Event Details

Our annual fundraiser is back and better than ever!

****Burlingame reservations must be a minimum of two maximum of six per seating. Larger parties please call Lori Hoerl at 904 261 2771****

The Taste of Amelia Island offers guests the opportunity to sample cuisine from the island’s best Chefs, while enjoying a selection of fine wines from a variety of distributors.

The event includes a live Chef demo during the cocktail hour, live music, a 50/50 raffle, and a Best Dish of the Taste award voted on by attendees and announced that evening on the main stage.

To add a little friendly competition to this year, we have guest Chef Tom Gray of Moxie + Cocktails and Town Hall to judge the Chef’s Choice of “Best Dish of the Taste.” Come meet Chef Tom at this year’s Taste!

Proceeds support the Volunteer Center’s work in volunteer recruitment, as well as many in-house programs that include the annual GoKids School Supply Drive, various food drives throughout the year and the original Adopt-A-Family Christmas program. As the needs in our local community grow, the Volunteer Center has been called upon to take on an increasing role in finding resources and solutions to complicated problems such as affordable housing for the financially challenged and services for the homeless.

Tickets are $100 and the dress is semi-formal. The event takes place in the Magnolia Ballroom with cocktails from 6-7 PM and food tasting from 7-9 PM. Tickets are non-refundable!

Guest Chef Judge:

Two Best Chef: South James Beard Award nominations (2009, 2010) haven’t tempted Chef Tom Gray to rest on his laurels – if anything they have inspired him to seek new challenges beyond the comfort zone and helped prepare him for his most creative restaurant ventures to date, namely Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails at the St. Johns Town Center, and the newly opened Town Hall Restaurant in Jacksonville’s historic San Marco district. Both Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails and Town Hall are the brain children of Gray and his partner in life and business, Sarah Marie Johnston.

Moxie, which opened in the fall of 2013, showcases contemporary regional American cuisine influenced from Gray’s southern upbringing, extensive travels, and passion for sourcing locally-grown ingredients. It is the only locally-owned and operated restaurant of its caliber built from the ground-up in the highly successful St. Johns Town Center area. Bustling, expansive, and filled with urban-rustic beauty, Moxie serves a varied menu featuring "American flavors from coast to coast" paired with a creative cocktails, international wine list and craft beers. Moxie was awarded the prestigious 2016 American Institute of Architects Florida “People’s Choice” award in 2016.

Debuting in April 2017, Town Hall is an intimate restaurant and community gathering spot for sharing good food and drink in good company. Gray and Johnston brought a decidedly west-coast design aesthetic to the small restaurant to pair with a focused menu influenced by the couple’s time together living and travelling in the west. Drawing inspiration from seasonal, layered flavors and using ingredients from local farms and artisan purveyors for its menus, Town Hall also offers a selection of wines from around the world (also available for retail sale), creative wine cocktails, and Jacksonville’s finest local craft beers.

In addition to his two James Beard nominations, Gray has also earned recognition by Best Chefs America 2013-2017 and been voted many times as Jacksonville’s “Best Chef” in various regional publications. Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails was honored with the 2014 Golden Spoon Award for Best New Northeast Florida Restaurant by Florida Trend.

Gray appeared in Tastemade’s The Grill Iron I series, which also aired on The Cooking Channel, and in 2016 was a featured guest on Public Radio International’s Whad’Ya Know show with Michael Feldman, all helping to solidify Gray’s place as one of the Southeast’s most respected chefs.

Want to add another event onto your TASTE ticket? Check out our packages featuring dinners by 29 South, Amelia Tavern, Burlingame, Gilbert's Underground Kitchen, and White Oak Conservation.

Want to combine multiple dinners with your TASTE ticket or just have questions about your ticket?

Call Mandy Niesen at 904-389-3622.


Thursday, September 28th, Friday, September 29th, and Saturday, September 30th with half hour seatings from 6 PM to 8 PM. Limit 12 per seating and tables no larger than six (6). Larger parties will be split. Parties over six please contact Nassau County Volunteer Center at 904-261-2771. Tickets are nonrefundable.

Try out the most delicious eats at the Best of Burlingame. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Menu will be 5 courses for $90 inclusive of tax and gratuity. Guests can add an optional wine pairing for a total of $110 inclusive of tax and gratuity. Table sizes are up to 6 persons only (no larger tables). Seating is limited to seating times. See packages for details.

Taste of Amelia Island Gala

Some of this year's participants...

Chef Bill Thompson, Amelia Island Culinary Academy - Live Chef Demo

~ Cocktail Hour ~

Join Chef Bill of the Amelia Island Culinary Academy for a lively, interactive cooking class. Watch his demonstration of handmade Lavosh topped with locally sourced ingredients for Muhammara Dip.

Chef Bill Thompson loves to cook and has fun when he’s cooking. His entertaining cooking classes will demonstrate basic and advanced culinary skills, increase student’s self-confidence, and make you laugh! After receiving his Culinary Arts degree from Johnson & Wales University, Chef Thompson worked in small independent restaurants in foodie city Charleston, South Carolina before joining the Ritz-Carlton culinary team. Since 2008, Chef Thompson has been training future professional chefs. He opened The Amelia Island Culinary Academy in 2014, and recently opened Island Biscuits, a Southern Artisan Bakery

29 South

Chef Jose Salome made his mark in Atlanta working for some of the city’s most celebrated chefs. From Gary Mennie at Canoe to Kevin Rathbun at Buckhead Diner, he built his career in the kitchens that helped shape Atlanta’s dining scene over the past decade. Additionally, Chef Jose worked under Adam Evans, opening The Optimist, which was listed as one of Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurants in American in 2013, as well as having cooked for the prestigious James Beard House as part of the American Express Celebrity Chef’s Tour. The tour featured James Beard House dinners in major cities outside of New York. Specifically, Chef Jose cooked with Chef Scott Schwartz for the Atlanta dinner.

Before moving to Amelia Island, Chef Jose was the chef de cuisine at Valenza in Atlanta.

During his tenor in Atlanta, Chef Jose served as Chef Scott Schwartz’s executive sous chef at the Buckhead Club. He moved to Amelia Island in 2015 to join Chef Schwartz and lead the team at his award-winning restaurant 29 South. Chef Salome is quickly making a name for himself in Northeast Florida with his innovative cuisine, beautiful styling and warm spirit.

Gibert's Underground Kitchen

Throughout his career, Kenny has traveled the world, staging in some of the top restaurants in Japan, Spain, France and the Caribbean. He has cooked at the James Beard House, participated in wine & food festivals around the country, cooked for the Sports Illustrated Super Bowl party and appeared on the “Today Show,” Jacksonville’s FOX 30 and in the LA Times. Kenny has also recently penned his first book titled, A Chef’s Journal. He has cooked for the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Gayle King, Stedman Graham, Samuel L. Jackson and A.J Calloway, just to name a few. Kenny has competed on and won Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen,” and beat Chef Bobby Flay at his own game on “Beat Bobby Flay.”

With over 20 years of professional experience in the food & beverage industry, Kenny has run just about every area of Food & Beverage Divisions at the AAA Five Diamond and Mobile Five Star levels. His passion for fine dining is complemented by his vast experience across the entire spectrum of the culinary industry. From banquets to pastries, club and restaurant design to bar and lounge concepts, Kenny’s innovative and creative approach to the restaurant and hospitality industries is unmatched.


Image result for chad livingston burlingameChef Chad Livingston grew up in Fernandina Beach and participated in the Fernandina Beach High School Culinary Program. After graduation, he attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, where he received his Culinary Arts degree.

After graduating from culinary school, Chef Chad ventured to Denver, Colorado, where he refined his skills at Fruition Restaurant and Venue Restaurant. A desire to return to his roots in Fernandina Beach prompted Chef Chad to move back home to Florida where he accepted a position at Salt Restaurant, a AAA Five Diamond establishment at The Ritz-Carlton of Amelia Island, before joining Deb & Eric Fanelli to develop Burlingame Restaurant.

Chef Chad competed in the inaugural Great Chef’s of Amelia Island fundraising event. He prides himself on preparing classic dishes with a twist using fresh and sustainable ingredients. Focusing on a season-inspired menu, everything at Burlingame is prepared in-house and from scratch.

The Surf

Chef Joey Peter Chef Joey is New Orleans Born and Trined. In addition to traveling around Europe, he has lived and worked in Boston, Philly, New York and Baltimore. Chef Joey has been in the restaurant industry all his life beginning his career at the early age of 8 years old, sweeping out the family deli for a quarter a day.

Some sample Chef Joey’s Crab Fluff with Tiki Sauce. Crab cake lightly dipped in a eastern shore batter then deep fried. Served with The Surf signature Tiki sauce.


For more than 7 years, Peterbrooke Amelia Island has captured the appetites and the imaginations of chocolate lovers from many states in our country. When you walk into Peterbrooke Amelia, the first thing you notice is the unbelievable Chocolate aroma. It instantly takes you on a journey back to your childhood when everything was a little bit simpler and sweeter.

Look around for a moment, and you can’t help but be drawn in by the bright, seasonal decorations that are, quite literally, eye candy.

Our products feature chocolate covered popcorn, chocolate covered Nutter Butters, chocolate covered Oreos and chocolate covered pretzels.

Ahan Thai

Wilasinee Woodard, known to locals as “Sinee", was born and raised in Northeast Thailand by her lovely Thai family. 10 years ago, Sinee came to Pensacola, Florida with a student travel program, where she met her husband, Josh. Josh is active duty Military (Navy), which is what brought them to Jacksonville from Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

Sinee and Josh opened Ahan Thai Kitchen in 2014, with a focus on quality ingredients and traditional Thai recipes, avoiding any fusion style at all costs. Most dishes were passed down from Sinee’s grandmother, and some she developed while attending cooking school in Bangkok, Thailand. Ahan Tahi also offers the finest selection of Craft Beer in Nassau County, with over 60 bottles and cans from which to choose. Sinee’s brother, Paweewat, is the Sioux Chef, complimented by his wife, Pikun, who is their Prep Cook and Server.

In addition to operating Ahan Thai Restaurant, Sinee and Josh are proud parents of a wonderful three year old Son, Ethan.

Over two years after their grand opening, Sinee says they have found a great customer base, not only with local Nassau County residents, but the many out-of-state visitors who enjoy authentic, traditional Thai Food.



We are located in Fernandina Beach, a quaint Victorian seaside town about 10 miles from the Florida/Georgia border and 20 minutes from North Jacksonville. Our restaraunt is located within a charming historic district with several Bed & Breakfast Inns, shopping, antique stores, lively historic taverns and much more.

We have over 20 years restaurant experience in both culinary arts and management. Our paellas are prepared in traditional imported paella pans from Spain. We take great pride in our recipe, taking our travels to Spain and bringing those flavors to your table. We utilize only the freshest fish, shellfish, herbs (some grown on premises) and spices for our paellas.

Other menu highlights include varied hot and cold tapas, steaks, and homemade desserts. Accompany your meal with a fine wine from our Select Wine List or try our homemade sangria.

David's Restaurant and Lounge

Few chefs can say they are an Islander, born and raised right here on Amelia Island, but Chef Devin started to fall in love with food helping his stepdad fish and garden in their home garden and cooking with his mom in the kitchen.

After graduating from Fernandina Beach High School, Chef Devin left and moved to Austin Texas, and enrolled with Le Cordon Bleu. As a graduate his culinary skills began at Omni Hotels. He has worked in all three Omni Hotel & Resorts and helped open the Barton Springs resort located and Texas.

Chef Devin’s heart has always been in Florida so he decided to move back to the area. Following his Omni spirit he joined the Omni in Jacksonville, always keeping his eye out for a place where his hotel banquet experience and culinary fare could be tapped into with an upscale restaurant.

Ultimately, David’s Restaurant and Lounge Executive Chef Position became available and Chef Devin hasn’t looked back since. Chef Devin has found David’s to be an amazing learning experience with unlimited ability to create specials for their dining clients, while offering set menu options for private events up to 50 in their private banquet room. Every Alaskan King Crab offered is presented by Chef Devin, one of the great perks at David’s Restaurant. His staff and he look forward to making some great food at David’s Restaurant & Lounge for a very long time.


La Mancha Restaurant is a neighborhood restaurant and wine bar, where you can come and have great wine, incredible food prepared by Our Chef and his amazing team, while surrounded by friends old and new. It’s a place to come often and enjoy.

Fancy Sushi

We serve fine Japanese cuisine from our Hibachi grill, the best Tempura and the tastiest Teriyaki this side of Tokyo. We give you all the fine foods with the friendliest service you will ever have here in friendly Fernandina Beach, Fl. Come by and give us a visit and we'll serve you with smiles and the Freshest sushi that you won't find anywhere but here at Fancy Sushi.

Crab Trap

The Crab Trap restaurant has been family owned and operated for over 30 years. We are proud to offer fresh, local seafood and steaks to the Fernandina Beach, Florida community and her visitors. With the beauty of Amelia Island and our rich history, combined with our excellent food and great crew make for an unforgettable seafood dining experience! You are encouraged to visit us in Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach often and see what our kitchen has to offer. We strive to regularly update our menu offerings, while still keeping those seafood and steak staples you’ve come to know and love!

Please drop by soon, and as owner Richard “Choo Choo” Germano says, “Our reputation is only as good as the last meal served.”

See you soon!

Nana Teresa's Bake Shop

Our mission is to ensure you have the sweetest experience, so we start every creation using organic ingredients whenever possible, imported Belgian and African chocolates, European butter, and farm fresh eggs. Whether you purchase a single cupcake or a five-tier specialty cake, we know that after just one bite, you'll be coming back for more.

White Oak Conservation

Chef Bob McKeon has worked at White Oak for more than 25 years. Originally from Union County NJ, he has with a B.Sc. from FIU in Miami in Hotel Restaurant Management. Before joining White Oak as the Personal Chef to Founder Howard Gilman, Chef McKeon held culinary positions at many reputable restaurants , caterers and country clubs along the East Coast. Trained at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, he has a unique, diverse set of skills, allowing him and his team to create customized seasonal farm menus for the guests of White Oak.

Chef McKeon has integrated a philosophy of Sustainable Food into his kitchen and team, making a connection between SLOW food and environmental conservation. Chef Bob sources ingredients from the two organic gardens at White Oak, along with our neighboring farming partners, promoting healthy and sustainable dishes.

Amelia Tavern

Chef Michael Packard is a New York native who grew up in the Hudson Valley where he began his journey in the restaurant industry at the age of 14. From pot scrubber to Executive Sous Chef by the age of 21, Chef Michael honed his craft at the award winning, farm to table restaurant, The Local in Rhinebeck, New York. Chef Michael’s mentor, Chef Wesley Dier, was trained by James Beard award winning chefs including Larry Forgione, Melissa Kelly, and Tom Colicchio. Inspired to continue his culinary education, Michael attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. Executive Chef at Amelia Tavern, Chef Michael is bringing New York influence to Southern classics. Chef Michael enjoys traditional food with unexpected elements, and takes pride in preparing his American and experimental dishes.

Pablo's Mexican Cuisine

Since the day we opened our doors, Pablo's Mexican Cuisine has offered an authentic menu of delicious items that capture the unique flavors of Mexico to customers in the heart of Fernandina Beach. Now, we are a local favorite, recognized as a must-stop for the best traditional and fusion food around. Find out for yourself what sets Pablo's Mexican Cuisine in a league of our own!

Enjoy Mexican-style food in a friendly and fun atmosphere. Pablo's offers Shrimp a la Diabla, Seafood Fajitas, and Fish Tacos and much more, served indoors or our open-air courtyard.

Omni Amelia Island Plantation Culinary Team

Chef DavenOmni Hotels & ResortsExecutive Chef Daven Wardynski has led the culinary team at Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort since October 2012. He is the inspiration and mastermind behind The Sprouting Project as well as overseeing nine restaurants, and all conference food and beverage operations. With more than 17 years of experience in the culinary world, Wardynski began his career at the legendary TRU in Chicago, serving as sous chef under celebrity chef Rick Tramonto. Prior to accepting the position at Omni Amelia Island, he was the executive chef at Omni Chicago Hotel for a number of years. Due to his emphasis on supporting local purveyors and his passion for fresh, high quality ingredients, Chef Wardynski has received multiple honors from the American Culinary Federation, including a Gold Medal in the Chicago National Restaurant show along with coverage in such media outlets as Oprah Radio, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Cooking Light, and Food & Wine.

Salt Life Food Shack

Executive Chef Jason Smith C.C.C

Executive Chef at Salt life food shack since 2011, Chef Smith believes in the philosophy that if you get, you give in life. He teaches this and lives this in his work life and his life outside of the restaurant.

Chef Smith has been a teacher at FCTC teaching and inspiring young culinarians. He has also served his country in the United States Navy where he first got his start in his culinary career while seeing the world and experiencing all of its wonderful foods.

He has been on local morning shows displaying his talent and he is also in the cook book, Greater Chefs of the First Coast. He has also been involved in many charities including the J fund, Ellie and the Jacksonville Humane Society.

Outside of creating culinary masterpieces, he enjoys spending time boxing and taking care of his cats.

Beach Diner

The Adeeb ownership group(including Stan Jordan) born and raised in Jacksonville, has served the Jacksonville and Beaches hospitality community since 1950. Striving for restaurant settings that are fresh, clean, serving great food with TLC service for 65 years with such landmarks as the Green Turtle, Sea Turtle Inn and Restaurant, Bonos Bar B Q, and of course our 5 Beach Diners. Since 1997, beginning at our Atlantic Beach flagship location, our comfortable beach motif and comfort food format has been a hit everywhere we have located over the past 18 years. Serving hours from 6 am to 2:30 everyday has enabled us to keep a fresh look at all times and a staff of dedicated team players that have time to spend with family, friends, and local activities.

The Patio Place

Welcome to The Patio Place a fresh service wine bar & eatery offering a menu full of eclectic global tastes and drinks with a whole lot of atmosphere for locals and visitors to enjoy.

We thrive on a philosophy that features UNIQUENESS. Whether you are looking to relax after a workout, grab a quick lunch, appreciate a dinner out, enjoy a happy hour or late evening get together with friends or have an afternoon sweet snack with coffee/tea – we are the place for you!

The menu is inspired from different countries’ specialties and appeal to a diverse clientele. Our sweet and savory crepes are filled such as fresh and seasonal ingredients. The other menu items such as delicious different salads, soups, shareables and non-crepe plates offer something for everyone! When it comes to creativity we don’t stop with food. Asian inspired Bubble Tea, Locally roasted coffee, diverse bottled sodas, international wines, beers and French inspired hard cider.

Hotel Deals

Hotel Name: Amelia Hotel at the Beach

Address: 1997 S Fletcher Ave. Amelia Island, FL 32034

Phone number: (904) 206-5600

Website: www.ameliahotel.com

Amelia Hotel at the Beach is located across the street from the beach and minutes to historic Downtown Fernandina Beach. We offer a variety of guest rooms including balcony rooms and rooms with ocean views. A broad range of services and amenities are included to make your stay exceptional. Amelia is calling you!

Stay 3 nights and get 15% off (Must stay Friday 9/29, Saturday 9/30 and Sunday 10/1)

Based on availability, some restrictions may apply.



HImage result for residence inn amelia islandotel Name: Residence Inn Amelia Island

Start date: 9/28/17

End date: 10/2/17

Last day to book: 8/28/17

• Residence Inn Amelia Island for 159.00 USD per night 20% discount

Book your group rate for Taste of Amelia Island


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