Taste! Central Florida, the brand new benefit event now in its third decade, took place on Aug. 19 at the Orlando World Center Marriott. More than 3000 people attended to taste and sip the wares of dozens of restaurants and beverage purveyors. The proceeds are still being tallied, but it's expected to have raised at least $300,000.
Technically, this was the first Taste! Central Florida, but in reality it was a continuation of Taste of the Nation. The only things that changed were the name and where the funds go. Just as in years past, all proceeds go to fight childhood hunger, with Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.
But previously, the even was held under the auspices of Share Our Strength and two local charities had to share some of the funds with the national office. Now, all of the funds stay local.
There was one other, perhaps unintentional change from previous years: there was a noticeable dearth of wines being poured. That's not to say there wasn't plenty to drink, especially of the alcoholic variety.
But instead of wines, cocktails and beers were the more prevalent pourings. But few complained.