What better way to kick off the third-annual Taste America than in Miami, which oozes with diversity, especially in cuisine. To celebrate local flavors and culinary diversity, the James Beard Foundation’s national epicurean tour begins in the Magic City on September 18. It will visit ten American cities this fall. Guests can expect a medley of the best eats and drink from a range of Miami's finest eateries all weekend long.
"We love the Miami food scene," James Beard Foundation president Susan Ungaro says. "We kicked off and celebrated our first James Beard Foundation Taste America tour in 2013 in Miami, and we are excited to welcome back the event for the second year with an equally stellar line of Miami chefs who represent the great talent and flavors of the city. It's sure to be the coolest culinary event in the city this fall."
The event opens Friday night at the Forge with A Night of Culinary Stars, an evening of talking and noshing at a walk-around tasting reception from a lineup of celebrated local chefs. Sugarcane's Timon Balloo, Ortanique on the Mile and Zest's Cindy Hutson, Alter's Bradley Kilgore, Glass & Vine's Giorgio Rapicavoli, the Federal's Cesar Zapata, and Miami Herald's food editor Evan Benn as emcee are just a taste of the who's who will be in attendance.
Guests will then be seated for a four-course dinner prepared by two James Beard Award-winning chefs, Taste America's all-star Rocco DiSpirito and local star Christopher Lee of the Forge, along with Pubbelly's pastry chef Sergio Navarro. The three will come together to craft a one-night-only menu. A portion of the evening's proceeds will go toward the Taste America Scholarship Fund for local culinary students in Florida.
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The foodie madness continues on Saturday with free in-store consumer events at Mizner Park's Sur La Table in Boca Raton. From cooking demos with DiSpirito, book signings, and tastings from local producers and artisans as well as national vendors, Taste America is sure to keep you busy and definitely won't let you go hungry. We hear there's an organic kettle corn tasting...yum.
But if you don't consider yourself a foodie, don't worry. Aside from the culinary experience, there will also be a live and silent auction taking place – with items ranging from cruises, to restaurant gift certificates, cookbooks, and jewelry. Taste America encourages all of the self-professed “non-foodies” out there to attend, as they believe there is something for everyone to enjoy.
To purchase event tickets, reserve a spot for a free cooking demo, or get more information, visit jbftasteamerica.org.
Follow Clarissa Buch on Twitter.