Fifth annual Farm to fork dinner

A Special Evening at Tanaka Farms to benefit maxlove project's pioneering Childhood Cancer thrivership programs

Join us for the premiere farm-to-table dinner
in Southern California, presented by Lily’s Sweets
September 21, 2019


Our Deepest Thanks

Here at MaxLove Project, we are in a state of joyful shock. We've been simply humbled and blown away by the love and support of our community. Our aim was to create a unique event that reflects the beauty and vibrancy of our childhood cancer community, our quest for Thrivership, and to raise $500,000 for MLP programs in the process. Honestly, we set the bar high not because we thought we'd actually do it, but because we know childhood cancer families deserve it.

Today, as we close out our final receipts, we can report that YOU got us there! Including in-kind donations, we raised just over $486,000!

Can "thank you" begin to reflect how we're feeling right now? No! So, please know that we are overwhelmed with gratitude and that these funds will be put to immediate use in all of our programs that are changing the face of childhood cancer treatment, care, and survivorship. Because of you, we're helping thousands of childhood cancer families thrive against the odds!

 Farm to Fork 2019 Photos

Experience the Farm to Fork Magic with our event photographers Anne Watson and Jessica Bodas!


event Details

The premiere farm-to-table dinner experience in Orange County at Tanaka Farms featuring family-style farm-fresh worldly cuisine by Chef Azmin Ghahreman of Sapphire Culinary Group and eight extraordinary guest chefs 

arrival + happy hour

5:00p – 7:00p

Tanaka Farms Top of the Farm
Wagon ride, hosted heirloom cocktails, wine & beer, epic Gold Apron Society Chef's Showcase featuring appetizer tastings with our eight extraordinary "Gold Apron" guest chefs, live music, silent auction & activities

dinner + Presentation

7:00p – 9:00p

Top of the Farm
Enjoy an interactive, family-style, locally sourced, multi-course dinner, complemented with expert-selected wine, a party-style live auction, a special presentation of the latest results from MaxLove Project's pioneering childhood cancer initiatives, and our very special fund-a-need pledge giving opportunity

After Dinner lounge


Top of the Farm
Lounge on the hill with drinks, dessert, coffee, & dance-worthy music




Caroline Steele, MS, RD, CSP, IBCLC, FAND

Caroline Steele is the Director of Clinical Nutrition and Lactation at Children’s Hospital of Orange County.  Caroline is a pediatric registered dietitian with over 26 years of experience.  She is a Board Certified Specialist in Pediatric Nutrition, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.  Caroline has many professional publications and is a frequent lecturer on a variety of topics including breastmilk and formula handling, parenteral nutrition, and malnutrition documentation.  She is also the co-editor and an author of the 2019 3rd edition of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ publication Infant and Pediatric Feedings:  Guidelines for Breastmilk and Formula Preparation in Health Care Facilities and was an author in the 2nd edition of the publication.   

Caroline has received several professional awards including:

  • Washington State Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice and Research in 2003

  • American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Neonatology Award for Research Excellence in 2007

  • Washington State Outstanding Dietitian of the Year in 2008

  • Children’s Hospital Association Pediatric Quality Award Finalist in 2016

  • ASPEN Abstract of Distinction in 2016

  • HIMSS Award for use of healthcare IT to improve patient safety in 2017 


C Steele Pic 12-2015.jpg

The Farm

Tanaka Farms, Irvine

Tanaka Farms began with great-grandfather Teruo, who immigrated from Hiroshima-ken, Japan. After the family made the arduous journey to California, his son, grandfather George, was born in the town of Dinuba. Farmer Glenn Tanaka is a "Sansei" — a third-generation Japanese American — who was born and raised in Huntington Beach, California, and has a degree in Agricultural Business.


Farmer Tanaka, his wife, Shirley, and his son, Farmer Kenny, own and operate Tanaka Farms, which is an authentic working farm. The farm's 30 acres produces fruits and vegetables that supply an amazing produce stand and provide for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program and various educational tours serving more than 35,000 local children each year. 

In 1998, Tanaka Farms decided to go to Responsible Farming Methods after land development forced them to move the farming operation from Irvine Center Drive and Bake Parkway. The farm is now situated in a valley in the heart of Irvine. It's hard to believe that this beautiful farm can exist among all of the development in Orange County!

Tanaka Farms has partnered with MaxLove Project to offer essential and empowering farm visits to MaxLove Project families.  We're proud to partner with Tanaka Farms to offer this incredible community event and to build our empowering food literacy programs together.

Our Executive Chef

Azmin Ghahreman

Born in Iran and educated in Switzerland, Chef Azmin has lived and worked all over the world. His international-oriented cooking styles and avid interest in the best ingredients available have solidly placed him on the culinary map. Chef Azmin’s talent and worldly experiences have given him the prestigious opportunity to cook for more than 30 kings, presidents, and heads of state, among them President George W. Bush, President Bill Clinton, and past prime ministers of Singapore, Thailand and Pakistan. A true Renaissance Man, his culinary interests have no bounds: he is a chef, sommelier, master mixologist and expert in global spices and cooking techniques. Chef Azmin’s motto: “When you travel through the world’s markets with your palate, you don’t need a passport.”

In addition to providing world-class cuisine, he is committed to bettering childhood nutrition, and in 2008 founded Sapphire at School. The nutrition-focused lunch program currently partners with nine schools in Orange County and prepares fresh and wholesome meals to more than 4,000 students daily.

Chef Azmin and his award-winning cuisine have received countless accolades and notable mentions in media including Sunset, Relish, Orange Coast, Westways, Riviera Magazine, Los Angeles Times, and the Orange County Register, among others. Recently, he was featured in Laguna Beach Magazine as one of the top 10 most influential people of Laguna Beach for supporting the culture, collective well-being, and future of the community.

The Gold Apron Society Chef’s Showcase


Culinary medicine is the practice of using real food to restore health, reduce side effects of conventional treatments, and improve quality of life. But it can only be effective through culinary education, positive social support, and rigorous nutrition research. This is where the Gold Apron Society impacts thousands of childhood cancer families.

Founded by MaxLove Project, the Gold Apron Society gives leading chefs and professionals in the hospitality industry a platform for championing culinary medicine in the fight against cancer. Together we understand that culinary literacy and real food are powerful tools that can improve quality of life and lower health risks for all cancer patients and survivors.

Our chef and restaurant partners are leaders in our communities who recognize the value of food as medicine. They are using their unique skills and talents to take a stand in support of essential culinary medicine education and research to further our understanding of the role of nutrition in fighting cancer. 

Meet our 2019 Chef’s Showcase Participants!

Chef Michael Puglisi,  Electric City Butcher

Chef Michael Puglisi, Electric City Butcher

Chef Blake Mellgren,  Craft House

Chef Blake Mellgren, Craft House

Puesto , Chef TBA

Puesto, Chef TBA

Chef Shachi Mehra,  ADYA

Chef Shachi Mehra, ADYA

Chef Taylor De Costa,  Taylor Made Cuisine

Chef Taylor De Costa, Taylor Made Cuisine

Our “Chef’s Showcase” appetizer happy hour at Farm to Fork 2019 is an amazing opportunity to meet our Gold Apron Society chefs and get a taste of MaxLove!
Chef Amy Lebrun,  Lido Bottle Works

Chef Amy Lebrun, Lido Bottle Works

Chef Craig Brady,  Haven Craft Kitchen

Chef Craig Brady, Haven Craft Kitchen



The Fierce Foods Academy Culinary Medicine Program | The Ohana Project Integrative Medicine Initiative | family support programs


MaxLove Project empowers families fighting childhood cancers and related life-threatening conditions with quality of life carefierce foodswhole-body wellness resources, education and research. We believe that true health starts when families are empowered to be active partners in their child’s healing.