Taste of the Nation combines Broward/Dade events

Share Our Strength will combine Broward and Miami-Dade County's Taste of the Nation events this July.

After 21 years in Fort Lauderdale and 25 in Miami, Share Our Strength will produce just one bi-county Taste of the Nation event in July in South Beach.

“It’s an experiment because both have been so successful,” says Jamie Balhon, Southeast Regional manager of Share Our Strength’s culinary events.

The Fort Lauderdale event typically raises close to $80,000, while the Miami event raises close to $100,000. Share Our Strength works to end childhood hunger across the country. Proceeds from last year’s Broward County event went to Feeding South Florida, Florence Fuller Child Development Centers and the South Florida Hunger Coalition.

Balhon is looking to raise even more money from the event. The most successful Taste of the Nation event in the country is held in Atlanta. More than $800,000 is raised.


Photos: Models on the catwalk of Miami Swim Week

“We need something new and exciting,” says Balhon of the combined South Florida event.. “Bringing it to South Beach might bring that spark that it needs.”

This year’s venue, Loews Miami Beach Hotel, has a capacity of 1,500 versus 500 at the previous Miami party site. At least 50 restaurants from both counties will offer samples from their menus. In previous years, the Broward event has featured 35 restaurants and Dade had 40.

Tickets for Taste of the Nation South Florida, 7- 10 p.m. July 25 at, are now on sale for $125 per person. VIP tickets, which allow for entry one hour before regularly priced tickets, are $250.

Visit TasteoftheNation.org for tickets and more information.