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Taste of the Browns raises $260,000 for Greater Cleveland Food Bank (photos)

September 25, 2018

Taste of the Browns raises $260,000 for Greater Cleveland Food Bank (photos)

CLEVELAND, Ohio - It was a landmark evening for the Taste of the Browns. Now in its 20th year, there was plenty to celebrate as the event that champions the work of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank returned to FirstEnergy Stadium tonight. Attendees sampled bites from more than two dozen local restaurants, mixed and mingled with Browns players and raised money for the region’s largest hunger relief organization.

Last year’s event raised more than $240,000, and this year, the food bank is on track to surpass $260,000.

See photos from the evening in the gallery above by Cleveland.com photographer John Kuntz.

There was, of course, ample energy in the room thanks to the recent Browns victory. That’s along with the 1,000 guests sipping wine and trying sweets and gourmet eats.

And while September may be recognized as Hunger Action Month, Greater Cleveland Food Bank President and CEO Kristin Warzocha praised the Browns for their work year-round to alleviate hunger efforts. In attendance were honorary event co-chairs Christian Kirksey and Josh Cribbs.

“I want to spend a moment giving some appreciation to the Cleveland Browns,” she said while addressing crowd. “The Cleveland Browns have been an absolutely incredible partner to the food bank and our work and so passionate and committed to hunger relief efforts. The fact is this is one of our largest fundraising events of the year, and we couldn’t do it without the Browns ... The fact is, the Browns aren’t just committed to this event, they do things for the food bank all year long.”

Cribbs turned his focus to the youth served by the food bank – and made time to lead the crowd in a “Here we go Brownies” chant.

“We’re excited to give back while having fun, that’s what tonight is all about,” Cribbs said. “Cleveland Food Bank has done an awesome job of serving its community. And most importantly, 1 out of every 3 people they serve are children. Let’s think about the generosity we need to give back.”

Kirksey used his time in the spotlight to emphasize just how the money is distributed, reminding the audience, ”$1 equals four meals” to those in need.

Chef Rocco Whalen rounded out the guest co-chairs. At the table for his renowned Tremont restaurant Fahrenheit, you could try chorizo-stuffed, bacon-wrapped dates. Throughout the floor, guests had the chance to try food from some of the area’s top chefs, including Michael Symon, Zack Bruell, Eric Williams and more.

Here’s a sampling of what we saw:

Pearl of the Orient: Asian pulled pork with wasabi cream on a wonton chip

Humble Wine Bar: Crostini bruschetta with tomatoes, ricotta, arugula, garlic, shallots, parley, bresaola and red wine vinaigrette

Berea Depot: Blackened tofu tacos

Parker’s Downtown: Grilled octopus

Seballos Pastries: Tiramisu and Oreo cheesecake 

B Spot: “Georgia Peach” burger featuring a beef burger with pulled pork, peach barbecue sauce, crispy onions, arugula and balsamic vinaigrette 

Zack Bruell Restaurant Group: Smoked chicken with autumn corn succotash 

CLE Urban Winery: Hometown Heroes Peach Chardonnay, Edgewater Blackberry Merlot, Footlight Sauvignon Blanc and zinFANdel 

Little Devil Cupcakery: Mini cupcakes and brownies

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