Taste of the Nation Orlando is an annual event put on here in Orlando to help raise money for multiple charities such as the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and statewide
organization Florida Impact. This year, the event set an all time record for raising $301,317.00 to help fund these amazing organizations. I was able to attend this years event and all I can say was wow! By far, this was my favorite event to date. I wanted to provide a recap of all the amazing food, events, and more from the 25th annual Taste of the Nation event at the Orlando World Center Marriott!
The event this year showcased 38 award winning chefs, an amazing line up of food, a silent auction, local and national celebrities, giveaways, and over 2,000 people who wanted to give back to make a difference here in Central Florida. Some of the highlights from the evening were:
- Melissa D’Arabian from Food Network hosting the event
- 38 different restaurants handing out food, beer, wine, spirits, desserts and more
- Major giveaways from enough wine to keep someone happy for years to a trip to Germany for Oktoberfest
- A head to head chef competition called “Creekstone Farm Chef Throwdown” where the winner received a check to present to Taste of the Nation in their name
- Live music and entertainment
So with all of that money raised there is only one question! Where does it all go? The funds from Taste of the Nation Orlando will help Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida provide food, shelter and services to more than 150 children and their families each night in the coming year. Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida will direct the funds raised from Taste of the Nation Orlando to Benefits Connection, one of their primary feeding programs. Since 2008, Benefits Connection has secured more than $80 million in unused SNAP benefits for thousands of Central Florida families by helping qualified candidates overcome the challenges associated with accessing assistance.
This event is going to be a yearly tradition for Orlando Fun and Food not only because it showcases some of the best chefs and restaurants in Central Florida, but it also carries a huge message that effects all of us. 1 in 5 children will go to bed hungry tonight and that is unacceptable. We need to start giving back and this event is a huge reminder of that. I would personally like to thank all of the sponsors, volunteers, restaurants, wait staff, hotel personnel, Melissa D’Arabian, and the amazing people from Taste of the Nation for such an amazing event! I hope the 26th annual event tops this one!!!
To listen to my interview with Melissa D’Arabian from Food Network talk about Taste of the Nation, Disney World, food, and how she drives the message home about food conservation to her kids, click here to listen online, or search for the Orlando Fun and Food Podcast online on iTunes now!