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.
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.
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.
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….