"As much as I love Outback, they're not really true to Australian culture," says Kerri-Ann Appleton, one of the event chairs for tonight's A Taste of Seven Continents, a benefit for the Denver International Program. "I think one of the things that I really try to help them do is make sure we're pretty true to the culture."
So true to the culture that the event will even include a taste of Antarctica -- courtesy of Jon Emanuel, current executive chef for Project Angel Heart and former chef at Antarctica's Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.
"I talked to Jon last year," says Appleton, "and asked what they eat in Antarctica. And he was like, 'Honestly, they eat Antarctic cod and ice cream.' That's why I asked him this year if he'd be interested in talking about it. Not many people are going to go down to Antarctica and have the opportunity to experience it, and there aren't a lot of opportunities to talk about these things."
So all seven continents will be represented this year, in both food and entertainment. "Our goal is for them to try something new that they never thought they'd try and walk away with new ideas in terms of different cultures' food and wine," Appleton explains.
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But attendees also have a chance to learn about the Denver International Program, which takes mid-career professionals from around the world and houses them in Denver with a host family for some extra career training. "Every participant does a fireside event with the public, about why they're here, what they're learning and what they're taking away," Appleton explains, which means the event will feed both the body and the mind. "We hope they walk away with a better understanding of what this organization does and maybe want to get engaged -- become a host family or come to the fireside," she concludes. "Maybe they'll be one of the agencies to host the participant."
ATaste of Seven Continents runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Congregation Emanuel, 51 Grape Street. Admission is free (donations are very welcome), but registration is required. To sign up, go to www.dipusa.org.
For information on dozens of culinary events around town, visit our online Food & Drink listings.