Credit card companies and culinary all-stars abide by a simple rule when they try to win over high-end foodies: it's all about the presentation.
This year's 10-city tour, which runs for five weekends starting in September, includes private tasting receptions and four-course dinners prepared by famous and up-and-coming chefs.
As a sponsor, JPMorgan will hype its brand to affluent foodies, who are willing to lay down their charge cards for the latest incarnation of foie gras.
This year's festival kicked off on June 17, with an invite-only reception in New York. The event featured a meal prepared by culinary legend Daniel Boulud, the chef and owner of Daniel, a three-Michelin-star restaurant in New York.
Some of the tour's biggest culinary all-stars include Grant Achatz, the head chef at Alinea in Chicago, one of the top-ranked restaurants in the world. Achatz's restaurant is widely considered a mecca for modernist cuisine, where the menu includes dishes such as "scallop, citrus aroma, fourteen textures," "balloon, helium, green apple," and "lily bulb, rambutan, distillation of caviar lime."
Sapphire Preferred cardmembers will receive exclusive meet-and-greet opportunities and recipes from famous chefs. They will also receive priority seating at the private dinners.
Ticket prices to the private dinners vary by city, ranging from $275 to $750 per seat, but Sapphire Preferred members will receive tickets for the flat price of $200.
The Taste America sponsorship is JPMorgan's latest effort to tap into the high-end, cable TV-driven culinary craze.
The company last year hosted an exclusive tasting featuring the cooks on Top Chef Season 5, a spokeswoman said. It was also a lead sponsor for the Vegas Uncork'd Festival, which featured tastings prepared by celebrity chefs and master sommeliers, including Thomas Keller and Gordon Ramsey.
The card was also a sponsor for the Bravo TV Show "Around the World in 80 Plates," which sent chefs around the world to prepare authentic, regional cuisines.
Other issuers have tapped into the culinary craze, too. Discover has promoted its brand on the Food Network, where cooking show contestants used the orange-stamped credit card to shop for their ingredients.
The menus for the private Taste America events is not available online. The event page does, however, advise guests to wear cocktail attire and, presumably, show up hungry.