Raise a Fork to Fight Hunger


On May 16th, Feeding Tampa Bay held its annual Fork Fight fundraiser at the Marriott Waterside Hotel in Tampa. Fork Fight is the premier gathering of Tampa Bay’s best chefs that raises funds to fight hunger in our community. Just under 500 guests joined together for a night of food, fun, and friendly auction bidding.

The night began with a reception catered by Mise En Place, the Reading Room, FarmTable Kitchen, and Locale Market. Passed appetizers were complemented by fine wines and craft beers from Breakthru Beverage, Southern Wine & Spirits, Stacole Fine Wines, Ulele, SixTen Brewery, Coppertail Brewery, and Pair-o-Dice Brewery. While guests sampled appetizers and beverages, they were entertained by a photobooth, live classical guitar, a wine wall, and silent auction items donated by various businesses in the Tampa Bay area. The silent auction packages focused on creating one-of-a-kind experiences in our community to highlight the offerings of our area and bring people together.

At the end of the reception hour, guests were asked to take their seats to begin the 4-course meal and wine pairing. With chefs from some of the top restaurants in the area on board, the meal was nothing short of a gourmet, fine dining experience.

First Course
Rococo Steak/Rooster & The Till – Chef Matthew Rainey & Ferrell Alvarez
Foie Ganache, golden raisin mostarda, black tea, and almond

Second Course
Haven/Cena – Chef Chad Johnson & Chef Michael Buttacavoli
Lambrusco pork belly, porcini spaghetti pie, tomato, and truffle vinaigrette

Third Course
Marriott Waterside/Hyatt – Chef Ali Nakamura & Adam Schaffer
Colorado rack of lamb, carrot puree, harissa yogurt, pickled blueberries, and hazelnut dukkah

Fourth Course
Parkshore Grill/CRU Cellars – Chef Tyson Grant & Brad Sobo
Taleggio panna cotta, strawberry compote, dried local blueberries, crispy prosciutto, toasted hazelnuts, and petite basil leaves

After each course, Maryann Ferenc and Topher Morrison auctioned off various dining and travel packages, complete with beach stays and entertainment offerings. One of the most popular items purchased was the opportunity to sponsor a child in our community. For $250, an individual could pledge to sponsor a child’s meals every weekend for a year. With 250,000 food insecure children in our community, this sponsorship greatly impacts the lives of our young neighbors.

In total, Fork Fight 2017 raised 2.5 million meals for the Tampa Bay community. Feeding Tampa Bay extends a special thank you to our presenting sponsor, Sykes Enterprises, and all of our sponsors, for making this event possible, and to our attendees for joining together for the sake of our mission. Fork Fight is a success because of the compassion of our donors and the dedication to the fight against hunger.