By Kim Lyle
The Baton Rouge community will soon have the opportunity to taste the best food Louisiana’s Capital City has to offer, all while helping cancer patients at the Mary Bird Perkins-Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center.
The annual collision of philanthropic values and culinary mastery is known as The Taste. This year, the fundraiser will feature more than 25 local restaurants and caterers highly esteemed for their award winning cuisine.
The evening’s highlight will be the Celebrity Chef Cook-off presented by Calandro’s Supermarket. Three local chefs will participate in the competition: John Folse, Gino Sclafani, and Cody Carroll. Each will team up with a Cancer Center supporter to take part in a 30-minute battle of culinary craft. In the tradition of Iron Chef, a mystery ingredient will be revealed immediately before the start of the cook-off to be featured in their dishes.
Other activities will include a live performance by the John Gray Jazz Trio, a silent auction using new mobile bidding technology, and a Passport to Paris raffle in which two lucky ticket holders will receive a free trip for two to France’s capital.
The Taste began as a humble series of activities at an annual golf tournament. Yet, with each year the event has grown exponentially in both importance and the amount of money it has raised for the Cancer Center.
“In 2011, which was its first year as a standalone event, $106,000 was raised,” said Scott Miller, the senior communications specialist at the Cancer Center. “In 2014, The Taste grossed $160,000. So it’s clear to see that each year The Taste increasingly pleases and excites its audience, and helps provide important support services for the Cancer Center.”
And while the event’s intentions are for folks to come out and enjoy delicious food and drinks, the underlying purpose is to provide opportunities for attendees to help raise funds for cancer patients in the community.
“There are many important facets to cancer care beyond treatment, such as early detection and outreach services, survivorship programs, clinical research, and patient navigation,” explained Miller. “The Cancer Center is only able to offer such a comprehensive array of cancer services because of the generosity of the community through events like The Taste.”
Events like The Taste have helped make the Cancer Center a regional destination for cancer care. Those who participate have become a critical ingredient in the formula for successful fundraising.
“We are truly inspired and amazed at the level of support we receive from individuals, corporations, clubs and other organizations that contribute time, money and resources to ensure local access to the nationally recognized cancer care offered here at the Cancer Center continues for generations to come,” said Miller.
So, be sure to mark your calendars for this Thursday, April 23, from 7-9:30 p.m. All festivities will be held at the premiere L’Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge, who are also sponsors of the event.
Tickets for The Taste, which include tastings and cocktails, are $100 each, $175 per couple, or $1,250 for a 10-ticket package that includes 10 event tickets and 10 raffle tickets. To purchase one you can visit mbpolol.org/taste or call 225-215-1224.
Of course, all proceeds from sales will help enable the Cancer Center to provide its patients with more programs and service