Taste of the Nation Boston: So Much More Than Fundraising

Interview by Billy Shore

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

It’s more than just fundraising! In this playful episode of Add Passion and Stir, host Billy Shore and event emcee Taniya Nayak (HGTV, Food Network) conduct “red carpet” interviews at the 2018 Taste of the Nation Boston. Guests include Celebrity Chef Tiffani Faison (Sweet Cheeks Q, Tiger Mama), Adam Amontea (Cafco), Lacey Berrien and David Miller (Boston Society), and Emily Pochman (Share Our Strength). In its 30th year, the event features 60 chefs from Boston-area restaurants and raises more than $210,000 for No Kid Hungry. “One of my favorite feelings in the world is to see people come together to enjoy a meal in a space that I got to design,” says Nayak. Faison talks about her background and commitment to social justice and LGBTQ rights. “My job is to make it easier for the next generation, so… they can just give their art, their spirit and their love to the world without having to consider their safety,” she says. Amontea, who is one of the event sponsors, describes his company’s ties to the culinary world and long-standing commitment to No Kid Hungry. Berrien and Miller share their thoughts on the work they are doing to get the next generation of philanthropists involved.

Billy and Taniya also get a surprise visit from Erik and Farrah – a first-grade teacher in the Boston public school system – newlyweds who purchased 125 tickets to the event for their wedding guests because they feel so strongly about the cause of child hunger. “I look at my students and there’s such an impact…when they’re fed, they’re able to learn,” says the bride in her wedding dress.

You won’t want to miss this lighthearted but inspiring episode that makes you feel like you are in the crowd at Taste of the Nation Boston.

Four people speaking outside with a wedding gown

Resources and Mentions:

Taniya Nayak

One of the nation’s foremost interior designers. She became a household name as a design expert member on HGTV and Food Network. Nayak owns a successful, Boston-based interior design firm, Taniya Nayak Design LLC., where she adds a fresh, clean look to both commercial and residential spaces. Nayak has served as host and designer for a variety of HGTV mainstays like Designed to Sell, Billion Dollar Block, House Hunters on Vacation, and on Robert Irvine’s Food Network series, Restaurant: Impossible. She is also a judge on ABC’s The Great Christmas Light Fight. Nayak’s helpful decorating tips have been featured in Architectural Digest India, HGTV Magazine, Design New England, People, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, The Boston Globe, Family Circle, The Washington Post, Ladies Home Journal, and many more. She has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, ABC’s Good Morning America & The View, NBC’s Today, CBS’ The Early Show & The Talk, and Rachael Ray.

Tiffani Faison

Chef and owner of Sweet Cheeks Q and Tiger Mama in Boston. She began her career working under such renowned chefs as Daniel Boulud, Alain Ducasse, Todd English and Tony Maws. In 2006, early into her career, she was cast on the very first season of Bravo’s Top Chef and placed as runner-up. From there, she worked in prestigious kitchens in Nantucket, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and San Francisco before returning to Boston in 2010 to become Executive Chef of Southern Italian restaurant, Rocca Kitchen & Bar. Faison opened Sweet Cheeks Q in 2011, drawing inspiration from her love of Southern barbecue and extensive travels in Texas. Sweet Cheeks became an instant hit for its laid-back Southern charm and addictive offerings. In December 2015, Faison expanded on her culinary skills, creativity and business savvy with a new restaurant: Tiger Mama. The Boston Globe called Tiger Mama “a spectacular restaurant” with dishes that you’ll “take to the grave” and hospitality that “feels generous and natural.” Boston magazine awarded Faison as “Best Chef: General Excellence” in its July 2016 “Best of Boston” issue. In November 2016, the Boston Business Journal named Faison to its 2016 Power 50 list, “The Game Changers,” celebrating individuals from Boston’s multiple industries and professions who are making a difference in their business communities. She is a tireless advocate of LGBTQ human rights.

No Kid Hungry

Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending child hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day.

Sweet Cheeks Q

Opened in 2011 and almost immediately garnered a three-star review from The Boston Globe. From 2012 to 2016, it was awarded “Boston’s Best Barbecue” for five straight years by Boston magazine. Its biscuits were deemed “Best Biscuits in the World” by Forbes. All of their meats are responsibly sourced and all natural. They use local farms when possible.

Tiger Mama

Chef Tiffani Faison’s love letter to Southeast Asia. Unapologetically spicy, sharp and funky flavors create a menu of authentic classics and intentionally inauthentic riffs on dishes and ingredients we love. Brian Callahan’s world class Tiki Program is the perfect liquid counterpoint, embracing classic Tiki Cocktails, pushing the envelope of presentation, technique and flavor exploration with unique ingredients, premium liquors and juices pressed daily.
Amontea Headshot

Cafco

A Boston-based construction management firm specializing in restaurant, hotel, residential and academic projects. Our passion is to help clients transform their ideas into reality. Our collaborative approach engages clients early in the process and carefully guides their vision from concept to execution.

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