Taste the Nation Arizona

Taste the Nation Arizona Raises $25,000

Share our Strength.org

Share our Strength's Taste the Nation 2011

This past Friday night guests gathered at Scottsdale’s beautiful Fairmont Princess Resort to experience the best in Arizona cuisine and to raise money for Arizona food banks. Taste the Nation events are being held in 34 cities across the nation this year as part of Strength.org’s fight against hunger.

Taste the Nation Arizona 2011

The Mixology Contest

VIP guests were treated to a “Mixology” contest before the main event got underway.  15 of the Arizona’s best bartenders went head to head in a drink mixing competition and battled for a judges award as well as the people’s choice award.

strength.org taste the nation 2011

A sold out event!

Guests to the main event were treated to one of year’s most amazing culinary treats.  Each table of 8-10 guests had its own theme based on a different U.S. city (hence Taste the Nation).  Each table’s menu was created by a top chef, right there at the table!  I sat at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa’s Deseo restaurant with chef Roberto Madrid representing Miami.  Let me just say that without going into too much detail that this meal was easily one of the top 5 of my lifetime!  The five course meal reached its peak when we were served Kobe beef medalions with shitake mushrooms..say no more right?

taste the nation

A spicy Martini

In addition to the food we were treated to an outrageously good, spicy martini.

I sat at a table with quite an eclectic group of people, some of whom I am well acquainted with , including fellow Arizona Vines and Wines columnist Christina Barruetta and her husband Ernesto.  Later we were visited by Susie Timm, who along with Julie Zagars organized coordinated and promoted the entire event.

Julie Zagars, Kirti Dwivedi and Susie Timm

In all Taste the Nation Arizona was able to raise $25,000.  The entire proceeds of the sold out event were donated.  That means that all the chef’s and staff donated their time AND food.  There were also a number of companies that donated products for the silent auction including Goodytwo’s and Beaulieu Vineyards.

Taste the Nation Arizona was an amazing event and I wouldn’t miss next year’s event!

Check out the Weekly Wine Journal on FACEBOOK for more pictures of this event.

Bonus feature!  a flip cam video of me sneaking into the event

Taste of the Nation Arizona | May 13th 2011

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess foodbank charity Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation® is the nation’s premier culinary benefit, featuring top chefs and mixologists — all of whom are coming together to donate their time, talent and passion to end childhood hunger in America.  Taste of the Nation 2011 events are being held in 34 cities across America. This year’s Taste of the Nation Arizona charity event will be held at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess on Friday May 13th, 2011.  100% of the ticket sales will benefit local charities including St Mary’s food bank and the Association of Arizona Food Banks.  Tickets are $100 for general admission and $200 for VIP, which should go a long way to raising money for the hungry in Arizona.  And believe me, there are a lot of people in need of help these days.  Arizona was one of the hardest hit states in the recent economic downturn, which would be more aptly described as a meltdown here in Arizona.

fairmont scottsdale princess charitySo what can guests expect?  Here is an excerpt from Taste the Nation Arizona’s website:   “The evening will begin with a cocktail competition in which 15 mixologists will square off, featuring recipes representative of various cities from throughout the nation. Guests will have an opportunity to sample these liquid creations and vote for their favorite cocktails. Guests will then enjoy a seated meal prepared tableside by some of Phoenix and Scottsdale’s most talented chefs. Each table will sample a different menu from a different restaurant. St Mary's foodbank charity Each table of ten guests will be treated to a five course dinner with wine and specialty cocktail pairings prepared exclusively for their table by one of the featured chefs. As each chef will showcase cuisine from a different part of the country, guests will enjoy a true “Taste of the Nation.” Participating restaurants include: Brittlebush Bar & Grill, Bourbon Steak, Deseo, elements, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, La Hacienda, L’Auberge de Sedona, Province, 5th and Wine, Talavera, T. Cook’s, Smart Kitchen, Chef Aaron May, Fred’s at Barney’s and Nourish. Don’t miss the chance to bid in our exceptional silent and live auction featuring one-of-a-kind trips, wine, culinary experiences, tickets to events and cultural centers, beautiful jewelry, art, and more.”

Taste of the Nation – Arizona General Admission 5:30 – 9:30 PM – $100
Guests are invited to join Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation at 5:30PM for the cocktail party and mixology competition. Taste cocktails made from 15 local mixologists and vote for your favorite! The seated, five-course dinner, paired with fine wines and spirits, will begin at 6:30PM. All guests will receive a gift bag. Tickets will be $125 at the door.

Taste of the Nation – Arizona VIP Admission 5:00 – 9:30 PM – $200
VIP guests gain exclusive access to the cocktail party and mixology competition at 5PM, 30 minutes before General Admission guests arrive. VIPs may request to be seated at the table of restaurant of their choice, based on availability, whereas General Admission guests won’t know which cuisine they’ll enjoy until they enter the dining room on Friday evening. VIPs will also receive an extra-swanky gift bag, in recognition of their generous contribution. Ticket will be available at the door for $225.

Get your tickets HERE