Culinary Events > Taste of the Nation

Taste of the Nation Orlando

August 09, 2014

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

Orlando World Center Marriott

8701 World Center Dr.
Orlando, Florida

One in Five Children in America Struggles with Hunger
 

2014 TASTE OF THE NATION CULINARY FUNDRAISER PAIRS FOOD NETWORK STAR
WITH CENTRAL FLORIDA’S TOP CHEFS 

Melissa d'Arabian Headshot

Food Network celebrity chef Melissa d’Arabian is cooking up support for the 25th anniversary of Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation® Orlando as a featured guest of Central Florida’s premier culinary fundraising event to combat childhood hunger in the community. 
 
The popular television host known, best for her Food Network series and New York Times best-selling cookbook Ten Dollar Dinners, will make a special appearance at this year’s event, which returns to Orlando World Center Marriott on Aug. 9 featuring an evening of exquisite appetizers, entrees and desserts from more than 30 of Central Florida’s finest chefs and restaurants. 
 
D’Arabian has been a longtime advocate of childhood nutrition and hunger relief efforts through her ongoing support of Share Our Strength, a national nonprofit committed to ending childhood hunger in America by connecting children with nutritious food through innovative culinary fundraising events. 
 
The mother of four and sought-after expert on food, money-saving, healthy family lifestyle, and faith, also is working closely with Share Our Strength on new programs to support breakfast in school, summer meals, and Cooking Matters, a program designed to help families shop for and cook healthy meals on a budget. "I know what it feels like to not know where your next meal is coming from,” she said. “I grew up poor and often didn’t have the nutritious food I needed as a child. I was the fortunate recipient of a helping hand – in the name of my elementary school secretary who recognized I needed help and did something about it. Now, as I raise four daughters and as part of the food industry, I want to do my part to ensure no child in America grows up hungry." 
 
D’Arabian, who rose to stardom after winning The Next Food Network Star in 2009, now serves as a judge on the Food Network competition series, Guy's Grocery Games, hosts the FoodNetwork.com web series, The Picky Eaters Project," and debuts her second cookbook, Supermarket Healthy, on December 30. To learn more about Melissa, visit www.melissadarabian.net. 
 
Her appearance at Taste of the Nation Orlando recognizes the event’s 25-year legacy of funding solutions for hunger relief in Central Florida. Over the last 25 years, Taste of the Nation Orlando has raised almost $3 million for Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. “We want to make our 25th anniversary event the most successful yet so we can help more vulnerable families gain greater access to healthy, nutritious meals,” said Michele Byington, co-chair of Taste of the Nation Orlando. “We are so thrilled to have Melissa d’Arabian involved and know she will raise the kind of awareness and funds for our cause that will help more hungry kids in our community begin and end each day with a nourishing meal.” 
 
Melissa's highly anticipated second cookbook, "Supermarket Healthy: Recipes and Know-How for Eating Well Without Spending a Lot," is due out December 30. Get a sneak peek and pre-order your copy here.
 

TASTE OF THE NATION ORLANDO 

WHEN: 

Saturday, August 9, 2014 
6:45 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. 
 

WHERE: 

Orlando World Center Marriott 8701 World Center Dr., Orlando 
 

TICKETS: 

$150 each 
 

ATTIRE: 

Cocktail / Semi-Formal 
 

ABOUT SHARE OUR STRENGTH’S TASTE OF THE NATION® ORLANDO 

Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation Orlando event 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: 
Website: tasteofthenation.org/orlando 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/OrlandoTaste 
Twitter: @OrlandoTaste 
 
ABOUT SHARE OUR STRENGTH 
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 http://www.nokidhungry.org/
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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25th Annual 

TASTE OF THE NATION ORLANDO CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF FIGHTING HUNGER 

Returning for its 25th year, Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation® Orlando, locally presented by Quality One Wireless, will take place Aug. 9 at the Orlando World Center Marriott celebrating Orlando’s culinary excellence and Taste of the Nation’s legacy of combating childhood hunger. 

Showcasing the culinary delights of 35 of Central Florida’s leading chefs and restaurants, this year’s Taste of the Nation Orlando will feature two James Beard Foundation Award semi-finalists – Hari Pulapaka of Cress Restaurant and Kevin Fonzo of K Restaurant and Wine Bar. 

Longtime philanthropist Helen Donegan, vice president for Community Relations at the University of Central Florida, will serve as honorary chair of this year’s Taste of the Nation Orlando. At UCF, Donegan coordinates programs for the community and helps cultivate, maintain and enhance the links between the university and the organizations that it serves.  

Along with appetizers, entrees and desserts from the area’s finest chefs and restaurants, guests can sample wines, beers and spirits while enjoying the silent auction, exciting raffle prizes, and entertainment by the Mud Rooster Band at this premier culinary fundraising event. This year’s event will also be home to a European-style bier garden sponsored by World of Beer.  
 
Food Network celebrity chef Melissa d’Arabian, best known for her TV series Ten Dollar Dinners,  is cooking up her support for this year’s milestone event as a featured guest. D’Arabian, along withOrlando Sentinel food writer Heather McPherson and Scott Joseph from Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide, will serve as celebrity judges for the annual Chef Throwdown, where two chefs go head to head in a cooking challenge to determine whose culinary creation reigns supreme. Natural and organic foods supermarket chain Whole Foods is providing the pantry staples for the culinary cook-off, and leading premium beef producer Creekstone Farms will award a generous check to the winner of the chef throwdown title to present to Taste of the Nation Orlando. 
 
This year’s silent auction invites guests to bid on luxury apparel and accessories, stays at upscale hotels, gift cards to the area’s top restaurants, rounds of golf on area courses, and tickets to coveted sporting events. Guests can also enter a grand prize drawing for an all-expense paid trip for two to Oktoberfest in Munich. 

Tickets to the event are $150 per person, and all proceeds benefit Share Our Strength's efforts to eradicate childhood hunger. Local beneficiaries include Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. 

“The longstanding support of Taste of the Nation has been phenomenal,” said Brent A. Trotter, president and CEO of Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida. “The funds raised help us provide food, shelter and services to more than 150 children and their families each night and serve more than 300,000 nutritious meals every year.  Just $50 provides a week of nutritious meals to 34 homeless children, so each ticket purchased makes a significant impact.”          

Benefits Connection is one of the primary feeding programs Taste of the Nation Orlando’s proceeds will help fund. Since 2008, Benefits Connection has secured more than $80 million in unused SNAP benefits for thousands of Central Florida families in need.  
 
Second Harvest Food Bank’s Benefits Connection specialists help qualified candidates overcome the challenges associated with accessing these benefits, such as lack of access to a computer, skills to navigate an online application, lack of awareness, misinformation on eligibility factors, and language and literacy barriers by providing one-on-one assistance with applications, support documentation and interviews, education, information and referrals to a network of agencies.  
 
“For 25 years, Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation Orlando has provided a meaningful outreach for hungry kids and families across Central Florida,” said Dave Krepcho, president and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.  “This support has literally put millions of additional meals on the table for our most vulnerable neighbors, and we’re so grateful for that.” 

TASTE OF THE NATION ORLANDO 

WHEN:  

Saturday, August 9, 2014  
6:45 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.  

WHERE:  

Orlando World Center Marriott  
8701 World Center Dr., Orlando  

TICKETS:  

$150 each  

ATTIRE:  

Cocktail / Semi-Formal  

ABOUT SHARE OUR STRENGTHS TASTE OF THE NATION® ORLANDO  

Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation Orlando event 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:  

Website: tasteofthenation.org/orlando  
Facebook: www.facebook.com/OrlandoTaste  
Twitter: @OrlandoTaste  

ABOUT SHARE OUR STRENGTH  

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® campaigna national effort to end childhood hunger in AmericaShare 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 http://www.nokidhungry.org/

 

JEFF BRIDGES HELPS TO FIGHT CHILDHOOD HUNGER:

 

Actor Jeff Bridges fights childhood food insecurity with the No Kid Hungry Share Our Strength campaign. As the national spokesperson, Bridges advocates for increased awareness of the problem and solutions, including universal breakfast in schools and summer meal programs.

It affects me in a personal way thinking about what that would feel like if I wasnt able to provide for my kids, Bridges said. See the video here.

 

Locally Presented By:

Darden Logo

 

2014 Silent Auction Highlights:

 

Entertainment

LIMO Cycle TourNight Out With the "Fat Guy"

 

Food & Beverage

Dinner for 8 at Eddie V's With Brand PresidentSamuel Adams Brewery Tour
 

Getaways

Rogers Hotel and JetBlue TicketsGiant Recreation World RV Rental

 

Gifts

Tiger Woods PIN FlagLeBron James Autograph

 

Sports & Leisure

Foursome of Golf at Celebration for 8Classic Wrigley Field Rooftop

 

Social Media Ambassadors:

 

2014

2013

2012

 

2011

 

2010

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
AP6433@att.com

Event Chair

Michele Byington 407-246-5504
Michele.Byington@regions.com

PR/Marketing Chair

Matt Harrison, 407-616-7517
MattHarrison78@aol.com

Restaurant & Beverage Chair

Bill Sullivan 407-292-0299
sully32751@aol.com

Silent & Live Auction Chair

Collen Herrick 407-679-5150
colleen@careerchoice.cc

Website Maintenance

David Sikes 407.463.2925
David@SikesPC.com

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.

 

Venue Information:

The 25th annual Taste of the Nation Orlando will be held at the Orlando World Center Marriott.

Address and directions can be found at the top of this page. Rooms can be booked at a special event rate using this reservation link.

 

National Presenting Sponsor

National Sponsors

This Event Sponsored By

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1030 15th Street, NW, Suite 1100 W
Washington DC 20005

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