Atlanta’s Taste of the Nation

Atlanta’s Taste of the Nation

April 18, 2019
7:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center
Galleria Parkway
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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 2019 event? Please reach out to Emily Palmer at


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 most recently Ft. Lauderdale, 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 Chairs

2019 Honorary Chef

Günter Seeger
Award-Winning Chef of Michelin-Starred of Günter Seeger NY

2019 Honorary Chairs

Chantal & Tommy Bagwell



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.

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.


Jeff Dauler, The Jeff and Jenn Show on Star 94.1

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


Continue your wonderful evening out by booking a room right at the venue! The Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel is offering a special group rate of $135 for the evening of Atlanta’s Taste of the Nation. Guests can make individual reservations before the cut-off date of Thursday, March 28th by calling Marriott Reservations at 1 (888) 391-8724 or online using the reservation link.

Ticket Levels

Grand Tasting

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


Participating Restaurants


National Sponsors

National Co-Presenting Sponsors

Citi Sysco

Media Sponsor

Food Network

National Sponsor


Local Sponsors

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

Platinum Sponsors

Coca-Cola Foodservice The Billi Marcus Foundation Renaissance Hotels

Gold Sponsors

Atlanta Wholesale Wine Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation Atlanta United FC

Silver Sponsors

Premier Agency Buckhead Life Restaurant Group Treebird Branding

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

Bronze Sponsors

AmeriPride The Cook’s Warehouse Moore Colson CPAs and Advisors

Thank You To

Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Co.