Imagine a fundraiser where you don't have to listen to speeches, don't have to eat rubber chicken and you don't have to get dressed up if you don't want to. That's the premise behind the incredibly successful A Taste for Life, a culinary event like no other. Book a table at one of dozens of participating local restaurants on April 25, show up and dine, and the restaurant will donate 25% of the ticket to local charities supporting those living with HIV and AIDS.
At a fun launch event held April 16 at The Urban Element, guests were treated to delicious nibbles representative of the calibre of dining that will take place across the city next Wednesday evening. Supporters and board members of Bruce House and the Snowy Owl AIDS Foundation, recipient charities of the event, were on hand, along with Mayor Watson and members of the food press.
From smoked salmon and trout courtesy of the Pelican Grill's Jim Foster to triple-pork treats prepared by Chef Steph Legari and crostini with caramelized onions and goat cheese from Steve Wallace of Burnt Butter Italian Kitchen, the food was fun and flavourful. A bevy of sweets was also provided by Tracey Black of Epicuria. On hand were representatives from Hogsback Brewery and Barefoot Wines, pouring samples for all in attendance to enjoy.
The chief spokesperson for this year's edition is no stranger to Ottawa at Home fans. Chef Steph Legari, better known as Steph the Grilling Gourmet, is proud to serve as the Face of Taste; he's been busy spreading word about the event and will be among the thousands of diners to participate this year.
"One of the important aspects of this fundraiser is that it not only raises a lot of much-needed money - $95,000 in 2011, in fact - but it also reminds us that there are a lot of people living with the effects of HIV and AIDS in our community," said Legari. "Dinners are often about celebrating and A Taste for Life is another kind of celebration. Best of all, because of the wide range of participating restaurants, there is something for every taste and budget."
Now in its 14th year in Ottawa, A Taste for Life has been so successful that twenty-four other communities across Ontario and Alberta are now emulating it.
Where will you dine on April 25?
For complete details and a list of the over forty restaurants participating in this year's edition, please visit www.atasteforlife.org.