Taste of Carmel returns March 7 to benefit Orchard Park Elementary


Chef Wilson Rojas of BRU Burger Bar prepares samples for guests at a previous Taste of Carmel. (File photo)

By Desiree Williams

Carmel’s largest tasting event will continue for its 16th year amid the Carmel school board’s decision to close the school it benefits in two years. Taste of Carmel will benefit Orchard Park Elementary

The event is at 6:30 p.m. March 7 at the 502 East Event Center.

Sponsored by the school’s PTO, Taste of Carmel brings together more than 1,000 guests to sample food and drinks from restaurants, caterers, wineries, breweries and distilleries. All proceeds benefit OPE to fund 85 percent of the PTO’s budget the following year. The PTO uses some of its budget to help fund field trips, STEM technologies and other inititiatives.

“I don’t ever want a parent to have to choose to keep a child from attending a field trip due to budget constraints,” said Karla Walsworth, event chair. “Taste of Carmel provides an opportunity for the community to come together in a real way, to help those who need it.” 

There are 43 vendors registered for the event and more than 200 items available at the silent auction. The VIP party, First Taste, will feature Justin Miller, executive chef for Anthony’s Chophouse, and cocktails from 3UP. VIP guests receive exclusive tastings and early entrance to the event.

Walsworth’s goals this year include admitting 1,100 guests and raising $30,000.

Although Orchard Park will be closed after the 2021-22 school year, Walsworth is optimistic about Taste of Carmel’s future.

“While we are not happy with the decision to close Orchard Park, right now we are focusing on the 700 children currently enrolled, and the next almost three years, to make sure they have the best possible educational experience,” she said. “And I have a feeling Taste of Carmel may live on.” 

General admission tickets are $35 and VIP tickets are $75. Reserved tables for 10 guests are $600. For more, visit tasteofcarmelope.com.

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