Review of the Best Food and Wine Event in Orlando – 2014 Taste of the Nation Recap

WHAT…A…NIGHT!

This Saturday I returned to the Orlando World Center Marriott to cover one of my favorite food and wine events, Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation. The 2014 event marked the 25th year that Orlando chefs and foodies have come together to unite and fight to end childhood hunger. 100% of ticket sales go to support the cause.

2014 Taste of the Nation Orlando Event

$3 million has been raised since 1998.

2014 Taste of the Nation Orlando Event

2014 Taste of the Nation Orlando Event

This year 35 local sponsors came out to showcase their offerings and while I didn’t get to sample something from every vendor, I did taste quite a few things I really enjoyed.

My first bite of the night came from…

Emeril’s Tchoup Chop

Cocoa Nib Spiced Hawaiian Nairagi

2014 Taste of the Nation Orlando Event

Cress Restaurant

Creekstone Farms Short Rib and Cheek Ropa Vieja, Marinated Olives, Roasted Tomato Polenta, Charred Corn and Pepper Gastrique.

2014 Taste of the Nation Orlando Event

Orlando Brewing Co.

Hand Crafted I-4 IPA Beer

2014 Taste of the Nation Orlando Event

Rosen Shingle Creek’s A Land Remembered Restaurant

Windell’s Shrimp & Grits, Anson Mills Grits, Local Shrimp, Braised Pork Belly, Smoked Cheddar Cheese

2014 Taste of the Nation Orlando Event

Tito’s Handmade Vodka

Seved over ice and mixed with blood orange juice.

2014 Taste of the Nation Orlando Event

LongHorn Steakhouse

“Slow and Low” Braised Short Ribs, Horseradish Whipped Potatoes, Crispy Shitake Mushrooms, Port Wine Braising Liquid, Petite Herbs

2014 Taste of the Nation Orlando Event

I loved their display.

2014 Taste of the Nation Orlando Event

Eddie V’s Prime Seafood

Ahi Tuna Tartare, Avocado, Citrus, Crispy Sesame Lavosh

2014 Taste of the Nation Orlando Event

Second Harvest’s Catering for Good

Amazing melon display!

2014 Taste of the Nation Orlando Event

Orlando World Center Marriott

Pork Belly Slider, Smoked Pork Belly, Maple Bourbon Butter, Hawk’s Biscuits

2014 Taste of the Nation Orlando Event

Siro at Orlando World Center Marriott

Cardamom Candied Bacon Bourbon Cocktail

2014 Taste of the Nation Orlando Event

Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld

House-made Jalapeno Cheddarwursts, Bavarian Pretzel Bread, German Mustard, Hand-cut Currywursts Fries, Curry Ketchup

2014 Taste of the Nation Orlando Event

Barefoot Wine & Bubbly

Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld

Orlando World Center Marriott

Chef Ramon’s Award Winning Pastries Selection

Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld

I look forward to these French macarons every year!  There were so many other exceptional tastes that I didn’t get photos of from Cigar City Brewing to Taverna Opa to RA Sushi and glasses upon glasses of exceptional wines.

I wish that the Taste of the Nation Orlando event happened more than once a year. It is truly a food lover’s dream and goes to support such an amazing cause. If you couldn’t make it this year be sure to follow the @OrlandoTaste twitter account to keep up with updates on when next year’s event will take place and make it a point to go. You will not regret it!

Special thanks goes out to Share Our Strength for providing me and my husband with complementary entry into this event for the purpose of this review. As always, all opinions are my own.