Special Events

Orange County Shares Your Strength

Taste of the Nation-Duo Dishes

Thanks to Foodbuzz, there was one ticket waiting at will-call for Chrystal at the Orange Country “Taste of the Nation” event in Newport Beach on Friday, May 1st.  The event was sponsored by Share Our Strength, an organization that aims to end child hunger all over the United States.  When we first heard of Share Our Strength, admittedly, it was only a few months ago.  We were unaware of this huge fund raising power working nation wide to eradicate child hunger through community service, corporate and non-profit partnerships, culinary fund raising and educational programs.  When the opportunity presented itself to attend an evening of food and drink featuring some of Southern California’s best and brightest restaurants in Orange County, it was a yes all the way.

After a quick (in LA standards) hour and fifteen minute drive through typical Friday night traffic, there it was.  The Island Hotel at Fashion Island was the location for the evening’s affair.  The comp ticket was waiting at the check-in, and from there it was just a matter of walking through the doors.  The room was a mad house of roving attendees walking around each eatery’s set up and of course the long auction table of goodies.  White linen covered tables of samples from over 30 participating vendors, bartenders mixing specialty cocktails, wineries pouring samples of their best bottles and servers whizzing by with mini tasting glasses and nibbles.  The atmosphere was frenzied, to say the least!  Feeling slightly overwhelmed, the only thing left to do was pick up a plate and glass and start at the closest table.

The entire evening consisted of bits and bites of everything!  It felt very ironic to see many plates of wasted food at an event to end child hunger, so the goal was to get very small samples whenever possible in order to avoid wasting anything.  Share Your Strength is an admirable organization that obviously works hard to fight child hunger.  There are events across the nation through late August, so if you are able to attend, don’t hesitate to purchase a ticket.  It is a worthy cause, that’s for sure.

Circling the white tented venue for an hour and a half, the amount of food at the event was astounding.  As performers sang and the crowd moved through the space, the swelling boom of music and chattering and the whirling scent of dishes made the evening go by in a flash.  Here’s just a small peek at what was available:

Crème brulée-Duo Dishes

Creme brulee, Orange Hill

Mango goat cheese crackers-Duo Dishes

Goat cheese and mango on crackers with tomato and beef stacks

Mushroom stuffed scallops

Mushroom stuffed scallops, Orange Hill

Oven roasted veggies-Duo Dishes

Oven roasted vegetables, Pizzeria Ortica

Mac and cheese-Duo Dishes

Macaroni and cheese, The Island Hotel

Coconut fish-Duo Dishes

Chilean sea bass with curry coconut sauce, S Vietnamese

Fish-Duo Dishes

Seafood of the future

Finlandia vodka-Duo Dishes

Finlandia drinks for all

Grilled shrimp-Duo Dishes

Grilled shrimp, Gyu-Kaku

Salmon cups-Duo Dishes

Salmon cups, Jay’s Catering

Wines-Duo Dishes

The finest of wines

Korean beef tacos-Duo Dishes

Korean beef tacos, Sage on the Coast

Bacon wrapped filet mignon-Duo Dishes

Bacon-wrapped filet mignon

Pea soup-Duo Dishes

Tomato salsa on tempura zucchini and pea soup

Zipang sake-Duo Dishes

Zipang cold sake

Salmon with mashed potatoes-Duo Dishes

Salmon with basil aioli over mashed potatoes with berry pie, Nirvana Grille

Tuna tartare-Duo Dishes

Tuna tartare with pine nuts, Roy’s Fish & Seafood

Sadie rose bread-Duo Dishes

Sadie Rose breads

Tempura asparagus rolls-Duo Dishes

Tempura asparagus rolls, Blue Fin

Mini burgers-Duo Dishes

Mini burgers, The Crow Bar

Stella Artois-Duo Dishes

The table for Stella Artois

Grilled cheese-Duo Dishes

Basil grilled cheese, Pascal

“Taste of the Nation” comes to Los Angeles on June 14.  If anyone has an extra ticket, one of us will gladly be your date for the evening!  Check out Share Our Strength for more on the organization.

37 thoughts on “Orange County Shares Your Strength

  1. WOW! Orange County doesn’t mess around. This looks good! Mushroom stuffed scallops, Korean beef tacos I’m in heaven just reading this post.

    I bet the LA Taste of the Nation is just as good. I’m so glad you got to go!

  2. This sounds like a wonderful event, and I hope you have the chance to attend more of these in the future. The food you photographed looked insanely good, and hopefully the event will end up helping a lot of people. I’m glad you could go!

  3. so you donate a bunch of money and in return you get to feel good and wander around and eat elegant whores doovers? I could dig that. 🙂

  4. so glad you went to this! i’ll try to make the LA one. certainly a great cause, and certainly great food. STEEEEEELLLAAAAAAAAAAAA! 🙂

  5. Oh my gosh… everything looks amazing! I can’t believe all that food! I bet it was a blast!

    P.S. So impressed you made it down to OC in an hour and 15 on a Friday night!

  6. Congratulations on winning! The food looks amazing.

    I’m actually going to one of these events in June in DC and am super nervous about mingling w/others. If you have any advice, can you please email me directly at orchidgirl1979 at gmail? Thanks!!!

  7. You guys do the coolest things over here… I gave my pass away to a NYC ‘dogblog’, but more events have been coming my way lately…

    I have to go check out the ‘Orange You Glad’ post now 🙂

  8. You aren’t kidding about the amount of food available!

    Everything looks delicious. I never heard of that charity either until Food Buzz!

    What a great cause, and one that is definitely needed!

  9. Oh my my my! I wouldn’t know where to start first with that lovely food, well maybe the salmon cups! You know salmon’s my favorite fish, then I’d follow it up w/the shrimp & roasted veggies! hee hee! And all for such a worthy cause. I’m so glad you got to go girl!

  10. All of this looks amazing. It’s weird to me how a benefit to help child hunger offers so many different dishes. It all looks great tho. The tuna tartare caught my eye for some reason.

    Great coverage.

  11. lucky chrystal – what a nice array of foods and all for a great cause – foodbuzz rocks and duodishes rocks!

  12. Wasn’t this an amazing opportunity? Foodbuzz sent me to the San Diego event on Sunday – I agree the volume of food was overwhelming. It looks like the OC event definitely did not disappoint!

  13. I wish I had been able to attend. I’m glad your guys were able to go enjoy some good food and for a worthy cause. Thanks for sharing those photos.

  14. Foodbuzz really does rock.
    And so does this event. Who can argue with so much great food in one place? Huzzah.

  15. Damnit to HELL! I sooooo wish I could have accompanied you. All of that food looks simply delicious. Were you able to finagle recipes from anyone?

    Oh and that is an absolutely awesome cause. Is this nationwide?

  16. My goodness, this looks unreal! We have thought about advertizing for food buzz, but really, there are not events like this in Edmonton to ever get sent to. I keep looking trying to decide which little plate looks the best, but there are so many!!!

  17. Foodbuzz rocks! Thanks to my association with them, I have a pass to the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago! I hope my experience and coverage is as great as yours!!

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