Mother Nature finally bestowed brilliance instead of petulance on the 11th annual Taste of Boca Grande at the Boca Bay Pass Club.
At a popular island event that annually draws together the best of Gasparilla Island-area chef talent, organizers were thrilled about the caliber of cooking this year as well as ticket sales that unofficially reached 540. The Taste of Boca Grande is a fund-raiser for Harry Chapin Food Bank.
"I think this is the biggest and the best event we've ever had," said organizer Blanche Johnson. "After five years (of rainy events, the gods) owed us."
A last-minute adjustment for Taste of Boca Grande organizers Blanche and Thor Johnson.
A cool, comfortable day closed with a sunset brilliant even by Boca Grande standards. Crowds quickly queued up at all 17 food stations with plenty of oohs and ahhs over several creations.
The Taste also featured premium wines and alcohol from BNT Liquors and Fine Wines under the big tent with entertainment from the Steve Chapin Band.
In 2012, The Taste raised more than $31,000 for the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Fort Myers. 2013 numbers were not immediately available.
What: Taste of Boca Grande
Where: Boca Bay Pass Club
When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 3, 2014
Why: To benefit the hungry of Southwest Florida through the Harry Chapin Food Bank
Tickets: tentatively $85
On sale: At the Boca Bay Pass Club, Boca Grande Club, BRC Group and from Nick Kaiser, 964-0141, and Thor Johnson, 964-0697.
The Boca Grande event has raised nearly $300,000 over more than a decade to help feed the needy. More than 30,000 families in a five-county area depend on food from the Harry Chapin Food Bank.