Culinary Events > Taste of the Nation

Atlanta Taste of the Nation

May 07, 2015

VIP: $350
6:30pm - 10:00pm

General Admission: $250
7:30pm - 10:00pm

Georgia Aquarium

255 Baker Street NW
Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta's Taste of the Nation
for No Kid Hungry

Celebrating 27 Years!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Georgia Aquarium
255 Baker Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30313

Honorary Chair: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Neurosurgeon and CNN Chief Medical Correspondent
Honorary Chef: Wylie Dufresne, Chef/Owner of Alder restaurant in New York City
Event Chairmen: Pano Karatassos & George McKerrow

Atlanta's Taste of the Nation is the city's preeminent culinary benefit supporting Share Our Strength’s work to end childhood hunger in the United States.
Eat dishes from more than 50 local restaurants and mingle with the city’s top culinary talent, including: Karatassos, Rathbun, Gillespie, Quatrano, Hopkins. 
Drink award-winning wines from all over the world.
Collect rare wines in our much-anticipated Beverage Auction.
Listen to live music.
Bid on world-class trips, incomparable dining and luxury culinary experiences. (More info on the Live Auction Sneak Peek tab.)

It takes more than food to fight hunger...it takes you.

EVENT CHAIRMEN

Atlanta's Taste of the Nation would not be possible without the continued leadership and support of our chairmen. Thank you, Pano and George!

 

Pano Karatassos Taste of the Nation Atlanta Share Our  Strength No Kid Hungry

Atlanta owes an enormous debt of gratitude to Buckhead Life Restaurant Group and its charismatic founder and CEO Pano Karatassos. The company raised Atlanta to a new level of dining, and earned it a spot on the country’s culinary map when it opened its flagship restaurant Pano’s and Paul’s in 1979. Today, Buckhead Life Restaurant Group owns nine of Atlanta’s top restaurants, has expanded into Boca Raton, Florida, and most recently Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, with the opening of Lobster Bar Sea Grille. Pano spends a great deal of time working with local charities, particularly hunger-related causes. As the Atlanta chairperson for Share Our Strength, he has helped to raise more than $10 million. He also developed the country’s first freshly “prepared food program” for the hungry and was a founding member of Atlanta’s Table. As a result of his lifelong commitment to hunger relief and his contributions to the community, Pano was presented with the Cornerstone Humanitarian Award by the National Restaurant Association. A humble man, Pano has been known to say “My works is my hobby. I’m the luckiest guy in the world.”
 

George McKerrow Taste of the Nation Atlanta Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry

George McKerrow Jr. is a 40-year veteran of the restaurant business with a history of success in both fine dining and casual concepts. He opened the first LongHorn Steakhouse as a neighborhood restaurant in 1981, a time when Atlanta had few choices in casual dining. He successfully evolved that single location into RARE Hospitality, which owns LongHorn Steakhouse and The Capital Grille and was sold to Darden Restaurants in 2007. McKerrow retired from RARE in 2000. He co-founded We’re Cookin’ Inc. (owners of restaurants Aria & Canoe) in 1996 with Atlanta chef Gerry Klaskala and Ron San Martin. In addition to serving on the board of directors for the National Restaurant Association (1997-2003) and the Culinary Institute of America (1996-2002), McKerrow received the first Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia Restaurant Association in 2007. In 2008, he was inducted into The Atlanta Hospitality Hall of Fame by the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. Along with his partner, media entrepreneur, philanthropist and environmentalist Ted Turner, McKerrow founded Ted’s Montana Grill in January 2002 and serves as the company’s CEO. 

 

WYLIE DUFRESNE
Chef/Owner of Alder restaurant in New York City

  

THANK YOU TO OUR  LOCAL SPONSORS

Premier
Georgia Aquarium/Wolfgang Puck Catering
 
Diamond
Empire Distributors, Inc.
Georgia Crown Dist. Company
National Distributing Company
Prime Wine & Spirits
Quality Wine & Spirits
United Distributors, Inc.
Pulte Homes
 
Platinum
Avalon
Coca-Cola Foodservice
The Reynolds Group
 
Gold
Arby's Foundation
Atlanta Wholesale Wine
 
Silver
Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation 
Buckhead Life Restaurant Group
Blockbuster Linen
Marcus Foundation
 
Bronze
A&D Linens
Cook's Warehouse
Delta Air Lines
Eventologie
ImagineAir
Tommy & Chantal Bagwell]
Vino Venue
 
Automotive Sponsor
Cadillac

2015 LIVE AUCTION ITEMS

 

L1: Arizona Awakenings
Get ready to relax on this trip to the land of sun and panoramic views! You and a friend will fly First Class via Delta Air Lines to Arizona to enjoy the 4-star CopperWynd Resort, Fountain Hill’s (Scottsdale) premier luxury destination overlooking the Four Peaks mountain range in Arizona. While enjoying your two night stay in one of only 32 beautiful guestrooms featuring a fireplace and balcony or patio, you both will enjoy being pampered at The CopperWynd Spa which offers a menu of massages, facials, body treatments, hair and nail care, as well as very special spa treatments signature to CopperWynd. But that is not all! Dining at CopperWynd, is an experience in itself! Their restaurant, Alchemy, is open air and overlooks the mountainous landscape. Enjoy it all as well as the numerous amenities (pools, tennis, health club and more!) on this relaxing and beautiful get away!

Compliments of Modern Luxury and Delta Air Lines
* Package includes 2 night hotel stay for two; $100 Food & Beverage Credit and two Spa Treatment Vouchers valued at $109 each. Resort stay expires 12/3/15. Delta Air Lines ticket vouchers valid through 5/7/16.
 

L2. First-Rate Fort Lauderdale
For a getaway that’s equal parts luxury beach destination and sophisticated cityscape, look no further. You and a lucky guest will be whisked away in style with round-trip, first class airfare on Delta Air Lines. Then, you’ll settle into your home base for three nights and four days, the modern, luxurious W Hotel, right on breathtaking Fort Lauderdale Beach. While you’re in town, you’ll be treated to a whirlwind of spectacular dining experiences at Lobster Bar Sea Grille (Zagat’s Best New Restaurant South Florida – where it’s always a party at this beautiful spot) on world-famous Las Olas Blvd., boutique steakhouse fare at Steak 954 at the W Hotel and coastal cuisine right on the beach at S3 Restaurant. Explore the beach and the city by day, enjoy memorable culinary experiences by night. It’s all waiting for you!

Compliments of Premier Beverage Company.
*Air/hotel accommodations subject to availability. Trip must be redeemed by April 30, 2016

 

L3. Tyler Williams Chef Event

A 12 course custom dinner at your home for 12 people cooked and designed by two time Eater Atlanta chef of the year and three time best "Chefs" America Tyler Williams. Formerly of Moto and Graham Elliot in Chicago, Bacchanalia and Abattoir here in Atlanta Tyler Williams has now partnered on a 26 acre organic farm and sustainable restaurant that is currently in the works near lake Burton. In addition to this custom dinner, each course will be pared by Christine Turley of Turley wine cellars in Napa Valley and Paso Robles. Turley Wine founded in 1993, prides itself on being certified organic and creates an array of wines specializing in Zinfandels. Chef Tyler will work with his designer to create a one of a kind experience like his brilliant design dinner which recreated fine art works by legendary artists such as Pollack and Mondrian. 

Compliments of Chef Tyler Williams and Turley Wine Cellars.
* Expires 5.7.16. Based on chef availability, Sunday-Thursday - minimum 30 days advance notice. Gratuity not included.

 

L4. Master Sommelier + Masters of Oysters = Delicious!
If you love oysters - this is the lot for you! Raw, grilled and much, much more -- our Masters of Oysters Chef John Schwenk (C&S Seafood & Oyster Bar) and Chef Bobby Holley (Atlanta Fish Market) will push their imaginations to bring your party of 20 multiple oyster preparations from around the world. For libations, Master Sommelier Michael McNeill from Quality Wine & Spirits will pair your feast with exquisite Champagnes making this a feast for the taste buds never to be duplicated. Don't let it go without your bid!

Compliments of Chefs Holley and Schwenk and their restaurants, and Quality Wine & Spirits.
*Expires 5.7.16. Based on chef availability, Sunday-Thursday - minimum 30 days advance notice. Gratuity not included.

 

L5. Gourmet Bite of New York City
Get ready to embark on a culinary adventure in New York City. The whirlwind tour of the city’s top restaurants will include two first class seats on Delta Air Lines and two night stay at the luxurious  Five-Star Four Seasons Hotel. During your stay, enjoy an unforgettable VIP dining experience at our 2015 event Honorary Chef Chair Wylie Dufresene’s new acclaimed Alder restaurant and dinner for two at Chef and “Top Chef” Host Tom Collichio’s famous NYC Craft restaurant. Get ready to feast on some of the best NYC has to offer!

Compliments of Delta Air Lines and Wylie Dufresne/Alder restaurant and Craft restaurant.
*Expires 5.7.16. Hotel subject to availability and includes $2,500 gift card for your stay. Restaurant reservations based on availability. Does not include ground transportation, gratuity or any other incidentals.


L6. Your Private Plane to Georgia Florida Football

Your experience with biggest college football rivalry gets a stylish, first-class upgrade with this coveted package. You and a lucky guest will hop aboard your own private ImagineAir plane to make a day trip to view one of the hottest football rivalries around – the Georgia Bulldogs vs. the Florida Gators in Jacksonville, Florida on October 31, 2015. Enjoy hassle-free check-in and boarding at Peachtree-DeKalb Airport, where your private airplane will be stocked with snacks and beverages from Atlanta’s Star Provisions. You’ll toast your good fortune and pre-game in style as you enjoy the scenic flight, whetting your appetite for the greatest rivalry in the SEC. Once you arrive at the EverBank Field, you’ll cheer the action up close from two premier Club Level seats before being whisked back home in the capable hands of your ImagineAir pilot. Whether or not your favorite team comes out on top, the winner of this trip is a winner indeed.

Compliments of ImagineAir, Star Provisions and Georgia Crown.


L7. Exotic In-Home Dining
Get your paddle – and your tastebuds ready… what do “Italy, Greece and France” have in common? Some of the best food in the world – and with the winning bid, you will find it expertly presented in your home as Pricci’s chef Piero Premoli joins forces with Kyma’s chef Pano Karatassos and F&B’s chef Felipe Haddad for an unforgettable dinner for 12. Perfectly paired wines will be provided by National Distributing Company. No matter the language – your group will be sure to enjoy: Buon Appetito, Kali Orexi, Bon Appetit!

Compliments of Chefs Pano Karatassos, Piero Premoli, Felipe Haddad and their restaurants and National Distributors
*Expires 5.7.16. Based on chef availability, Sunday-Thursday - minimum 60 days advance notice, no exceptions. Gratuity not included.

 

L8: Greek Grapes, Island Escape

You and guest will be whisked away to Greece’s largest island - Crete - for not one, but two unique winery stays. You’ll start out at family owned Lyrarakis winery – known for their use of native varieties and incorporating a few foreign grape blends - for two nights and then move to Boutari winery for another two nights – both stays packed with VIP personalized winery tours, special dinners, etc. Learn the ancient origins of Greek wine making on your own modern day adventure! That’s not all – you’ll meet one of your Greek hosts – the dynamic Bart Lyrarakis - in Atlanta on May 14th during a special “Celebration of Greece” five-course dinner and wine-pairing event at Kyma.

Winery stays based on availability. Expires 5.7.16. Includes airfare!

 

L9. Taste of the World for 50
Your world culinary adventure awaits you – all without leaving town! Join Top Chef Ron Eyester and Joe Ahn (Rosebud, Family Dog, Diner and Top Chef), Linda Harrell (Cibo E Beve) and Cidney Wilcox (Vino Venue) at Vino Venue for an evening of scrumptious tastes from around the world with wines paired to perfection from around the world by Certified Sommelier and Managing Partner, Michael Bryan. European, American, Asian - you'll have it all! Whether it’s a party with friends or a corporate event, this event for up to 50 guests will have you swooning for adventures abroad!

Compliments of Vino Venue, participating chefs and their restaurants
*Expires 5.7.16. Blackout dates may apply; based on availability of chef scheduling, offered Sunday – Thursday. Gratuity not included.

 

L10. Grilling Party and More for 100 of Your Friends
You'll have it all with this fire and alcohol extravaganza! Chef Jay Swift (4th & Swift/ Noble Fin) will provide the best outdoor party in the city - at your home! For FIRE: Tender falling-off-the-bone meat, encased in a salty, herby, crispy skin beer can chicken - grilled shellfish and more! For ALCOHOL: An amazing mixture of craft beers and for something a bit harder, bourbon! We’ll add a $1,000 rental credit from Peachtree Tents & Events for party supplies. Provide the yard and the date and we'll do the rest!

Compliments of Chef Jay Swift, United Distributors and Peachtree Tents & Events
*Expires 5.7.16. Based on chef availability, Sunday-Thursday - minimum 60 days advance notice, no exceptions. Rentals to be provided include tables, chairs, linens and plateware. Gratuity not included.
 

L11. Belize. Small Country, Big Adventure for Four – Five Nights!
Belize, the only English-speaking country in Central America, offers a unique combination of richly rewarding experiences that make it unlike any destination on the planet. Whether you want to swim with exotic sea life along the Western Hemisphere's largest barrier reef, explore the fascinating mysteries of the largest concentration of Maya sites in the region or hike thousands of acres of unspoiled forest, including one of the only jaguar preserves in the world, Belize has it! This amazing 5-night trip for four includes: round trip airfare from Atlanta to Belize City and then onto Placencia; a 5-night stay in fabulous a Seafront Villa at the amazing Turtle Inn; a welcome reception with General Manager, Martin Krediet of the Turtle Inn; dinner for four at the resort as well as $1,000 resort credit to be used on various excursions that are offered. This is a trip not soon to be forgotten!

Compliments of Frances Ford Coppola Winery
* Blackout dates may apply.

 

L12. Priceless In-Home Chef Dinner by Six Ultra Star Chefs

Always one of the most highly anticipated lots of the night, you won’t want to miss this priceless in-home chef dinner. Some of Atlanta’s best chefs will converge on your own kitchen to create a one-of-a-kind meal for your group of 12 guests. When else can you host a meal prepared by Chefs Gerry Klaskala (Aria), Linton Hopkins (Holeman+Finch/Restaurant Eugene), Kevin Rathbun (Kevin Rathbun Steak/Krog Bar/KR Steakbar/Rathbun’s), Ford Fry (JCT/King + Duke/No. 246/St. Cecilia/The Optimist), Anne Quatrano (Bacchanalia/Little Bacch/Star Provisions/Floataway CafĂ©) and Gary Donlick (Bistro Niko), all at one time? The expert wine curators at National Distributing will thoughtfully select wine pairings for each stunning course. Five chef-created courses, five spectacular wines and five BIG culinary personalities all in your own kitchen... get your paddles ready and prepare to be the talk of your friends for years to come!

Compliments of our participating chefs, their restaurants and National Distributing Company.
Expires 5.7.16. In home dinner based on availability of chef scheduling, offered Sunday – Thursday. Gratuity not included.

 

2015 BENEFICIARIES

 
Atlanta Community Food Bank The Atlanta Community Food Bank works closely with the food and hospitality industries to collect and distribute more than 50 million pounds of food annually. Groceries and meals are provided for children, families and individuals suffering from hunger and food insecurity through a network of more than 600 local nonprofits that receive food from the Food Bank. Reaching beyond its core focus of food distribution, the Food Bank helps families increase their economic security, grow food with neighbors and ensure their children’s success in school through projects such as the Prosperity Campaign, Community Gardens and Kids In Need. Nearly 40% of households served through the Food Bank network include children.
Share Our Strength's Cooking Matters empowers low-income families with the skills to stretch their food budgets so their children get healthy meals at home, as part of the No Kid Hungry® campaign to end childhood hunger in America. Cooking Matters serves families across the country through hands-on, six-week cooking courses; interactive grocery store tours; and mobile, online and educational tools. Participants learn to shop smarter, use nutrition information to make healthier choices, and cook delicious, affordable meals. Cooking Matters is nationally sponsored by the Walmart Foundation. To learn more, visit Cooking Matters.org. Cooking Matters is implemented in the Atlanta Area by the Georgia Coalition for Physical Activity and Nutrition (GPAN).
Genesis is a shelter, child care center and comprehensive supportive services program for homeless newborn babies and their families designed to provide a comprehensive array of services enabling homeless newborns and their families to achieve positive life outcomes for this generation and those to come. In its twenty years of operations, Genesis has served more than 3,400 individuals in 1,350 families. Genesis addresses the challenges of homelessness, poverty and hunger; striving to empower families with the skills to create and maintain the path to permanent housing and self-sufficiency.
The Georgia Citizens' Coalition on Hunger is a nonprofit organization located in southeast Atlanta. Our mission is “to end hunger, homelessness and poverty in the state of Georgia” though a holistic and comprehensive approach in addressing the conditions of hunger and poverty. The Hunger Coalition has played a critical role in increasing participation of eligible households in the Food Stamp Program. We also launched a statewide campaign effort to expand the WIC program, School Breakfast and the Summer Feeding Programs across the state. They coordinate several community projects that serve low income families.
The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute produces research and state budget analysis to show Georgia ways to provide better education, health care and opportunity for everyone.
Captain Planet Foundation was founded by Ted Turner in 1991 and now chaired by his daughter Laura Turner Seydel. The Foundation supports high-quality, hands-on environmental stewardship projects that have enabled more than 1.1M youth across the U.S. and around the world make significant environmental improvements to their schools or communities.

Please check back soon for updates!

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