The James Beard Foundation’s third annual Taste America is about to begin a 10-city tour, and for six weekends spanning from September 18 to November 7, lucky residents of Boston, Charleston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Seattle will be treated to walk-around tastings and dinners from some of the city’s (and country’s) most renowned chefs. The first event will be held in Miami on September 18 at The Forge, and tickets are still available.
The lineup and menu for this event looks amazing. During the walk-around tasting reception, chefs who will be on hand to serve small plates include The Federal’s Cesar Zapata (pork larb); Alter’s Bradley Kilgore (oyster mushroom with smoked soy glaze); Sugarcane’s Timon Balloo (Coca-Cola braised oxtail); Ortanique on the Mile’s Cindy Hutson (coffee- and cocoa-crusted wild salmon); and the soon-to-open Glass & Vine’s Giorgio Rapicavoli (raw scallop with Waldorf salad). The sit-down portion of the evening’s menu starts with a tuna crudo prepared by chef Rocco DiSpirito, followed by a miso-marinated Chilean sea bass from James Beard Award-winning chef Christopher Lee of Miami Beach’s The Forge. The third course is veal saltimbocca with farro risotto from DiSpirito, and for dessert, Pubbelly’s Sergio Navarro will serve “Breakfast 5.0”: milk panna cotta, banana ice cream, and Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles textures.
And on September 19, a cooking demo by DiSpirito, book signings, tastings from local food producers, and demos and tastings from national sponsors will be held at the Sur La Table at Mizner Park in Boca Raton.
“The opportunity to cook for such a prestigious event with such great local chefs and Rocco is amazing,” chef Cesar Zapata, who will be opening his newest concept, Phuc Yea, in a few weeks, told us. “As a chef you dream of being involved with the James Beard Foundation, whether it’s cooking at the James Beard House or at an event like this, or being nominated for a James Beard Award. They help so many chefs and other people in the industry, and to be involved with them in any way is such an honor.”
A portion of the evening’s proceeds will be donated to the Taste America Scholarship Fund, which awards scholarships to students in each Taste America host state. Tickets start at $250, and can be purchased here.