As Bob Hope sang, “Thanks for the Memories!” As 2016 comes to a close, we reflect on a very special year for El Gaucho. Our six-month long 20th anniversary celebration was full of nostalgia and fun with our community and culminated in a beautiful event which raised nearly $130,000 for USO Northwest. We are so grateful to everyone who joined us this year to celebrate and share their stories.
One of the highlights of the campaign was the Iconic Experience contest. We were overwhelmed with the response and our hearts were touched by the way that El Gaucho has played a role in so many of your lives including a 9-year-old birthday party, a celebration of life, college graduation dinner and retirement celebrations. It was very difficult to pick the three winners from so many beautiful stories. As you will read, Kimberly Kahoot & Dr. Michael Flynn found love, Denise and Jane Camp found comfort and Laelita Rosellini found community within the walls of El Gaucho.
We also had fun with bringing back some El Gaucho classic dishes and cocktails. Among the original menu items we featured included: the surprise favorite, Ostrich Fan Filet Rack of Venison, Veal Scallopini Marsala, and the Tableside Flaming Lamb Shish Kabab. These items joined other classics that have never left the menu, including Tableside Flaming Sword Brochette of Tenderloin, Tableside Chateaubriand, and Dungeness Crab Cakes. The perfect wine pairing for many of these dishes was our special El Gaucho 20th Anniversary vintage. A 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, this wine is produced by a top Washington winery. It will be gone soon so try it by the glass or bottle while we still have it.
The primary goal of our 20th anniversary campaign was to give back to our community. We partnered with USO Northwest to raise the funds to build Camp Lewis – a new USO hospitality center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The Camp Lewis/Army side of the base is the largest concentration of military and their families without a USO presence. These centers are fundamental to the mission of USO Northwest as they provide a place of community building and connections for our military personnel and their families. It was the perfect partnership for us and we created two ways for people to give. We hosted a gala and auction with items including wine trips to Argentina, Spain and Napa Valley as well as unique experiences such as playing paint ball against a team of Marines! Anyone can donate on our website as well – it is easy to click and contribute at our website through the end of the year.
We are excited to add some new milestones to add to our 20-year timeline, including the creation of an outdoor dining space at El Gaucho Seattle which will open this spring. 2017 will bring some new surprises as we begin our next 20 years. Cheers to all of you who joined us to celebrate this year. We wish you and your families the very best this holiday season.