For the third year, local restaurants will put their culinary expertise to the test and create dishes that represent a country from around the world to raise money for Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of the Florida Keys (VNA/HFK). In collaboration with Friends of the Key Largo Cultural Center, VNA/HFK will hold the third annual Taste Around the World at the Murray Nelson Government Center on February 18 at 6:30 p.m.
“It is a fun event that brings the community together. It allows local restaurants to do dishes that they might not normally do,” said General Manager of Bumby’s Raw Bar & Local Libations Megan Hylton. “I think it is important to raise awareness about what Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of the Florida Keys does, so we are very excited about participating again this year.”
Opened a little over a year ago in Islamorada, the restaurant was named for infamous writer Ernest Hemingway, who was nicknamed Bumby as an infant. They will follow up last year’s Jamaican dish with Chinese cuisine featuring a five-spice swordfish and homemade shrimp spring rolls.
Long-time Upper Keys establishments also understand the importance of participating in this event to benefit VNA/HFK. “We have been involved in the event every year since it started,” said Key Largo Conch House owner Laura Dreaver whose restaurant has called Key Largo home for more than 12 years. “We do it as a way to give back to the community.”
The Key Largo Conch House is still in the process of deciding what Spanish dish it will create to defend the 2016 Taste Around the World “People’s Choice Award” title they won at last year’s event. “We are really glad the community has been so supportive of the event, and it is a great way to showcase our food,” said Dreaver whose restaurant has been featured on Food Network and the Travel Channel. “I actually passed on catering a wedding on February 18 so that we can participate in the event.”
Taste Around the World will also feature dishes from the Green Turtle Inn Restaurant, Kaiyo Grill & Sushi, the Fish House Restaurant/Encore, White Lion Café, Playa Largo Resort and the Hilton Key Largo Resort. Along with sampling international dishes, guests will enjoy listening music during the tasting, shopping the silent auction and will experience live entertainment at The Follies: A Community Talent Show. The event will also feature a book signing for “A Local’s Guide to Bloodline: 50 Famous Film Locations in the Florida Keys” by authors David Sloan and Brad Berterlli. Bloodline is a Netflix original series that takes place in the Florida Keys.