Project Solutions

Maureen & Craig Sullivan


Silver Sponsor


Jeanne & William Barulich

Jerry Brooner

Build Group


Anne & Scott Davison

Sara Duryea*

Eastdil Secured

Kate & David English

Nanette Gordon

Erica & Kenneth Gregory

Denise LaPointe

Becky & Bob Loback

​Megin Scully & Reed Minuth

Maura Markus

Narrowback Construction

Karen & Joe Niehaus

Pacific Union Development Co.

Leslie & Nick Podell

Nonie Ramsay*

Joan Siboni

Jean & William F. Terheyden

Mary & Joe Toboni

Liz & Greg Vaughan

Diane B. Wilsey

​Bobbie & Mike Wilsey

Wilson Meany

​Janice & Ed Wohlleb

Bronze Sponsor

$2,500 - $3,500

Mary & Ted Arbuckle


Tiffany Bohee & Brian Spaulding

Cahill Contractors

Mary & Lawrence Del Santo

Dominican Sisters of San Rafael

Margie Ellis

Five Point

Casey & Keith Giarman

​Paddy Dailey Hayes & Richard Hayes

Jean MacCurdy & Bill Hogan

Sally & Jim Klingbeil

Connie & Haig Mardikian

​June & Jim McCarthy

​Ann Miller

Kim Brandon & Timothy Alan Simon Esq.

St. Ignatius Parish


* In memory of Richard Damm