Food galas benefit local organizations 

Have you noticed the difference? Certainly your taste buds won't be able to tell. This year the biggest fund-raiser that you must attend is called Taste of the Springs, instead of Taste of the Nation. Why the change? To allow us to spend the money as we see fit, to wit, supporting both Care and Share and the Marion House Soup Kitchen, which has seen a huge rise in number of meals served, with the biggest increase being families and homeless teens.

You have two opportunities to care and to share. This year's inaugural Taste of the Springs Winemaker's Dinner, at Craftwood Inn in Manitou Springs, features the incredible, delicious wines of Whitehall Lane Winery, winner of Wine & Spirits magazine's Winery of the Year for five consecutive years. The six courses are all paired to specific Whitehall Lane wines. They include confit of duck with wilted microgreens, pecans and cranberry vinaigrette; smoke-infused loin of Colorado elk with porcini glace and Gorgonzola quesadillas; and vanilla bean mocha gteau with black currant glaze and huckleberries. If your mouth isn't watering yet, you must be dead.

The more familiar Taste of the Springs gala will be held at the Sheraton Colorado Springs Hotel, 2886 S. Circle Drive, featuring more than 45 of the area's finest restaurants and wine and beverage distributors. Participating restaurants include 32 Bleu, Ambrosia Caf, Breadheads, Mataam Fez, Michelle's, Walter's Bistro and many more. And bring your wallet, because you'll want to spin the Wheel of Good Taste ($15 per spin, prizes guaranteed to be worth $25 or more), and bid in the live and silent auctions.

The price is $65 per person, and can be purchased as mentioned above, or picked up at Sencha or Antonio's restaurants. The meal is kind of a gourmet potluck, prepared for you by some of the best chefs in town, each trying to outdo the other.

When you think about spending $65 for a meal, please remember that $65 can feed a child for almost six months. Isn't that worth it?

-- MB Partlow


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