Atlanta’s Taste of the Nation

Atlanta’s Taste of the Nation

April 16, 2020
7:00 pm - 10:30 pm
2450 Galleria Pkwy
Atlanta, GA 30339
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Event Details

Join Us to End Childhood Hunger in America

Prepare your taste buds for the return of the city’s most anticipated culinary event of the year, Atlanta’s Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry. 100% of proceeds support Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign to end childhood hunger in America.

Together, we will end childhood hunger in America.

Interested in learning more about the 2020 event? Send us a note!

Please note that this event is 21+ only. Attire is Creative Black Tie. 


Event Chairmen

CEO Pano KaratassosAtlanta owes an enormous debt of gratitude to Buckhead Life Restaurant Group and its charismatic founder and CEO Pano Karatassos. The company raised Atlanta to a new level of dining, and earned it a spot on the country’s culinary map when it opened its flagship restaurant Pano’s and Paul’s in 1979. Today, Buckhead Life Restaurant Group owns nine of Atlanta’s top restaurants, has expanded into Boca Raton, Florida and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and most recently Miami Beach, Florida, with the opening of Lobster Bar Sea Grille. Pano spends a great deal of time working with local charities, particularly hunger-related causes. As the Atlanta chairperson for Share Our Strength, he has helped to raise more than $10 million. He also developed the country’s first freshly “prepared food program” for the hungry and was a founding member of Atlanta’s Table. As a result of his lifelong commitment to hunger relief and his contributions to the community, Pano was presented with the Cornerstone Humanitarian Award by the National Restaurant Association. A humble man, Pano has been known to say “My works is my hobby. I’m the luckiest guy in the world.”

George McKerrow JrGeorge McKerrow Jr. is a 40-year veteran of the restaurant business with a history of success in both fine dining and casual concepts. He opened the first LongHorn Steakhouse as a neighborhood restaurant in 1981, a time when Atlanta had few choices in casual dining. He successfully evolved that single location into RARE Hospitality, which owns LongHorn Steakhouse and The Capital Grille and was sold to Darden Restaurants in 2007. McKerrow retired from RARE in 2000. He co-founded We’re Cookin’ Inc. (owners of restaurants Aria & Canoe) in 1996 with Atlanta chef Gerry Klaskala and Ron San Martin. In addition to serving on the board of directors for the National Restaurant Association (1997-2003) and the Culinary Institute of America (1996-2002), McKerrow received the first Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia Restaurant Association in 2007. In 2008, he was inducted into The Atlanta Hospitality Hall of Fame by the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. Along with his partner, media entrepreneur, philanthropist and environmentalist Ted Turner, McKerrow founded Ted’s Montana Grill in January 2002 and serves as the company’s CEO.

Honorary Chef

Timothy Hollingsworth is an award-winning chef and restaurateur in Los Angeles. In 2015, he opened Otium, an ambitious all-day restaurant next to The Broad. A longtime LA favorite, Otium’s sophisticated, yet accessible menu features eclectic, vibrant, and seasonal flavors. In 2018, he brought C.J. Boyd’s to The Fields LA, a fried chicken stand that pays homage to Chef Tim’s grandfather Cecil Boyd and his southern roots. At Free Play, Hollingworth’s latest restaurant and bar, you can watch and play your favorite games. Before he moved to Los Angeles in 2012, Hollingsworth started his career at The French Laundry where he worked for 13 years including four years as the Chef de Cuisine. Hollingsworth has won multiple awards throughout his career, including the Rising Star Chef Award from The San Francisco Chronicle and the Rising Star Chef of the Year Award, presented by the James Beard Foundation. He is also the winner of Netflix’s The Final Table, a global culinary competition series that debuted in November 2018. He lives in Mt. Washington with his wife and two kids.


Atlanta Community Food Bank

The Atlanta Community Food Bank works closely with the food and hospitality industries to collect and distribute more than 50 million pounds of food annually. Groceries and meals are provided for children, families and individuals suffering from hunger and food insecurity through a network of more than 600 local nonprofits that receive food from the Food Bank. Reaching beyond its core focus of food distribution, the Food Bank helps families increase their economic security, grow food with neighbors and ensure their children’s success in school through projects such as the Prosperity Campaign, Community Gardens and Kids In Need. Nearly 40% of households served through the Food Bank network include children.


HealthMPowers is a unique, coordinated initiative designed to increase health knowledge and promote health-enhancing behaviors among youth by providing state-of-the-art programming in the school setting.

Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters

Cooking Matters empowers low-income families with the skills to stretch their food budgets so their children get healthy meals at home, as part of the No Kid Hungry® campaign to end childhood hunger in America. Cooking Matters serves families across the country through hands-on, six-week cooking courses; interactive grocery store tours; and mobile, online and educational tools. Participants learn to shop smarter, use nutrition information to make healthier choices, and cook delicious, affordable meals. Cooking Matters is nationally sponsored by the Walmart Foundation. To learn more, visit Cooking Cooking Matters is implemented in the Atlanta Area by Open Hand.

Our House

Our House is non-profit resource for families experiencing homelessness, offering programs designed to meet the unique needs of each family member: Early Childhood Education, Emergency Shelter, Employment Readiness Training, and Family Advocacy. In addition to a gold-standard education, Our House childcare centers provide hundreds of nutritious meals every day for children who might otherwise go hungry. Their shelter program meets the basic needs of families, including healthy daily meals and infant formula for newborns, so that families have space to focus on achieving stable housing. Our House has served thousands of families over 28 years of operations, and continues to address the challenges of homelessness, poverty and hunger; striving to empower families with the skills to create and maintain the path to self-sufficiency.

The Georgia Citizens’ Coalition on Hunger

The Georgia Citizens’ Coalition on Hunger is a nonprofit organization located in southeast Atlanta. Our mission is “to end hunger, homelessness and poverty in the state of Georgia” though a holistic and comprehensive approach in addressing the conditions of hunger and poverty. The Hunger Coalition has played a critical role in increasing participation of eligible households in the Food Stamp Program. We also launched a statewide campaign effort to expand the WIC program, School Breakfast and the Summer Feeding Programs across the state. They coordinate several community projects that serve low income families.

The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute

The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute produces research and state budget analysis to show Georgia ways to provide better education, health care and opportunity for everyone.

Captain Planet Foundation

Captain Planet Foundation was founded by Ted Turner in 1991 and now chaired by his daughter Laura Turner Seydel. The Foundation supports high-quality, hands-on environmental stewardship projects that have enabled more than 1.1M youth across the U.S. and around the world make significant environmental improvements to their schools or communities.

2019 Emcees

Jeff Dauler, The Jeff and Jenn Show on Star 94.1

Christine Pullara, Atlanta & Company on WXIA-TV / 11 Alive

2019 Live Auction

Lot 1: Backyard Bourbon Bar-B-Q for 50 Guests
All of the fun of a big backyard party, with none of the work. Start by inviting over 49 of your closest friends and the rest is taken care of as Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q caters with their world-famous hickory smoked pulled pork and your choice of mouthwatering sides. Jim ‘N Nick’s will bring everything – right down to the cheese biscuits, homemade pickles and tea. But the beverages won’t stop there, as Four Roses will supply their variety of their select Kentucky bourbon: straight bourbon whiskey, small batch and the exclusive single barrel.

Compliments of Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q and Four Roses

*Minimum seven days advance notice required for catering order, advance notice required to select and order party cocktails. Gratuity not included. Expires 4/18/2020.

Lot 2: Have a Ball in Palm Beach
Raise your paddle and prepare to head south for a luxury weekend in glamorous Palm Beach. Two celebrated local chefs—and Chef Chairs for Taste of the Nation Palm Beach—will play host to the lucky winning couple. One evening, you’ll enjoy dinner at Buccan, with dishes by Chef Clay Conley, a four-time James Beard Award semi-finalist, including 2019. The second evening, revel in a meal by 2019 James Beard Award semi-finalist Chef Lindsay Autry at The Regional Kitchen and Public House. After flying Delta Air Lines nonstop to sunny South Florida, your two-night accommodations (available June 1 – Sept. 30) are the iconic Breakers Palm Beach hotel. Atlanta’s Buckhead Life Restaurant Group will also provide a generous gift card for a daytime lunch trip to nearby Boca Raton, where its City Fish Market offers world-class seafood. Whether you choose to spend your days soaking up the sun, relaxing in the spa or trying for a personal best on the Breakers’ famous golf course, this is a trip you don’t want to miss.

Compliments of Chef Clay Conley, Buccan, Chef Lindsay Autry, The Regional Kitchen and Public House, The Breakers Palm Beach and Buckhead Life Restaurant Group

*Airfare includes a $1,000 voucher for Delta Air Lines; dining experiences based on availability; hotel stay may be used June 1 through September 30, Sunday through Thursday, excluding holidays and is subject to availability at the time a reservation is requested. Expiration date: September 30, 2021. Package excludes taxes and gratuity.

Lot 3: The In-Betweeners: Chefs Will Transform Your Home into a One-Night Restaurant
Some of Atlanta’s most celebrated chefs might be in between restaurants at the moment, but that won’t stop them from turning your home into a fine dining establishment for an evening. Chefs Joey Ward (formerly of Gunshow), Zeb Stevenson (formerly of Watershed on Peachtree) and Zach Meloy (formerly of Better Half) will serve an unforgettable meal for 10, complete with wine pairings for each course, provided by National Distributing. They’ll create a custom menu, full of their specialties, and you might even get a preview of their next projects, including the chefs’ upcoming restaurants: Chef Ward’s Southern Belle and Georgia Boy (both opening later this year in the Poncey-Highland neighborhood); Chef Stevenson’s Redbird (opening Summer 2019) and Chef Meloy’s Pulpit Suppers (opening Fall 2019).

Compliments of participating chefs and National Distributing Company

*Based on chef availability, Sunday – Thursday. Minimum 60 days advance notice, no exceptions. Gratuity not included. Expires 4/18/2020.

Lot 4: Italian Epicurean Experience for 12 Guests In Your Home

First class flights can run you thousands, but this one-of-a-kind in-home dinner with some of Atlanta’s favorite Italian chefs brings Italy’s best culinary treasures right to your own home. Chefs Piero Premoli (Pricci) and Jamie Adams (Il Giallo) will collaborate to craft a bespoke dinner with a remarkable array of decadent courses for your party of 12 guests. Between the two of them, they’ve lived and worked in diverse Italian regions—from hearty cured meats and pastas of the north to Tuscany’s renowned steak to the coast’s delicate seafood and everything in between. They’ll bring their experiences right to your table. What would an Italian meal be without the perfect Old World wines to take each course to the next level? Master Sommelier Michael McNeill joins the party, pairing distinct regional wines to complement each bite courtesy of National Distributing, and live entertainment by pianist Joseph Sfregola will keep the mood festive. Raise your paddle and let these talented chefs bring the best of Italy to you!

Compliments of participating chefs, their restaurants, National Distributing Company, Michael McNeill and Joseph Sfregola

*Based on chef availability, Sunday – Thursday. Minimum 60 days advance notice, no exceptions. Gratuity not included. Expires 4/18/2020.

Lot 5: The “Height” of Luxury: Dinner for 10 on the Colony Square Helipad

They say fortune favors the brave, and the 10 guests who experience this spectacular experience will experience it first-hand. A trek up five flights of stairs will be rewarded with sweeping views from the Colony Square helipad. Conquer any lingering fear of heights, and you’ll see Atlanta’s skyline from a whole new vantage point (including, on a clear evening, Buckhead, Decatur, Kennesaw Mountain, Old Fourth Ward, Stone Mountain, and beyond!). 5Church Executive Chef Steven Brooks will create an awe-inspiring four-course menu, customized to your specifications ahead of time, with wines paired by National Distributing. This once-in-a-lifetime experience is truly priceless—and it comes with bragging rights for years to come!

Compliments of North American Properties, Colony Square, 5Church Atlanta and National Distributing Company

*Based on availability and weather-permitting. Guests must be able to walk five flights of stairs and not be scared of heights. Valid Sunday-Thursday, minimum 60 days’ notice. Gratuity not included. Expires 4/18/2020.

Lot 6: Tour Napa Like a VIP: Winelover’s Culinary Trip for 4

Calling all wine lovers: get ready to raise your paddle for this not-to-be-missed experience. Pair up and pool your resources, because two couples are invited by the legendary Trinchero Family Estates to experience Napa like true insiders. This luxury four-night experience includes exclusive meet and greets with the winemakers themselves, private VIP winery and vineyard tours, and unforgettable dining experiences at the prestigious Meadowood Restaurant and the private Trinchero Napa Valley barrel room. Plus, the lucky winning couples will indulge in a helicopter vineyard tour, a picnic overlooking Napa Valley and a spa day with lunch at the celebrated Auberge du Soleil Spa. If all that weren’t enough, Carlo Trinchero will personally host one of your days, showing you some of his favorite spots with a private tour and sampling of never before released wines. This jaw-dropping package includes airfare to/from California and four nights at the Sutter Home Inn, a historic Victorian property with all the modern amenities. Cheers to this incredible trip—it’s truly priceless!

Compliments of Trinchero Family Estates, Carlo Tinchero and United Distributors

*Based on availability. Advance notice required when booking. Airfare is coach on Delta Air Lines. Expires 4/18/2020.

Lot 7: International Master Minds: Award-Winning Chefs, Celebrity Restaurateurs

Get your bidding arm ready for what’s sure to be the most talked about and unforgettable evening! The talent international lineup includes: Pano Karatassos, Kyma’s Greek executive chef and author of “Modern Greek Cooking” (“Reader’s Choice, Best Chef 2016”, The Atlantan and “Best Greek Restaurant in the Country”, The Rosengarten Report) and his famed brother/partner/president, Niko Karatassos; Umi and Himitsu’s Japanese executive chef Fuyuhiko Ito and partner/president Farshid Arshid (“Best Sushi in the South”, The New York Times); Cape Dutch’s Belgium executive chef Philippe Haddad, and owner/operator Justin Anthony (“Hottest Restaurant 2016”, Jezebel and The Atlantan); and Pricci’s Italian executive chef Piero Premoli (“Top 25 Restaurants in Atlanta”, Atlanta Business Chronicle; “Best of the City”, Atlanta Magazine). These masterminds will collaborate to create an in-home dinner starting with craft cocktails, champagne and passed hos d’oeuvres, followed by a mind-blowing multiple course tasting menu paired with amazing wines donated by National Distributing Company.

Compliments of participating chefs, owners, their restaurants and National Distributing Company.

*Based on chef and sommelier availability, Sunday – Thursday – minimum 60 days advance notice, no exceptions. Gratuity not included. Expires 4/9/2020.

Lot 8: Ultimate Culinary Getaway for Four: Michelin-Themed New York

Calling all extreme foodies! Get your paddles ready, because this Michelin Guide-themed trip is truly priceless. You and three hungry guests will fly first class aboard Delta Air Lines to New York for an unforgettable whirlwind tour of some of the Big Apple’s most stellar dining, with two rooms of palatial accommodations for two nights at The St. Regis New York. You’ll start with a kitchen tour and trip to Union Square Green Market with Chef Günter Seeger to shop for his micro-seasonal ingredients. Then the celebrated chef will prepare a 10-course dinner with wine pairings at his eponymous restaurant. NYC will continue as your culinary playground as you chart your own course through lunches at the iconic Gramercy Tavern and acclaimed Jean-Georges.

Compliments of Günter Seeger

*Based on availability. Advance notice is required for booking. Gramercy Tavern and Jean-Georges lunches are covered by a $250 gift card from Union Square Hospitality and $400 gift card to Jean-George, respectively.  Airfare is $4,000 in Delta Air Lines vouchers for booking your group.

Lot 9: In-Home Dinner for 12 by Atlanta’s Essential Chefs

Your home, your closest pals, your best dinner party. Atlanta’s most exciting chefs are headed to your kitchen. Donning their aprons in your kitchen will be: Chris Grossman (Atlas), Shaun Doty (The Federal), Matthew Basford (Canoe), Brandon Hughes (Bellina Alimentari) and Brian Owen (Donetto). This talented group of chefs will pull out all the stops for a thrilling five-course dinner, right in your own home. Your party of 12 guests will never forget this outstanding meal, which will be custom-designed to your taste, paired with wine and cocktails, courtesy of National Distributing Company. Trust us: this is a meal you’ll be talking about for years to come!

Compliments of participating chefs, their restaurants and National Distributing Company

*Based on chef availability, Sunday – Thursday. Minimum 60 days advance notice, no exceptions. Gratuity not included. Expires 4/18/2020.

Lot 10: Booze & Barge Bash: VIP Sunset Cruise with Atlanta’s Favorite Chefs on Thursday, August 8

(125 tickets, available individually for $250 each)

What could be better than a sunset cruise on Atlanta’s favorite, Lake Lanier? This VIP sunset party on Thursday, August 8 will take summer fun to the next level, as chefs Kevin Rathbun (Rathbun’s, KR Steakbar, Kevin Rathbun Steak), Chris Hall (Local Three Kitchen and Bar), Jamie Adams (Il Giallo), Gerry Klaskala (Aria) and Peter Kaiser (Kaiser’s Chophouse) become your hosts for the evening, grilling and whipping up their signature specialties, paired with wine, beer and cocktails from National Distributing. Aboard The Amistad, Tommy Bagwell’s gorgeous three-level houseboat, this floating party will be set to tunes spun by DJ Bigg H who is playing here tonight, one of the city’s favorite DJs. Instead of competing for this exciting lot, encourage your friends to raise their paddles too, since we’re selling 125 tickets, priced at $250 per person. Get them quick! Last year this item sold out in seconds. You won’t want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime summer soiree, hosted by some of Atlanta’s favorite culinary personalities!

Compliments of Tommy Bagwell, National Distributing Company, participating chefs and their restaurants, and DJ Bigg H

*Only available for the event on Thursday, August 8. Tickets are transferable, but guest names are required. All guests must be over the age of 21. Does not include transportation to Lake Lanier.

Lot 11: Legends of Atlanta Dining In-Home Dinner

In-home dining experience for 12 from Atlanta’s most famous chefs. Get ready to bid on a stellar lot – for an unforgettable dinner with some of Atlanta’s biggest culinary stars. Your party of 12 guests will experience a dazzling five-course meal customized to your preferences by Chefs Gary Donlick (Bistro Niko), Doug Turbush (Seed Kitchen & Bar, Stem Wine Bar, Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar), Chris Hall (Local Three, Muss and Turner’s, Eleanor’s), Kevin Rathbun (Kevin Rathbun Steak, Rathbun’s, KR Steakbar, Krog Bar) and Gerry Klaskala (Aria). This priceless dinner will be served in the comfort of your own home and with wine and cocktails, courtesy of National Distributing Company. Bidder, up!

Compliments of participating chefs, their restaurants and National Distributing Company

*Based on chef and sommelier availability, Sunday – Thursday – minimum 60 days advance notice, no exceptions. Gratuity not included. Expires 4/18/2020.



Ticket Levels

Grand Tasting

Includes admission from 7:00 – 10:30 p.m.


Elevated Restaurant Host

Includes admission from 7:00 – 10:30 p.m.  for eight (8) people and the following:

  • A reserved table near the stage for your party of 8
  • Name listed as the exclusive sponsor of the restaurant of your choice (based on availability)
  • Name inclusion in the event program

Participating Restaurants


National Sponsors

National Co-Presenting Sponsors

Citi Sysco

Media Sponsor

Food Network

National Sponsor


Local Sponsors

2019 Diamond Sponsors

Georgia Crown Distributing Co. Empire Distributors Prime Wine and Spirits Active Production and Design Republic National Distributing Company United Distributors Pulte Homes Winebow Fine Wine and Spirits Chrysler 2019

2019 Platinum Sponsors

Coca-Cola Foodservice The Billi Marcus Foundation Renaissance Hotels

2019 Gold Sponsors

Atlanta Wholesale Wine Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation Atlanta United FC

2019 Silver Sponsors

Premier Agency Buckhead Life Restaurant Group Treebird Branding

2019 Media Sponsors

Simply Buckhead 17th South 11 Alive Flavors Magazine Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Encore Atlanta Restaurant Informer Southern Seasons Dining Out Atlanta Atlanta Journal Constitution The Atlantan

2019 Bronze Sponsors

AmeriPride The Cook’s Warehouse Moore Colson CPAs and Advisors

Thank You To

Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Co.