Tag Archives: no kid hungry

Top Five Orlando Food Galas

The Orlando food scene is thriving! Foodies have their pick of interesting flavors to sample, creative chefs to follow and outstanding venues in which to visit. A couple of food galas on the horizon combine the food and chef portions into one location. You can visit BobEvans.com for more information about foods. Here are my Top Five food events coming up soon where guests can sample a variety of delicious food and drink (and usually can support a great cause at the same time)!

1) Cattle Barons’ Ball (April 16 at Rosen Shingle Creek)

I had the chance of attending this great event last year and all I can say is Yeehaw! The Cattle Barrons and the American Cancer Society sure know how to put on a spread. Restaurants including Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Emeril’s Tchoup Choup, Empress Sissy Bakery, The Whisky, Spencer’s For Steaks, and A Land Remembered at Shingle Creek are a tiny sampling of the HUGE great offerings this year.

curbside

Curbside Food Truck’s Asian Pork Slider

Some of my favorite dishes from last year included Yak & Yeti’s Korean braised short ribs over grits with kimchi slaw and the braised Asian short-ribs with “truck”-made pickled cucumbers with balsamic fig reduction from Curbside Food Truck. (Note: I have a thing for braised beef short-ribs AND huy fong sriracha. You, too?!)

Cattle Barons Ball is generously sponsored by: A.T.A.P Companies, Coca-Cola, Bags, Bright House Networks Business Solutions, Rosen Hotels & Resorts, Tavistock Foundation to name just a few. My mother is a breast cancer survivor, so this event is near and dear to my heart.

 

 

 

2) The Taste at I-Drive 360 (May 1)

Formerly held at Pointe Orlando, The Taste at I-Drive 360 has moved to usher in a round of new flavors and fun. This brand-new location will offer lots of new food choices to enjoy. Stroll around Orlando’s newest observation tower and neighboring attractions while nibbling on treats from: Sugar Factory, Tin Roof, Cowgirls, Shake Shack, Naru Sushi Bar, Paramount Fine Foods, Outback Steakhouse, Buffalo Wild Wings and Tapa Toro.

Taste at I-Drive 360
Since this is the inaugural event at this location, my recommendation is based on visiting just about every location in the line-up with special favorites the Mediterranean food from Paramount, Sweets, Treats and Eats from Sugar Factory, and Shake Shack’s burgers and (YUM) their cheese fries. While I’m not sure what they’re offering for The Taste at I-Drive, I’m confident that they, and all the participating restaurants, will do themselves proud.

Taste at I-Drive 360 benefits the Esophageal Cancer Program at Florida Hospital Cancer Institute. There are close to 17,000 diagnosis of Esophageal Cancer projected in 2016. If you have frequent reflux, talk to your doctor. Prevention is the key and there ARE steps you can take to prevent this disease. To learn more, visit www.floridahospital.com/esophageal-cancer.  Purchase advance tickets for $35 at www.TasteatIDrive360.com, $40 at the door day-of or Email Ayslinn.Husebo@FLHosp.org for ticket packages and sponsorships.

Insider tip: If you haven’t visited the attractions at I-Drive 360, this will be the perfect opportunity. Ticket holders for The Tast at I-Drive 360 can enjoy 25% off the attractions there all day!

 

3) Taste of the Nation (August 27 at Orlando World Center Marriott )

As a Social Media Ambassador to this incredible foodie fete, I can say wholeheartedly that visitors will enjoy tasting their way around exciting offerings from SO many restaurants, including ones from top resorts and travel destinations. From selections by Universal Orlando Resorts and Fulton’s Crab House at Disney Springs, to MOOR at Gaylord Palms Resort and Resort and Highball and Harvest at Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, the “tastes” are varied.

#OrlTaste #NoKidHungryDon’t forget: Wear comfortable shoes and pace yourself! You’ll need a plan of attack as there are “that” many places to try, not just food either. Beverage suppliers like Cooper’s Hawk Winery, Winter Park Distilling Company, Funky Buddha, and Quantum Leap ensure no one leaves (shall we say…) thirsty.

I was a hungry child in Orlando, so knowing this event supports Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is another fine reason I support . Additional beneficiaries include the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Florida Impact. Talk about a Win/Win situation.

4) Gourmet Soiree (June 5 at Rosen Shingle Creek)

Even if I wasn’t intimately involved with this event, I’d still declare it to be one of the most fun food events I’ve ever been to. It’s the “anti-gala” in that you don’t have to get “fancified” to attend. Chefs from the best restaurants in town cook right at your table, and guests become “sous chefs” for the night preparing meals with Whole Foods hosted by Food Network celebrity and chef Robert Irvine, Gourmet Soiree is a high-energy night of fun and food held at the beautiful Rosen Shingle Creek.

Chef Robert Irvine hosts Gourmet Soiree and it's all for the kids!

Chef Robert Irvine hosts Gourmet Soiree and it’s all for the kids!

Kids as well as adults are welcome to attend this fundraiser for Mission: Fit Possible and other programs for Florida Hospital Foundation. Last year my (then) 8-year-old and his pal Lucy enjoyed “hunting” down our table’s requested ingredients and preparing them. We all had a blast talking, sharing, laughing and eating. If you’re not into formal galas, this is the one for you. And if you DO want to get all formal for it, well no one would judge. It’s quite relaxed with the goal of having fun and raising funds for community outreach programs and health initiatives.

Favorite chefs of mine participating include Emily Ellyn, the Retro Rad diva and winner of Cutthroat Kitchen, Kevin Fonzo of K Restaurant and new this year Val Domingo of NOVA Scratch Kitchen. Sure to bring his A game, too, is Tello Luna, head chef for Rosen Hotel’s Centre (who’s a two-time winner at this event!).

5) United Way’s Chef’s Gala (May 21 at Walt Disney World Resort)

A chocolate garden, courtesy The Ganachery

A chocolate garden, courtesy The Ganachery

Though I haven’t attended this event previously, I was invited to a sneak peek preview tasting. Speaking of “peek,” Chef Vegel of JW Marriott’s Primo served up Peeky Toe Crab Salad, and Waldorf Astoria’s Bull & Bear offered a Syrah Wine Braised Beef Short Rib (my favorite item of the day. Talk about tender and rich!). Thank you Chef Lebas!

The theme for the event is “You’ve Got To Try This,” and if the preview is any indication, you’ll be uttering those very words over and over May 21! Don’t say I didn’t warn you when you dive in to the exquisite savory selections AND when you get dessert from the likes of The Ganachery who served us a chocolate garden plated with cocoa almonds, salted caramel macaroon, raspberry ganache square, pistachio ganache square, Kalamansi curd and white chocolate krispies. I’m drooling here just TYPING this!

ChefsGalaSocialContest

Want to win tickets to Chef’s Gala? They’re holding a Social Media Contest. Followers and fans can win two tickets (a $300 value).

To enter: Create a 60-second video on why you support United Way and post it using the hashtag #ChefsGala2016 and tag Heart of Florida United Way on Facebook and @HFUW on Twitter. Post by April 29th for a chance to win. Winner will be announced May 13. (Good luck!)

United Way’s largest fundraiser, Chef’s Gala, supports programs that help thousands of Central Floridians in the areas of education, income, health and basic needs.

The bottom line is: If  you don’t have the ability to visit the top 50 restaurants in person over the next couple of months, these galas bring their tastes to you. Buy a ticket, enjoy some of the best food and drink Central Florida has to offer, and feel good that you’re changing lives while expanding your culinary repertoire.

Dine out. Do Good. September is No Kid Hungry Month! #NoKidHungry

End Child Hunger in America

Each year, 16 million children in America face food insecurity every day. September is a month when everyone can become part of the solution simply by dining out. Thousands of participating restaurants are incentivizing customers to help No Kid Hungry through unique promotions that include percentage of your purchase, discounts or coupons on your return visit. You win from the restaurant’s promotion. The restaurant wins for having you as a customer. And America’s kids win, because you helped make No Kid Hungry take a step closer to becoming a reality.

All month long you can find a participating dine out restaurant by visiting NoKidHungry.org or by texting DINE to 877-877. Bring your family, friends and coworkers to enjoy a meal and special offer from one of the thousands of participating partners. Share your visit by posting a picture and tagging with #NoKidHungry

NoKidHungry

More Ways You Can Help Kids Today

There are specific, tangible things you can do to make life better for children. Right now, we’re focused on improving the national summer meals program, and we need your help.

Email, tweet or call your representative in Congress and let them know you support free, healthy summer meals for every kid.

 

26th Annual Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry sears off tonight!

Central Florida Top 5 Instagram fans, prepare yourselves. No, seriously. You may want to sit down for this.

As you’ve seen, we’ve been quite food heavy recently with the photos, tempting you with tasty goodies from our neighbors. Tonight will be no exception.

An event SO massive, it will be a food coma for your eyeballs (while helping a great cause)!

And if you saw how much fun we had supporting last year’s Taste of the Nation, this year is sure to be even more special!

#OrlTaste #NoKidHungry

Central Florida’s foremost culinary experts will be on deck at Orlando World Center Marriott cooking up their support for No Kid Hungry, a Share Our Strength campaign to end childhood hunger in America.

With a 26 year legacy of combating childhood hunger locally and across the nation, Orlando’s Taste of the Nation has raised millions in critical funds to support children’s nutrition programs provided by local beneficiaries Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, regional beneficiary Florida Impact, and national beneficiary Share Our Strength.

Taste of the Nation 2015

Of the 44 restaurants participating this year, twelve are brand new to the event including; Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, Black Fire Bull, MOOR and Old Hickory Steakhouse at Gaylord Palms Resort, Highball and Harvest at Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes, Itta Bena and Lafayette’s Music Room at Pointe Orlando, Tapa Toro Tapas Bar at I-Drive 360, TR Fire Grill, The Whiskey, Urban Tide Hyatt Regency, and Yak & Yeti at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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In preparation for Taste of the Nation 2015, several Central Florida hot spots have stepped up to help our friends and neighbors;

  • World of Beer Dr. Phillips and Downtown Orlando have both been donating a dollar from each pint sold, and will directly benefit our friends at Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida!
  • Eola Wine Company also jumped into help with their Wednesday weekly wine tastings with a $15 donation at the door, also benefitting the Coalition and Second Harvest.
  • In case you can’t make it out to the event, through tonight, Ancient Olive in Winter Park is donating one dollar from each bottle of their ultra-premium extra virgin olive oils, aged balsamic vinegars, and flavor-infused olive oils sold between July 7 and August 8.
  • In July, Hawkers Asian Street Fare in Orlando and Jacksonville started the Roti for a Cause campaign. Guests enjoyed a free round of Hawkers’ signature Malaysian-style flatbread Roti Canai for donating a minimum of $2 on behalf of Share Our Strength’s childhood hunger relief programs which helps people in need locally and across the country. Generous eaters were also entered into a drawing to win tickets to Taste of the Nation, so if you see the winners tonight be sure to thank them and Hawkers for helping our community!

Also new to this year’s event is The Giving Tree, a towering tree that will give participants an opportunity to win a taste of Orlando’s most popular restaurants. For a $50 donation, participants are invited to choose a hanging envelope from the tree; each hanging envelope contains a restaurant gift card ranging from $50 to $200 in value. Not a bad deal!

Make sure to follow along with us on Instagram and Twitter as our Central Florida food femme, Kari, experiences the appetizers, entrees, desserts, spirits, Wine Cellar game and fully automated mobile silent auction featuring signed memorabilia, stays at upscale hotels, dining experiences, rounds of golf on area courses, and exotic adventures and getaways at Taste of the Nation for the first time!

Complete list of restaurants participating: 

1. 4Rivers Smokehouse and The Coop

2. A Land Remembered at Rosen Shingle Creek

3. Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort

4. B Resort and Spa and American Q

5. B.B. King’s Blues Club

6. Black Fire Bull

7. Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine

8. Cafe Tu Tu Tango

9. Cala Bella Restaurant at Rosen Shingle Creek

10. Capa at Four Seasons Resort Orlando

11. The Capital Grille Orlando & Millenia

12. Cress Restaurant

13. Cuba Libre

14. Dragonfly Robata Sushi & Grill

15. Emeril’s Tchoup Chop

16. Empress Sissi Cake & Pastry Specialties

17. Fresh Point

18. Fulton’s Crab House, Downtown Disney

19. Highball and Harvest at Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes

20. Itta Bena

21. JJ’s Grille

22. JW Marriott

23. K Restaurant and Wine Bar

24. Lafayette’s Music Room

25. Marlow’s Tavern

26. MOOR at Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center

27. Old Hickory Steakhouse at Gaylord Palms Resort

28. Opa Orlando

29. Orlando Airport Marriott Lakeside

30. Orlando World Center Marriott

31. Red Wing Restaurant

32. Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld

33. Seasons 52 Fresh Grill

34. SeaWorld Orlando

35. Second Harvest Food Bank -Culinary Training Program

36. Soco Thornton Park

37. Symphony Pastries

38. Tapa Toro Tapas Bar

39. Three2OH Ice Cream

40.TR Fire Grill

41. Universal Orlando Resort

42. Urban Tide Hyatt Regency

43. The Whiskey

44. Yak & Yeti Restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

 

Orlando’s Taste of the Nation is presented nationally by Citi and Sysco and sponsored nationally by media sponsor Food Network, and in select markets by Emmi Roth USA, OpenTable, and Kikkoman Sales USA, Inc. Special thanks to local sponsors AmeriFactors, Regions Bank, Darden Restaurants, Quality One Wireless, Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, and Heron Lawn and Pest Control, as well as Orkin in Atlanta, GA.

ABOUT ORLANDO’S TASTE OF THE NATION® FOR NO KID HUNGRY

Orlando’s Taste of the Nation® for No Kid Hungry brings together the area’s top chefs who donate their time, talent and passion to end childhood hunger in Central Florida. Along with culinary delights, guests have the opportunity to sample select wines, cocktails and premium beers and enjoy silent and live auctions and entertainment. Every dollar raised fights hunger and homelessness in the Central Florida. Local beneficiaries include Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.
ABOUT SHARE OUR STRENGTH

Share Our Strength®, a national nonprofit, is ending childhood hunger in America by connecting children with the nutritious food they need to lead healthy, active lives. Through its No Kid Hungry® campaign—a national effort to end childhood hunger in America—Share Our Strength ensures children in need are enrolled in effective federal nutrition programs; invests in community organizations fighting hunger; teaches families how to cook healthy, affordable meals; and builds public-private partnerships to end childhood hunger, at the state and city level. Working closely with the culinary industry and relying on the strength of its volunteers, Share Our Strength hosts innovative culinary fundraising events and develops pioneering cause online marketing campaigns from Nelson Marketing that support No Kid Hungry.