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Taste of the Nation is Aug. 10

Written By Scott Joseph On July 29, 2013

Taste of the Nation

Taste of the Nation, Share Our Strength’s annual fundraising event to end childhood hunger, is Saturday, August 10, at the Orlando World Center Marriott. The evening will feature food samples from more than 35 restaurants and culinary venues from throughout Central Florida, including such prominent chefs as Kevin Fonzo (K), James and Julie Petrakis (The Ravenous Pig and Cask & Larder), Hari Pulapaka (Cress) and John Rivers (4Rivers Smokehouse). Fans of the now-closed Journeys restaurant will be delighted to know that Bram Fowler will be on hand to cook a memory or two, and the night will also give folks a first taste of what Eddie V’s will offer when it finally opens on Restaurant Row. Eddie V’s is one of the newer brands from Darden Restaurants, which serves as a sponsor for the event. See below for a full list of participants and what they’ll be serving.

I’m honored to once again be asked to serve as a judge for the Creekstone Farms Chef Throwdown, which does not actually involve a chef being thrown down but is exciting to watch anyway. My co-judges are WFTV’s Bob Opsahl and Taste of the Nation’s honorary chair, Lucille O’Neal, author, promotional speaker and mother of four children, one whom she named Shaquille. 

“As a mother of four adult children and 14 grandchildren, I have seen firsthand over the years the difference proper nutrition makes in the lives of our children,” O’Neal said in a statement. “Eating the right foods on a daily basis and receiving proper nourishment really helps to provide a foundation on which children can thrive physically and mentally. It is our obligation to ensure that we provide necessary essentials that ultimately will help their minds and bodies grow and reach their full potential.”

Tickets to the event are $150 per person, and all proceeds benefit Share Our Strength’s efforts to eradicate childhood hunger. Local beneficiaries include Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

Besides all the food and drink — there’s always plenty of wine, beer and cocktails flowing about — guests can bid on an array of items in the silent auction, which is being curated this year by Neiman Marcus, so you know there will be some big ticket items that you could pick up for a song. Well, maybe an aria.

Here are the details:


Saturday, August 10, 2013 

6:45 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. 


Orlando World Center Marriott, 8701 World Center Dr., Orlando 


$150 each 


Cocktail / Semi-Formal 

And here’s where you click to get more information and to purchase your tickets.

This is the full list of chefs and restaurants and what they plan to serve at Taste of the Nation:

4Rivers Smokehouse: Chef John Rivers

Freshly Carved Signature Brisket Sliders Accompanied by Smoked Jalapenos

American Culinary Federation & Bar Harbor Seafood: Nora Galdiano (ACF) and Keith Esbin (Bar Harbor) 

Seared Tuna Poke with Asian Slaw, Sriracha and Wasabi Cream

B.B. King’s Blues Club: Chef Carl Barnard 

Mini Crayfish and Crab Cake Sliders with Cajun Ailoi

Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine: Chef Halil Ertane

Beef Çöp Şiş – Grilled Creekstone Farms Black Angus Beef, Marinated in a Turkish Spice Blend.

Ezme – Tomatoes, Bell Pepper, Red Onion, Walnuts, Garlic, Parsley, Cornichon Pickle, Jalapeño Pepper, Fresh Lemon.

Homemade Pistachio Baklava – Fifty Layers of Paper Thin Pastry, Turkish Antep Pistachios, Topped with Citrus-Infused Simple Syrup.

Capital Grille: Chefs Kendall Emmanuel, Kevin Lee, Matthew Price, Jason O’Neil

Porcini Rubbed Filet Mignon with 12-Year Aged Balsamic

Sam’s Mashed Potatoes

Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon

Villa Mt. Eden Chardonnay

Cask & Larder/The Ravenous Pig: Chefs James and Julie Petrakis 

Cask & Larder

Smoked Creekstone Farms Beef Cheek, Popcorn Grits, Sorghum Roasted Carrots, Pickled Blackberries

The Ravenous Pig

Pickled Creekstone Farms Beef Tongue Salad, Green Tomatoes with a Poppy Seed Dressing

Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association: Chef Jean-Louis

Chef Jean-Louis’ Famous Bananas Foster

Christner’s Prime Steak and Lobster 

Beef Kabobs

Marinated Shrimp


Carnitas Street Tacos – Braised Pork, Pico de Gallo, Shredded Cabbage, Cilantro

Cress Restaurant: Chef Hari Pulapaka

Seasonal Gazpacho, Cape Canaveral Octopus Salad

Duck Confit Arancini, Amatriciana Sauce, Basil Oil

Dine with Shamu at SeaWorld Orlando: Chef Hector Colon

Confit of Duck

Sweet Corn and Wild Mushroom Polenta

Port and Sour Cherry Reduction

Spiced Blue Ocean Ice Tea

Eddie V’s: Chef Eric Enrique

Tartare of Pacific Ahi Tuna 

with Avocado, Red Chile and Citrus

Sesame Crisps

Empress Sissi: Chef Karina Caliguiri 

Red Velvet Cake

Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake with Philadelphia Cream Cheese

Coconut Cake

Chocolate Earthquake Cake

Assorted Pastries

Florida Technical College 

Crabmeat Wonton Wrapper with Teriyaki Sauce


Berry Parfaits with Strawberry, Greek Yogurt, Granola and Blueberries

Journey’s Catering: Chef Bram Fowler 

Chicken Liver Mousse on Baguette Crostini with Red Onion and Cornichon

Hand-made Beef Meatballs in a Coconut Milk Curry Sauce

Shrimp Ceviche with an Avocado Cream

JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes: Chef Zeb Hartline

Smoked Duck with Gnocchi and Parmesan

Grande Lakes Foie Hot Dog with Pickled Shallot and Fig Mostarda

K Restaurant and Wine Bar: Chef Kevin Fonzo

K Creations

Kobe Japanese Steakhouse: Chefs Hirano, Toyo and Ichiban

Teppanyaki Grilled Noodles, Mixed Vegetables, Chicken or Shrimp

LongHorn Steakhouse: Robert Rutherford, Scott Megill, Brooke Cornell, Bill Powell, Joshua Evans, Michael Senich

Hand-carved Whole Roasted Beef Tenderloin

Served with Bourbon Black Pepper Glaze or Truffle Cream Sauce with Mushrooms

Trinity Oaks Pinot Noir

Robert Mondavi Sauvignon Blanc

Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano: Chef Bea Candelario 

Pesce all’ Acqua Pazza

Corvina in a Spicy Tomato Butter Sauce, Braised Fennel, Concassé Tomatoes , Served over Basil Gnocchi Pasta and Drizzled with Basil Olive Oil 

Marlow’s Tavern: Chefs John Metz, Chris De Sormoux and Matt Tolson

Orchard Manhattan – Riverboat Rye Whiskey, Rothman & Winter Pear Liqueur, Arehucas Ron Miel. Bar-Keep Baked Apple Bitters and Lemon 

Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with Lemon Caper Aioli, Micro Greens and Wasabi Honey Mustard

Nestle Professional: Chefs Alan Gazaway, Bryan Frick, Gerard Marquetty 

Pirateship Round of Creekstone Farms Beef with Sea Salt Rolls

Caribbean Sea-food Chowder

Cheddar Cheese Sea Biscuits

Pirate Grog with Sea Froth 

Olive Garden: Paolo LaFata, Virginia Kneal, Jason Dowd, Chris Black, Jim Nuetzi, Kim Byerly

Sicilian Olive Salad

Parmigiano with Orange Blossom Honey Drizzle

Italian Meatball Sliders

Fresh Cavatelli with Roasted Chicken, Smoked Mozzarella and Sundried Tomatoes

Orlando World Center Marriott: Chef Greg Picard 


Street Taco ~ {Cumin & Ancho Chicken ~ Shrimp & Chorizo ~ Skirt Steak}

Sides – {Cilantro-Red Onion ~ Queso Fresco ~ Crema }

Salsas – {Tomatillo ~ Diablo ~ Pico de Gallo~ Pickled Jalapenos}


Rolling Pasta ~ Malfatti


Beet ~ Tomato 

Whipped Ricotta – Eggplant Caponata


Selection of French Pastries


Crab Cakes ~ Pommery Mustard ~ Tarragon Aioli

Carved Tomahawk Chop ~ Onion Rings

The Palm: Chef Larry Sinibaldi and GM Michael Martin 

Sliced Grilled Tenderloin 

“GiGi Salad”

Chopped Tomato, Onion, Green Beans, Bacon and Shrimp Tossed in a Light Vinaigrette

Red Wing Restaurant: Pat Borsey and Chris Seefeldt 

Almond Crusted Duck Tenderloin over Soba Noodle Salad with a May Ploy Drizzle

Rosen Shingle Creek: Chef Jorge Oliveira 

A Land Remembered Restaurant 

Steakhouse Crudite Cup

Avocado Crema

Creekstone Stout Braised Short Rib

Collards & Smoked Cheddar Grits

Seared Scallop & Sweet Pea Ravioli

Minted, Bacon Marmalade

McIvey Campfire Smores

Cala Bella Restaurant 

Bella Antipasto Skewers

Veal Pesto Bolognese 

Cavatelli Pasta, Ricotta Fondue

Pescatore a La Vodka

Shrimp, Scallops, Lobster, Mussels & Calamari

Parmesan  Risotto

Lemon Cello Parfaits 

Sushi House Orlando: Chef Dun Chau

Fusion Sushi Roll – California Roll Topped with Tempura Crunch and Citrus Spicy Mayo 

Tuna Delight – Yellow Fin Tuna, Seaweed Salad, Marinated Peppers, Tortilla

Volcano Maki – California with Spicy Kani Kama Salad

Taverna Opa: Chef Vassilis Coumbaros

Slow Roasted Lamb Served with Lemon Potatoes and Tzatziki

Greek Yogurt with Topping Bar

Three2OH Ice Cream: Barry Resnick, Bill Sullivan, Ralph Rendsland

Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream

Strawberry Gelato with Balsamic Glaze

Organic Lemon Sorbetto

Universal Orlando: Chef Steve Jayson

Lobster Fiochetti

Fiochetti Pasta Stuffed with Gorgonzola Cheese & Pear

Sautéed with Lobster Medallions in a Brown Butter, Sage, & Walnut Blend

Blackened Seared Ahi Tuna

Blackened Seared Ahi Tuna with an Edamame Micro Green Salad with Volcano Sauce served with Pickled Ginger, Soy Sauce and Wasabi Gelee Cubes

Uno Chicago Grill 

Shrimp and Crab Fondue

Creamy Blend of Shrimp, Crab and Parmesan Topped with Tomatoes, Served with Toasted Garlic Baguette Slices.

Chicken Milanese

Breaded and Baked Chicken Breast, Topped with Mixed Greens, Tomatoes, Red Onion, Kalamata Olives, Parmesan and Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Whole Foods Market 

Indulge in a Cultural Assortment of Flavors from an Asian Dish with a Vegan Twist to a Sweet and Spicy New Take on Southern Pulled Pork. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth with a Wonderland of Miniature Desserts; Accompanied by Fine Wines

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