South Florida’s biggest culinary event of the year, Taste of the Nation, returned last night at the Loews Miami Beach with an evening of gourmet bites and drinks, silent auctions and a chance to mingle with some of the hottest chefs around. The 27th annual fundraising gala, led by founding chairman and acclaimed chef Allen Susser and Sugarcane Raw Bar and Grille chef Timon Balloo, benefits Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign.
The evening featured cuisine from some of the greatest culinary experts – spanning over 50 restaurants in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale area – who donated their tim. There was an interactive display showcasing local artists and a beer garden co-curated by Miami Herald food editor Evan Benn and Chef Bret Pelaggi. So yes, between multiple visits to the restaurant stands, auction tables, and beer garden, guests consciously induced their own food comas for a good cause. It’s safe to say the night was a success for both the foodies of Miami and the kids.
But let’s not dwell on the fact that ticket prices were in the three figures - $125 for regular admission and $250 for VIP, buying you an extra hour at the event and complimentary access to the after party “Chefs on a Half Shell” with bottomless prosecco. The important thing is guests had the opportunity to taste dozens of plates from places they might never have tried before, all the while raising money to feed hungry children across America.
So while we schmoozed with some of the chefs, there’s no doubt that big names surely brought big flavors – tuna tataki from Truluck’s, black truffle short rib sliders from American Social, and shrimp and grits from Yardbird are just a taste of what TOTN had. But if you didn’t have a chance to make it last night, here’s a look at some of the highlights.
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And let's not forget about dessert...