Taste! Central Florida

One of my favorite food events of the year is coming up soon, the newly re-branded TASTE! Central Florida Saturday, August 19, 2017 from 6:45 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

LOCAL EVENT. LOCAL CHEFS. LOCAL CAUSE.

In previous years, proceeds (from what was formerly called Taste of the Nation) have impacted thousands of lives both locally and around the country. Organizers have decided to further pinpoint the direction this year by advocating more directly for those in our neighboring communities struggling to put food on their plates. TASTE! Central Florida is one of the largest fundraisers of the year for Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida.

Check out all the fun!

Tickets

Tickets are $150 per person and can be purchased here.

What can you expect?

The beautiful ballroom at Orlando World Center Marriott is wall-to-wall with tables of bountiful, fun, and creative food and drink options. They’re not, however, the only offerings. Guests can participate in a fully-automated mobile silent auction featuring signed memorabilia, stays at upscale hotels, dining experiences, rounds of golf on area courses, and exotic adventures and getaways.

Taste! Central Florida is also bringing back the Edible Orlando Giving Tree, where guests can win certificates and gift cards to Orlando’s most popular establishments. Donate $50 for the chance to select envelopes hanging from a towering tree. Prizes range from $25 to $300 in value. It’s an exciting way to donate. Who knows what you’ll win?

Wine lovers will enjoy the Instant Wine Cellar game where participants have a chance to win more than 150 bottles of wine valued at more than $2,500!

Guests can also take their chances on winning a bottle of wine with a Ring Toss For Wine fundraiser. When a ring lands around a bottle neck, the guest wins a bottle of wine to take home. Last year this was incredibly popular. Who wouldn’t want to win a bottle to take home?

Who else LOVES going to this foodie event?

 

 

Florida Hospital Foundation’s Gourmet Soiree

The Florida Hospital Foundation‘s Gourmet Soiree, Sunday, May 3, 2015, is one of Orlando’s top “foodie” events of the year. Featuring host Chef Robert Irvine (Restaurant Impossible) and local food celebs and co-chairpersons Emily Ellyn (Next Food Network Star contestant and recent winner of Cutthroat Kitchen) and Kendra Lott (editor, Edible Orlando), Gourmet Soiree is not your average fundraising gala. While some events are tuxes and gowns with food brought TO you, at Gourmet Soiree the guests actively participate in their table’s creations.

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Retro Rad Chef Emily Ellyn (from the Next Food Network Star and Cutthroat Kitchen winner) is co-chair of Gourmet Soiree 2015.

Last year I went to my first Gourmet Soiree at Rosen Shingle Creek. The magnificent ballroom was beautiful, adorned not in flowers and fluff, but food, glorious FOOD!

Whole Foods Market, one of the event’s biggest sponsors, provided mountains of vibrant vegetables and scores of spices among other delicious options for the chefs and their tables. From those delicious pantries guests gathered their grocery listed items to create wonderful, healthy, delicious meals. Who would win the Silver Fork? We were most interested in creating our own award-winning meal as judged by those who designed our table’s menu: Us.

foods for gourmet soiree

In addition to the fun of working with a top local chef and learning tips and techniques, there was a huge silent auction with offerings from exotic trips to luxury merchandise. In the midst of all of that, was the ever-inspiring Robert Irvine whose hosting got the whole room pumped up and excited about Florida Hospital for Mission fit Possible that goes into schools to teach them about healthy eating and healthy living.

140518_Canon (115b)This year’s Gourmet Soiree promises to be even more exciting, with chefs from all over Central Florida from the top restaurants including Kevin Fonzo of K Restaurant Wine Bar, John Rivers of 4 Rivers Smokehouse, Trina Gregory-Propst with Se7enbites, and Andres Mendoza with Norman’s to name but a very few.

The auction lineup is equally impressive:  LeVian Chocolate Diamonds, a SeaWorld dream package for 6 (which I would LOVE to win, LOL), tickets from Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, cupcakes for a year from Gigi’s Cupcakes Orlando, and an entire bookshelf of cookbooks, most signed by the authors. There are golf packages, amazing trips, and a personal favorite: stuffed animals and books from RugbyAndReme.com.

It’s not too late to support the work of Florida Hospital’s Mission fit to fight childhood obesity, and all their programs by participating in Gourmet Soiree. Visit their website to see how you can help, get involved, or buy a ticket so you can sit at the table next to mine as I help cook up something great that just “might” win the chef from our table that Silver Fork….

Gourmet Soiree 2014 Chefs

Chef Robert Irvine with the many talented chefs who made Gourmet Soiree 2014 at Rosen Shingle Creek a tremendous success.