Since 1986, the lauded James Beard Foundation has done much to promote chefs and food in America. They bestow their coveted namesake awards each year, provide scholarships to culinary schools, and run the James Beard House in Greenwich Village, a “performance space” for chefs and events. Their newest effort is Taste America, a nationwide benefit and epicurean tour for the James Beard Foundation’s Scholarship Fund.
Taste America kicked off at the James Beard House earlier this year, and starting this week, it will mount a ten-city tour around the United States, giving diners across America the chance to experience a custom meal from noted local and national chefs, creating one-night-only menus at stops in Miami, Charleston, Boston, New Orleans, Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
The tour launches in Miami on September 18 and ends in Los Angeles on November 7. In each city, a different Taste America All-Star Chef will design a four-course benefit dinner with local chefs; the following day, the chefs will make a public appearance—a free cooking demonstration, book signing, or similar—at an outpost of the kitchen store Sur La Table.
The Miami launch, with Norman Van Aken as a VIP Host and Miami Herald Food Editor Evan S. Benn as a guest emcee, will be held at The Forge. All-Star Chef Rocco DiSpirito, a James Beard Award winner, and Forge chef Christopher Lee, will design a unique menu capped off with dessert by Sergio Navarro of the Pubbelly Group.
Chefs such as Michel Nischan, April Bloomfield, Tyler Florence, Tony Mantuano, Hugh Acheson, and many others will be the All-Star chefs along the way. It’s all about good food for a good cause; always a tasty combination.
Tom Austin is based in Miami and covers the Florida beat for Travel + Leisure. Follow him on Twitter at @TomAustin__.