RECAP: TOTNSFLa hosts over 80 chefs to benefit NO KID HUNGRY

Taste of The Nation South Florida 2016 benefits No Kid Hungry

On Friday June 17th, Miami’s most dedicated food lovers gathered at Soho Studios in Wynwood for the South Florida’s Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry. The region’s leading culinary benefit to end childhood hunger, Taste of the Nation featured over 80 food and drink specialists showing off their skills.  Over $70, 000 was raised for this incredibly worthy cause and MIAbites wants to send out a special thank you to the many chefs, mixologists, purveyors, sponsors and attendees that made this event so successful. 

Overall, the theme of the night was definitely variety: there was something for everyone. Complete with a mystery wine grab, silent auction and more, this year’s event was definitely one for the books. 

I am the first to admit that upon entering the vast Soho Studios, I was overwhelmed. With food and drinks everywhere you look, deciding where to start can be intimidating. Because, we at MIABites are truly dedicated to food experiences and expressing such to our readers, my fellow contributor Amber Love Bond and I embarked on a journey around the event sampling as much as our bodies allowed…for you guys of course! 

As much as I would love to describe every dish we ate throughout the four plus hour event, that would likely turn into a book.

So, I’ve compiled my Five Best Bites of the Night. Here we go… 

Beef Carpaccio from Bourbon Steak Miami

Five. Bourbon Steak’s Executive Chef Gabriel Fenton personally greeted passersby with his specular rendition of an often overrated beef carpaccio. With wagyu beef, parmesan crema and summer truffle, the dish was perfectly balance and allowed every element to stand out. The welcomed saltiness from the parmesan balanced the luscious richness of the beef with incredible earthy undertones only achieved from true truffles. 

Matador Room Miami Mezcal Cured Salmon

Four. The Matador Room at The Miami Beach EDITION presented a Mezcal cured salmon with crispy potato and cucumber. Having seen quite a few raw salmon presentations already, I will admit I didn’t have the highest expectations for this dish. Boy, was I wrong. The flavors melded together to create a sense of a deconstructed bagel and lox but elevation. With the cucumber sauce serving as a necessary tang, a different take on smoked salmon and crispy saltiness from the potato, this dish was truly memorable.

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Three. One of the first dishes I tried, and admittedly the only broth presentation I tried was the ramen from Beaker & Gray. The depth of flavor from the broth was expertly complemented by the bacon curry, chimichurri and fried sage. While this dish was unavoidably rich, the balance of salt, acid and freshness gave it a necessary approachability. 

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Two. I live for plates of food that break rules. I love a plate of food that makes you ponder what it should be and how it delineates from convention to create artistry. 3030 Ocean really nailed it with this local wahoo dish that is so earthy, it surprised the palette and intrigued the mind. With black garlic, picked ramps and mushrooms, 3030 Ocean perfected an earthy seafood dish that doesn’t feel forced…which is no easy feat. 

Finka Table and Tap Arroz con Pollo

One. This dish is “dream about it good.” There’s just no other way to stress how masterfully Finka Table and Tap created a new take on the classic Arroz con Pollo angle that’s been done over saturated in this Miami landscape. By serving it deep fried with aji amarillo sauce, both the textural highlight of deep fried goodness and the creamy, velvety nature of a quality arroz con pollo were able to shine. This dish is go back for seconds good. Perfectly fried and delicately executed, there are not enough good things to say about this fabulous fritter from Finka. 

Because one in five children in this country struggles with hunger,  it’s imperative to create a solution. Friday night’s event ensured 700,000 healthy meals to children in need. No Kid Hungry goes a step further by educating kids on the importance of starting your day with a nutritious breakfast and teaching families to cook and budget for groceries appropriately. While the food was outstanding, the best part of the experience is contributing to the great work No Kid Hungry is doing to end childhood hunger.

For more information about how you can help visit No Kid Hungry