Culinary Events > Taste of the Nation

Orlando Taste of the Nation

August 08, 2015

VIP Admission : $150
6:45pm - 10:00pm

Orlando World Center Marriott

8701 World Center Dr.
Orlando, Florida


ORLANDO, FLA. (August 19, 2015) – Orlando's Taste of the Nation® for No Kid Hungry celebrated its 26th year by raising $277,160 to support the childhood feeding programs of Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, statewide organization Florida Impact and national beneficiary Share Our Strength.

Forty-three of the area’s most distinguished chefs along with two dozen craft brewers, wine purveyors and spirit vendors came together at the Orlando World Center Marriott on Aug. 8 to tantalize more than 2,700 guests with sips andamples to help ensure no child grows up hungry in our city and across America.

Guest enjoyed live music provided by DJ Jeff Townsend and an exciting silent auction featuring signed memorabilia, stays at upscale hotels, dining experiences, rounds of golf on area courses, and exotic adventures and getaways.

The event’s popular Instant Wine Cellar game awarded more than 200 bottles of wine valued at more than $3,100 to the person who purchased the winning key that opened the locked wine door.

The Giving Tree, a pick-your-prize restaurant gift card raffle, rewarded dozens of participants with a taste of Orlando’s most popular restaurants. Each participant walked away with a restaurant gift card ranging from $50 to $250 in value.

“Our event represents an annual celebration of our community’s culinary excellence and, more importantly, a significant opportunity to change lives,” said Michele Byington, co-chair for Orlando’s Taste of the Nation. “We are so appreciative and thankful to the chefs, sponsors, volunteers and guests who support this alliance focused on increasing awareness, raising funds, and providing access to programs that are helping end childhood hunger in our community and throughout our country.”

The funds generated by Orlando’s Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry this year will help Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida provide shelter and services to more than 150 children and their families each night and serve more than 250,000 nutritious meals in the coming year.

“Coalition for the Homeless is extremely grateful for the dedicated committee, chefs and donors, and all who came together again this year at Taste of the Nation to help our neighbors in need,” said Brent A. Trotter, President/CEO of Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida. 

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida will direct the funds raised from the event to Benefits Connection, one of their primary feeding programs. Since 2008, Benefits Connection has secured more than $90 million in unused SNAP benefits for thousands of Central Florida families by helping qualified candidates overcome the challenges associated with accessing assistance. 

“The future of our community depends on healthy, well-educated kids growing into productive members of society,” said Dave Krepcho, President & CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. “Orlando’s Taste     of the Nation is a powerful force that helps us make sure that more kids in need of food are getting the help      they need.”

Orlando’s Taste of the Nation was presented nationally by Citi and Sysco and sponsored nationally by media sponsor Food Network, and in select markets by Emmi Roth USA, OpenTable, and Kikkoman Sales USA, Inc. Special thanks to local sponsors AmeriFactors, Darden Foundation, Regions Bank, Harris Rosen Foundation and Rosen Hotels & Resorts, Quality One Wireless, TransWorld, Hilton Grand Vacations, Noble, SeaWorld Parks & Resorts Orlando, and Walt Disney World. For our complete list of sponsors, please visit

We also recognize the generous support of Orlando World Center Marriott who donated the event space, Progressive Communications who donated printing services, Royal Landscape Nursery who donated the Giving Tree, as well as Eola Wine Company, Hawkers Asian Street Fare, The Ancient Olive and The Spice & Tea Exchange, and World of Beer (Dr. Phillips and Downtown Orlando locations) for their fundraising efforts. Each served up tasty starter events to whet the community’s appetite for Orlando’s Taste of the Nation while raising funds for national beneficiary Share Our Strength and local beneficiaries Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

Orlando’s Taste of the Nation was organized by a volunteer steering committee representing a variety of local businesses and organizations and is led by committee co-chairs Michele Byington of Regions Bank and Bill Sullivan of I. Wanna Distributors, Inc.


Orlando's Taste of the Nation® for No Kid Hungry brings together the area's top chefs who donate their time, talent and passion to end childhood hunger in Central Florida. Along with culinary delights, guests have the opportunity to sample select wines, cocktails and premium beers and enjoy silent and live auctions and entertainment. Every dollar raised fights hunger and homelessness in the Central Florida. Local beneficiaries include Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

For more information:



Twitter: @OrlandoTaste

Instagram: #OrlTaste


Share Our Strength®, a national nonprofit, is ending childhood hunger in America by connecting children with the nutritious food they need to lead healthy, active lives. Through its No Kid Hungry® campaign—a national effort to end childhood hunger in America—Share Our Strength ensures children in need are enrolled in effective federal nutrition programs; invests in community organizations fighting hunger; teaches families how to cook healthy, affordable meals; and builds public-private partnerships to end childhood hunger, at the state and city level. Working closely with the culinary industry and relying on the strength of its volunteers, Share Our Strength hosts innovative culinary fundraising events and develops pioneering cause marketing campaigns that support No Kid Hungry. For more information, visit

For more information on our event and Share Our Strength’s
No Kid Hungry® Campaign, please visit


Facebook: •Twitter: @OrlandoTaste• Instagram #OrlTaste

Social Media Ambassadors:







Sign up instructions for bidding:

You will be able to bid anytime leading up to and during the event (Until 9pm)

1. Go to qtego's website for taste
2. Click “Register for Auction”
3. Follow registration instructions.
4. You will receive two text messages, a welcome text and a link to the mobile bidding site. The link to the mobile bidding site will also include your PIN that you can use to sign in on your computer.
(For example, if it is (Then 1234 would be your PIN to sign in.))
5. You are now ready to bid, Happy Bidding!


Take a look at what was on the block here.

Please contact us regarding event details, PR/media, restaurant participation, volunteering or donating an auction item. Thank you!


Ticket Information

Andrea Patenaude, 407-808-7508

Event Chair

Michele Byington 407-246-5504

Restaurant & Beverage Chair

Bill Sullivan 407-292-0299

PR/Marketing Chair

Krista Zilizi

Silent Auction Chair

Collen Herrick 407-679-5150

Website Maintenance

David Sikes 407.463.2925

Local Beneficiaries:

  • Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida - Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida’s mission is to transform the lives of homeless men, women, and children by providing crucial services to end their crisis of homelessness. Every day, the Coalition helps an average of 650 homeless individuals, about 200 of whom are children with an average age of less than eight years old.
  • Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida - Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is a private, nonprofit organization that collects and distributes donated food to more than 500 nonprofit partner agencies in six Central Florida counties: Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia.

Statewide Beneficiaries:

  • Florida Impact - Florida Impact's mission is to inspire and enlist the people of Florida to secure justice for and with those whose economic rights have not been realized. We also work to increase access to food programs by conducting aggressive outreach strategies and public policy advocacy.



This year's event will again take place at Orlando World Center Marriott! We want to thank them for their generosity.

Interested in staying the night? Get a discounted room rate by clicking here!

Address and directions can be found at the top of this page.


Orlando's Taste of the Nation Orlando for No Kid Hungry is made possible through generous commitments from these local partners:

Grand Toque:

Executive Chef:
Darden Foundation • Regions Bank • The Harris Rosen Foundation

Quality One Wireless • TransWorld

Sous Chef:
Hilton Grand Vacations • Noble • SeaWorld Parks & Resorts Orlando • Walt Disney World

Chef de Partie:
Baker Hostetler • Bright House Networks • Dave Collis • Heron Lawn & Pest Control • Patriot National • Pioneers • Reed Nissan • Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell • Shawn Welch • Universal Orlando Resort • USF Darden Federal Credit Union

In-Kind Event Partners:
Progressive Communications • Orlando World Center Marriott • JetBlue • Monster Media • Day Entertainment & Events • Peyton Entertainment • Accent Entertainment & Photo Booth • Airstar Space Lighting • Eola Wine Co. • Hawkers Asian Street Fare • The Ancient Olive • World of Beer

Media Partners:
WFTV • CBS Radio • Mix 105.1 • 1059 Sunny FM • Clear Channel • Edible Orlando • Orange Appeal • Orlando Date Night Guide • Orlando Magazine • TravelHost • Turnstile Media • Scott Josephs Orlando Restaurant Guide • Orlando Sentinel

Giving Tree Donors:
Roccos Tacos & Tequila Bar • Deep Blu Seafood Grille • JJs Grille • The Whiskey • Tibbys New Orleans Kitchen • The Melting Pot • Hyatt • Cecils Texas Style BBQ • Seasons 52 • Citrus • Shari Sushi • Stardust Lounge • Enzos Restaurant on the Lake • Sonoma • Santiagos Bodega • NYPD Pizza • Sam Sneads Oak Grill & Tavern • Bistro Clo Clo • The Cheesecake Factory • Kings The Classy Bowling Joint • Ruth's Chris • Shakai • Cuba Libre • Yak & Yeti at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge • The Cheesecake Factory • Urban Tide • P is for Pie • Johnny's Fillin' Station


2015 Orlando's Taste of the Nation:

2014 Orlando's Taste of the Nation:

National Presenting Sponsors

Media Sponsor

This Event Sponsored By

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