Chow Down for Charity

This city is chock full of restaurants where you go to be seen by the scenesters, and you can’t swing a Serrano ham on South Beach without hitting a celebrity chef. It’s all about decadent ingredients, stunning locations, and, at the end of your meal, a devastating check. Don’t forget to leave a tip! That’s typically how it goes when you indulge at Miami’s must-visit restaurants. But on one magical day every year, the town’s finest chefs come together to cook up a delicious event that combines all of the things you love about eating out. At the 21st annual Taste of the Nation, the Magic City’s movers and shakers will gather at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne to enjoy exercises of fabulous gluttony all in the name of fundraising for the hungry.

Participating eateries include the usual suspects — Chef Allen’s, China Grill, Joe’s Stone Crab, and Ortanique on the Mile — and a few newbies, such as DeVito’s, Prime Blue Grille, and Kobe Club. This year’s theme is environmental, so while you nosh on organic food served with biodegradable plates and utensils and wash it down with special eco-shaped bottles of water, you can congratulate yourself for your green-minded act of charity. And free valet parking for hybrid cars will rub in the faces of those remaining nouveau riche losers who still think driving a Hummer is cool. The VIP champagne reception begins at 6 p.m.; admission for that is $250. The regular folks pay $125 to enter at 7 p.m. All ticket proceeds benefit local charities The Daily Bread Food Bank, Florida Impact, and North Florida Educational Development Corporation. Call 877-26-TASTE, or visit
Thu., July 24, 2008


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