Hosted byLupus LA

HONORING: Adam Selkowitz, Lupus LA Founding Chairman Mariko Ishimori, M.D. Michael Symon, Chef & Restaurateur

Sunday, May 19
5:00PM – 9:00PM PDT

214 Main St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Event Co-Chairs

Cedars-Sinai Division of Rheumatology & Kao Autoimmunity Institute
Debbi and Roger Cowan
Cara Dellaverson
Lauren Shuler Donner
Eric and Maxine Greenspan
Amanda & Steve Palley
Kate Kelly and George Schweitzer
Kathy and Greg Scott
Betsey and Arthur Selkowitz
Laurie and Adam Selkowitz
Stacey and Gary Uberstine
Nancy Utley
Janice and Dr. Daniel Wallace
Maurissa and Jed Whedon

Event Committee

Sheba Family
Amanda Palley
Stacey Uberstine
Maurissa Tancharoen Whedon

Lupus LA Team

Susan Bazarsky
Brianna Donath
Mia Gunzenhauser
Maggie Sepkowitz

Meet the Honorees

Meet the amazing individuals who have made an indelible impact on our community. Join us as we honor them on May 19th at Vibiana in DTLA!


Ellis Community Leadership Award

Adam Selkowitz, Founding Chairman, Lupus LA

Adam Selkowitz is President of Waterfall Films, which focuses on TV and film development. He co-founded Lupus LA and has raised lupus awareness and over $10M for research. He is the host of Lupus LA’s award winning, "Your Story Our Fight" podcast. Adam is the Chairman of the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors and sits on the hospital’s Board of Directors. Adam adores his family, wife Laurie, and children, Lucy and Parker.


Visionary Leader Award

Mariko Ishimori, M.D.

Mariko Ishimori, MD, is the interim director and fellowship program director at Cedars-Sinai's Rheumatology Division, specializing in research on arthritis, lupus and ankylosing spondylitis. Her work includes cardiac imaging in rheumatic diseases and clinical trials for new therapies. She plays a crucial role at Cedars-Sinai for the UCLA CTSI, is an active ACR member, and has contributed to lupus research. A Stanford and New York Medical College alumna, her research is published in top journals.


The Loop Award

Michael Symon, Chef & Restaurateur

Chef Michael Symon, from Cleveland, is known for his bold flavors at Mabel’s BBQ and Bar Symon. A Food Network star, he's hosted shows like BBQ USA and won Food & Wine’s Best New Chef in 1998 and a James Beard Award in 2009. Symon triumphed in The Next Iron Chef in 2008, co-hosted The Chew (earning Daytime Emmys), and penned bestsellers like "Playing with Fire." His work mirrors his culinary ethos and personal journey.

Featuring Cuisine from:


Chef & Restaurateur

Neal Fraser

Chef Neal Fraser, owner of LA's Redbird and Vibiana, boasts a CIA degree and has showcased his skills in top kitchens like Spago. With his wife Amy, he launched Fritzi Coop and iconic venues Grace and BLD. Renowned for modern American cuisine, his restaurants are praised for both their dishes and distinctive locations, including the historical Vibiana. Fraser is active in the community, has a strong media presence, and receives accolades from food and lifestyle outlets.


Guest Chefs:


Katianna Hong and John Hong, meeting at Melisse in Santa Monica, brought their culinary expertise from Korea and Illinois to open Yangban in Southern California, mixing their diverse backgrounds. Katianna became the first U.S. female chef de cuisine at a Michelin three-star restaurant, and both have been recognized with James Beard and Food & Wine honors.


Guest Chef:


Nakul Mahendro co-owns Badmaash in LA, renowned for blending traditional Indian cuisine with innovative twists. Founded in 2013 with his brother and chef father, their eateries in Downtown LA and West Hollywood are lauded for their dynamic take on Indian food, even expanding into American fare with BURGERS99 in 2020. Their culinary creativity has earned accolades from LA Times, LA Magazine, and the Michelin Guidebook.


Guest Chef:


Chris Bianco, renowned for Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix since 1988, transformed pizza making into an art, reflecting his deep connections with local producers and staff. Born in the Bronx and raised in New York, Bianco's dedication led to a James Beard Award in 2003, marking him as the first pizzaiolo honored. His ventures now span Phoenix and Los Angeles, including the organic Bianco DiNapoli tomatoes, influencing culinary enthusiasts worldwide.​


Guest Chef:


Vartan Abgaryan, renowned for modern American cuisine, has taken his talents to Momed, infusing Mediterranean dishes with his distinctive touch. Trained at Le Cordon Bleu, Abgaryan's career in LA has spanned from 71Above to Cliff’s Edge, gaining accolades for his flavorful, emotive cooking. At Momed, he collaborates with Alex Sarkissian to refine the menu, featuring innovative dishes like barbecued octopus skewer, promising a fresh take on Mediterranean cuisine in Atwater Village.


Guest Chef:


Sherry Yard, an acclaimed American chef, has distinguished herself in the culinary world with multiple James Beard Awards, including Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year in 2002. She's not just a celebrated pastry chef but also a restaurateur and author, known for her work at Wolfgang Puck restaurants and as a judge on various cooking shows. With a career highlighted by creativity in desserts, she brings her expertise to "By The Yard," showcasing her passion for baking and innovative cuisine.

Evening Details


Enter Vibiana
214 Main St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Join us at Vibiana to taste "Cuisine for a Cause," an unforgettable culinary adventure for a purpose in support of Lupus LA! Our event takes place in a historic, award-winning, chef and restaurateur driven, full service special event venue like no other in Los Angeles! Get tickets below to experience a true culinary adventure in former cathedral turned Event Venue, Vibiana.

Purchase Tickets

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Menu Sampling:

Rock Shrimp - yuzu kosho aioli Tuna Tartare - ginger rice, avocado crema (gf) Butter Chicken & Rice - tandoori charred chicken, creamy tomato curry Rosa - Parmigiano-Reggiano, red onion, thinly sliced, rosemary, pistachios Acorn Beignet - Caramelized onion, perilla leaf (v) Channa Masala & Rice - chickpeas braised with tomato, onion, warm spices (v) Milk Chocolate Ovaltine Krispie Flake Bars (v) (gf) AND MUCH MORE!


Buy A Tribute Ad!
Honor an Award Recipient

If you'd like to honor one of our award recipients, consider purchasing an ad in our Digital Tribute Journal to be played during the event, and to be shared after the event!

Vibiana DTLA


214 Main St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Completed in 1876, this former Cathedral is one of Los Angeles' few remaining nineteenth-century landmarks. This cathedral-turned-event-venue hosts a wide range of affairs including galas, weddings, fundraisers, fashion shows, film shoots and art shows. Great care was taken over several decades to keep original historic details intact. The rectory building, originally constructed in 1934, now houses Redbird with its Main Dining Room, lounge, secret garden and five private dining rooms upstairs.

Parking Options

Hosted Valet Parking is available at Vibiana on Main Street. Unhosted Self-Parking can be found in nearby public parking lots and metered street spots around the venue. Please check and follow all posted signage before leaving your vehicle. Rideshare (Lyft, Uber) is available to this location. The dropoff location is 214 Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.


*Cocktail Attire*


Buy Tickets or a Table

Tap the link above to purchase tickets or to purchase a table at the event! 

Buy a Tribute Ad

Can't join us at the event? Purchase an ad in the Digital Tribute Journal to honor Adam, Mariko or Michael during and after the event!

Learn More

Tap the link above to learn more about the important work of Lupus LA in our LA community, and the world. 

Lupus LA Board of Directors

Toni Braxton
Lindsay Sustarsic Cafritz
Debbi Cowan (Treasurer)
Roger Cowan
Cara Dellaverson
Lauren Shuler Donner (Secretary)
Amanda Palley
Adam Selkowitz (Founding Chairman)
Stacey Uberstine (Co-Chair)
Nancy Utley
Maurissa Tancharoen Whedon (Co-Chair)
Sheba Family Zaman

Emeritus Board Members

Carrie Brillstein
Kathy Gallagher
Alan Kaye
Michelle Kaye
Kate Kelly
George Schweitzer
Daniel J. Wallace, MD
Janice Wallace

Medical Advisory Board

Rachel Abuav, MD
C. Noel Bairey Merz MD
Susan Baker, MD
Michal Cidon, MD
Hart Cohen, MD
Sheetal Desai, MD
Monica Ellis-Blied, PhD, MACL
Lindsy Forbess, MD
Jennifer Grossman, MD
Bevra Hahn, MD
Sherwin Hariri, MD
Mariko Ishimori, MD
Caroline Jefferies, PhD
David Lazar, MD
Christine Lee, MD
Shalini Mahajan, MD
Katherine Marzan, MD
Deborah McCurdy, MD
Maureen McMahon, MD
Wesley Mizutani, MD
Paul Noble, MD
Andreas Reiff, MD
Renee Rinaldi, MD
Vaneet Sandhu, MD
Jay Schapira, MD
C. Andrew Schroeder, MD
Donald Thomas, M.D.
Leanna Wise, M.D.

View Last Year's Event: "Stories Under The Stars" 2023

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