When someone offers you clams, crab and shrimp in Bakersfield, you have to say yes. After all, it'll be a year before a tide that rich in seafood comes in again. Bakersfield West Rotary is gearing up to offer inland residents another taste of the ocean on Saturday with the organization's popular Cioppino Feed. About 500 people turned up for last year's event, which has become a social highlight for many local residents.
"This is the place to meet up with your friends, neighbors," said Ricki Foster, events director of the Boys & Girls Clubs and immediate past president of Bakersfield West Rotary.
"It's rowdy and wild. The noise and energy levels are really high. We have sold out the last several years."
Chef Pat Coyle of Bakersfield College and his crew of students cook the cioppino, a tomato-based stew that includes white fish, crab and shrimp. Buckets of clams will be offered as an appetizer, and dessert will be served.
Half of the proceeds go to local organizations that help children and the rest is split among the Boys & Girls clubs, the Gleaners, Junior Achievement and Smile for a Lifetime, said Foster, who added that more than $75,000 was raised last year.