Taste of the Nation – July 2009 Review
Over 12 million children in American are at risk of suffering from malnutrition. That is approximately one out of every six. On any given night over 350,000 of them will go to bed hungry. That is shameful in the world’s wealthiest country and an absolute travesty considering the billions of dollars we donate to foreign charities. “Share Our Strength” (“Strength.org”) is a nationwide organization dedicated to ending childhood hunger in the United States. They sponsor and promote a wide variety of fund raising efforts including bake sales, restaurant dine-outs, gourmet dinners, and their very popular “Taste of the Nation” Series of food and wine extravaganzas held in various cities across the country.
On July 30th, I attended one of these, The Taste of Miami, held at the Ritz Carlton Resort on Key Biscayne. There, Celebrity Chef Allen Susser (continuing his successful 20-year reign as honorary chairman) brought together an incredible array of over 40 of Miami’s top restaurants, catering companies and confectioners. The incredible food ranged from sushi to sweets with everything in between. A few of my favorites were: Chef Allen’s seared scallop on short rib hash, escargot Provencal from Au Pied De Cochon, Smith & Wollensky’s beef tenderloin, cornmeal crusted oysters from Bulldog Barbeque Bizcaya’s braised short ribs on cheesy grits, charred pork belly from the Fountain Bleu. The Grill on the Alley’s prime rib sandwich, chocolate chip lollipops from Cookies by Shar and We Take the Cake’s rum and key lime frosted cupcakes.
Although mainly a culinary event, there was also a large enough assortment of wine there (compliments of Southern Wine & Spirits) to pair nicely with the food. Some that I particularly enjoyed were the Gloria Ferrer’s Blanc Noir Sparking Wine, Moreau & Fils Chablis, Pommery’s Champagne, Ferrarri-Cerano’s Tre Terre Chardonnay and Siena red (Sangiovese) blend and Vougeot Clos due Prieure, an absolutely extraordinary white burgundy.
In addition to the monies raised from ticket sales, Share our Strength also benefitted from the proceeds of both a very spirited live auction and an extensive silent one. Incredible trips to the Caribbean and the Champagne region of France highlighted the live auction while the silent featured large format bottles of wine, gourmet foods, luggage and sports memorabilia.
All and all… The Taste of the Nation/Miami was a wonderfully enjoyable evening helping what has to be one of the most deserving charities around! Contributed by LAT, aka Jimmy Olsen, Jr.