By: Jessica Thomas

Many of us have never known the pains of hunger.

Yes, we may have skipped an occasional meal, but still knew where our next was coming from. However some people, millions actually, are hungry today.

Atlanta restaurateur, Pano Karatassos, has been doing something about this for quite a while.

This year the founder, president and owner of the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group is one of the event chairs for the 20th annual Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation Atlanta.

Taste of the Nation Atlanta, initiated by Share Our Strength – a non-profit 501(c)3, is an evening of gourmet food and wine featuring chefs from nearly 50 of Atlanta’s top restaurants, Karatassos said. This year’s black tie optional event, held at the Georgia Aquarium, 225 Baker St., on May 1 will begin with a VIP reception at 6:30 p.m. with the main event commencing at 7:30 p.m.

The culinary benefit supports the fight to end childhood hunger in conjunction with 54 other cities across the United States that host similar fundraisers annually.

This year, all proceeds from Taste of the Nation Atlanta will help fund the development and eventual implementation of Share Our Strength’s strategy to end childhood hunger in Atlanta and its surrounding communities. Additionally it will provide continued support for organizations such as the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Project Open Hand and Genesis-A New Life, Karatassos noted.

“Taste of the Nation is especially close to my heart, both because it brings together the best of food and wine in Atlanta, but also because it supports Share Our Strength ,” he said. “The organization is working hard to end childhood hunger and so much of the money stays here in Georgia. The generosity of the chefs, restauranteurs, corporations and individuals is always inspiring.”

In its 19 years of existence in Atlanta, Taste of the Nation has raised more than $6.5 million; this year the event chairs hope to raise $1 million. Since its establishment 20 years ago, nationwide, Taste of the Nation has raised more than $70 million for organizations dedicated to ending childhood hunger.

This year George McKerrow, founder and owner of Longhorn Steakhouse and partner in Ted’s Montana Grill, will co-chair Taste of the Nation Atlanta with Karatassos. “George and I go way back; both of us have a passion for ending hunger in our home state and beyond,” he said. “We both feel strongly that it is our responsibility and privilege to be a part of a program that can feed people.”

For more information on the 20th annual Taste of the Nation Atlanta visit or call 770-436-5151. General admission tickets are $250 per person and $350 per person for VIP admission.