Featuring the area’s most accomplished chefs, brewers, wine purveyors and spirit vendors, Taste! Central Florida invites the community to enjoy an evening of tasting portions of signature dishes accompanied by fine wines, craft beers, and specialty cocktails.
This annual celebration of the community’s culinary excellence is a volunteer-driven event with local chefs, brewers and distilleries donating their time, talent and creations to make this event one of the largest fundraisers of the year for Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida.
An all-volunteer steering committee, more than 300 day-of event volunteers, tremendous in-kind support from a variety of local business partners, and the generous backing of Orlando World Center Marriott who donates the event space each year allows them to direct every dollar raised to their beneficiaries while generating profound awareness and relief for the children of Central Florida who face hunger on a daily basis.
This was my third year attending as an ambassador and once again it was amazing! With close to 50 restaurants and 20 beverage vendors participating, there was something for everyone. I can honestly say that the only problem with this event is not knowing where to start and running out of room before trying all the amazing food and drink.
Media was let into the event about 45 minutes early so that we had a chance to take some photos and talk with the chefs before the crowds arrived. This was wonderful because once they opened the door there were SO many people!
We decided to pick a corner of the room and start from there. We grabbed a cocktail from Cuba Libre first thing because they make great drinks and always end up with a long line. Both my mom and I really enjoyed the Mango Mojito that they were featuring. From there we alternated between savory and sweet bites as we made our way around the room. So. Many. Options.
Checking out pictures on Instagram after the event had me saying things like “How did I miss that?!” and “Why didn’t we try that?!” With over 50 stations to chose from, it is definitely easy to miss things. But that’s okay, just means that you have to go back again next year!
This event also gives me a chance to dress up and pretend I’m a lot fancier than I really am. This year I was super excited because it gave me a reason to wear the AMAZING gown I had recently bought at a thrift store for $14. Yup, you read that right, this dress was only $14 – and it even had pockets! So don’t even let anyone try to convince you that thrift store shopping isn’t worth it, because it totally is.
I want to say thank you to all the chefs, brewers, wine purveyors, spirit vendors, sponsors, volunteers, and attendees for making this another amazing event. Did you know that the money raised on this one night will provide over 1.2 MILLION meals to children in our Central Florida community?
*Disclosure: As a Social Media Ambassador for Taste! Central Florida I was given 2 complimentary tickets in exchange for social media coverage before, during, and after the event. As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.