Summer's hottest meal ticket is tomorrow night's Share our Strength's Taste of the Nation culinary bonanza

No one goes hungry at Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation -- and that's the whole premise behind tomorrow night's gastronomic blowout that showcases the mad skills of more than thirty Denver kitchens and their virtuosos, all of whom congregate under one roof to feed fervent foodniks in an effort to raise funds for the Campaign to End Childhood Hunger in Colorado.

And each year, it's a waist-widening experience, a culinary orgy of foodstuffs fit for even the most persnickety food snobs, who feast on everything from foie gras to lamb belly -- and then beg for a wheelbarrow to roll themselves out the door, just before the imminent food coma ensues. It's summer's salute to pigging out in style -- and it's also a terrific opportunity to get up close and personal with the city's star-tenders, they who craft mind-altering cocktails that send your head into euphoria.

Tomorrow's food-fueled romp, which gets underway at 7 p.m. at Mile High Station, 2027 West Lower Colfax Avenue, struts foodstuffs from Argyll, Lola, D-Bar, El Diablo, Elway's Cherry Creek, Encore, Jonesy's EatBar, Marco's Coal-Fired Pizzeria, Oceanaire, Root Down, Steuben's, TAG, Vesta Dipping Grill and Village Cork -- and that's just the short list.

I love the fact that there's no pretense, no showdown, no battle for supremacy -- that the chefs who take part in this event are here because they want to be, not because they're fulfilling an obligation. It's a rip-roaring good time, flowing with beer, wine, cocktails and more than enough food samplings to keep your belly bloated for days. And at $75 a pop, it's also an unbeatable deal.

To purchase tickets, including VIP tix ($150), which get you an extra hour and a half of grazing, plus an open craft cocktail bar and champagne cocktails, a limited edition Taste of the Nation Denver 2011 t-shirt, go to www.strength.org/denver/.

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