Taste America Dinner: Cleveland foodies gather to celebrate damn good food


Psst … Wanna rub shoulders with Cleveland’s culinary elite? There may never be another opportunity as intimate as tomorrow’s Taste America Dinner, part of a series of nationwide benefit dinners sponsored by The James Beard Foundation, to take place on Friday, Sept. 28. Aimed at celebrating, preserving, and supporting heritage farmers, artisanal food producers, and the country’s finest chefs, Taste America dinners will be held simultaneously in Cleveland, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, L.A., and 14 other cities. In Cleveland, a portion of the proceeds goes to City Fresh, a non-profit organization devoted to building a just and sustainable local-foods distribution system for both urban and rural communities. The six-course food-and-wine extravaganza begins at 6 p.m., at Sammy’s Metropolitan Ballroom, 925 Euclid Ave. (The view, from the top of the Huntington Building, is grand, and the historic space is lovely.) Tickets are available at the door, or by calling Megan Everitt, at 440-554-0670. The $175 outlay not only entitles diners to some fabulous eats, but also generous portions of celebrity hobnobbing. Among the top toques who will be both cooking and putting in face time, count Michael Symon and Cory Barrett (Lola, Lolita), Jonathan Bennett (Moxie, Red), Dante Boccuzzi (the soon-to-open Dante), Brandt Evans and Susan Geul (Blue Canyon Kitchen), and Jonathan Sawyer (the soon-to-open Bar Cento and, eventually, Gastropub). Sawyer, incidentally, will be creating a dish he calls the Lake Erie Local, featuring prawns from an Elyria aquafarm, and fresh lake walleye. Also on hand, as hosts and guests of honor, will be two local James Beard Award winning writers: Cleveland Hts. author, chef, and food authority Michael Ruhlman, and yours truly. --- Elaine T. Cicora


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