TAST­ING EX­TRAV­A­GANZA

Over 600 en­thu­si­asts at­tend Palm Beach Taste of the Na­tion.

Palm Beach Daily News - - TODAY - By M.M. CLOUTIER

Is en­joy­ing a pri­vate din­ner with Palm Beach’s Clay Con­ley and four other lo­cally ac­claimed chefs worth $35,000?

Yes, ac­cord­ing to the to­tal price bid last week dur­ing life­style-lot auc­tions that were part of an an­nual fundrais­ing tast­ing ex­trav­a­ganza at the Kravis Cen­ter.

More than 600 en­thu­si­asts turned out for Palm Beach Taste of the Na­tion ben­e­fit­ing na­tional non­profit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hun­gry (nokid­hun­gry.org), which links fam­i­lies in need with food and nutri­tion pro­grams in their com­mu­ni­ties.

Or­ga­niz­ers of the sold­out Taste of the Na­tion — which fea­tured 50-plus area chefs, brew­ers and mixol­o­gists serv­ing bites and drinks — said the event raised more than $213,000 for No Kid Hun­gry.

That in­cluded, among other things, money raised via prizes in the event’s live and silent auc­tions, when a pri­vate din­ner with Con­ley (of Buc­can and Imoto) and other chefs sold twice for a to­tal of $35,000, or­ga­niz­ers say.

Andy Vil­l­abona, Share Our Strength’s se­nior man­ager of culi­nary events, says that through the hard work of Palm Beach Taste of the Na­tion and its spon­sors, “we’re help­ing to feed more and more kids ev­ery year.”

The event was led by chef co-chair­per­sons Con­ley, Lind­say Autry, Zach Bell, Tim Lip­man and Julien Gre­maud, along with overall event chair­woman Denise Mar­i­ani.

Wine was cu­rated by Master Som­me­lier Vir­ginia Philip, whose epony­mous wine and spir­its shops in­clude a lo­ca­tion in Royal Poin­ciana Plaza.

Lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions slated to ben­e­fit from this year’s Palm Beach Taste of the Na­tion in­clude Florida Im­pact, Florida In­tro­duces Phys­i­cal Ac­tiv­ity and Nutri­tion to Youth,, and Feed­ing South Florida.

No Kid Hun­gry also was the ben­e­fi­ciary of a pri­vate fundrais­ing din­ner held Tues­day at Kitchen restau­rant on West Palm Beach’s Belvedere Road.

The April 10 pri­vate din­ner — hosted by Kitchen’s chef Matthew Byrne and his wife, Al­iza, plus lo­cal food blog­ger Cristyle Egitto of EatPalmBeach — in­cluded 30 guests and raised $2,650, ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease.

Chef Byrne and his team served guests cock­tails and hors d’oeu­vres fol­lowed by a four-course din­ner with wine pair­ings.

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