MIAMI -- More than just baseball will be on the plate at Marlins Park on Feb. 18 when the rectractable-roof ballpark plays host to the Taste of Miami, an annual charity event featuring local chefs and current and former Marlins players.
Taste of Miami displays a wide selection of culinary bites, fine wines and craft beverages from Miami's top restaurants and breweries. The event takes place the night before Marlins pitchers and catchers open Spring Training at the Roger Dean Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla.
Festivities will get underway at 6 p.m. ET for VIP ticket holders and 7 p.m. for general admission. All-Star right-hander Jose Fernandez and celebrity chef Adrianne Calvo will host the event, which will benefit Marlins Foundation Scholarships to the Hispanic Food and Beverage Foundation and the Miami Culinary Institute's Joanna Rodriguez Memorial Scholarship Fund.
• Taste of Miami information
Former Marlins All-Star catcher Charles Johnson, part of the 1997 World Series title team, is helping to promote the event.
Among the highlights of Taste of Miami will be a "Chef Showdown" featuring Johnson and chef Andres Barrientos from Miami Smokers, going up against chef James Tahhan from Sabores Restaurant and former Marlins All-Star third baseman and 2003 World Series champion Mike Lowell. Fernandez, Calvo and celebrity guest chef Ralph Pagano from Naked Taco will judge the contest.
Local restaurants and microbreweries will also compete for the Taste of Miami "Grand Slam" Award. The winning entry will be determined by votes from event attendees and will receive a 2016 Taste of Miami Grand Slam Trophy. A $1,000 donation will also be made to the winner's charity of choice.
For more information regarding the event, sponsorship opportunities or to purchase tickets, visit Marlins.com/TasteofMiami.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.