The Piquant Palate
The 5th Annual South Beach Seafood Festival was a high-end experience that showcased the talents of South Florida’s leading gastronomists and mixologists in a diverse series of experiential events and friendly competitions to benefit the cause of CI Foundation’s EAT SMART program. Through numerous partnerships around local community schools, CI Foundation focuses on empowering the youth of Miami Dade County.
Guests kicked off South Beach Seafood Week with CRABS, SLABS, & CABS in the Oasis Garden at Shelborne South Beach. The event featured Menin Hospitality’s Chef James Versfelt of Shelborne South Beach, Chef Bernie Matz of Bodega, and Chef Carlos Pimentel of Mondrian, each showcased their take on the ultimate surf n’ turf dishes. Guests indulged on pairings like Alaskan King Crab and Waygu beef, Lobster, Short Rib Tacos, and much more. Each dish was paired with the perfect Cabernet from Jackson Family Wines and topped off with a sides table filled with flavorful GOYA dishes.
COOKING & COCKTAILS was held at Meat Market, hosted by GOYA’s Chef Fernando Desa and Meat Market’s Chef Sean Brasel along with Herradura Brand Ambassador, Danielle Perugini. This gourmet evening included a 6-course sit down dinner, featuring sea bass, lobster, and crab. Each course was expertly paired with a GOYA-inspired Herradura cocktail. Guests were taught how to mix their very own perfect Herradura margarita and took home gift bags of Goya and Herradura products.
Hosted by La Crema, the ultimate stone crab lover’s dream took place at AN EVENING AT JOE’S. Only 50 seats were available for this night where guests were treated to the first, freshest catch of the season. The 5 course meal included pairings with La Crema featured wines from California. Chef Andre Bienvenu treated guests to a history of the famed Joe’s Stone Crab while Jackson Family Wines’ Master Sommelier, Larry O’Brien, educated guests on pairing technique.
Miami’s Ultimate Night of Competition kicked off the weekend’s main events with South Florida’s 4th Annual VIP CHEF SHOWDOWN, brought to you by Cambria Wines, and presented by GOYA, Land Rover N&S Dade, and Herradura. MC Kelly Blanco and Honorary Chef Ref, Ralph Pagano, helped 16 chefs hit the Macy’s Showcase Kitchen in the GOYA Culinary Pavilion. 1,000 guests toured the Land Rover N&S Dade hospitality village and sampled the dishes of each battling chef. On this epic “fight-night”, guests voted on their favorite in each of the 8 battles as the chefs took the stage for a high-energy, top notch night of competitive cooking.
The showcase kitchen judges included; Goya Foods Executive Chef Fernando Desa, Que Riko con Kikos, Kiko Suarez, Miami Food Pug, Geoff Anderson and Dianne Rubin, y100 and The Foode’s Nick Pena, and Lead Judge, Kelly Blanco.
The Herradura Cocktail Showdown was exciting to watch as the best bartenders threw down for a chance to be crowned champ!
VIP treats came in the form of the Warren Henry Auto Range Rover Experience, a Sensory Garden from Cambria Winery, the Celebrity Cruises “EDGE” lounge, the Macy’s Fashion Zone, and sweets from A Slice Of Art!
Presented by Kendall Jackson, and hosted by Coca-Cola and Jack Daniel’s, the South Beach Seafood Week’s showcase ended on a high note, attended by over 12,000 guests who enjoyed a beautiful day of the best seafood from South Florida’s top restaurants, delicious libations, and perfect entertainment among many interactive experiences. 18 carefully selected restaurants were invited to create cafés right on the sand, serving three to four of their top-selling menu items.
Three music stages engaged audiences to include: The Jack Daniel’s Beach Club hosted by iHeart Radio and Boucher Brothers, the Center Live Stage, which showcased South Florida’s top bands, headlined by Key West’s Patrick & The Swayzees, and the VIP GOYA Culinary Pavilion hosted DJ Paul E & DJ Vinni Soul. topped off with a surprise visit from Miami DJ’s LED Robots and more.
Supporters and participants:
- Kendall Jackson, La Crema, and Cambria Wine pairing experiences
- The Pacifico Airstream
- Macy’s Fashionista Truck
- The Cadillac Immersion Experience
- Chef and Mixology demonstrations in the Whole Foods Market Culinary Showcase Kitchen
- VIP Experiences in the Land Rover N&S Dade Hospitality Village featuring the GOYA Culinary Pavilion
- The Coca-Cola Dance Club
- Casa Herradura
- Celebrity Cruises “The Edge” showcase with Silent Disco Party
- Jackson Family Wines Sensory Garden Experience
Looking forward to 2018!
CI Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to connect individuals and corporations with children and families in need through hands on programming focused on educational, nutritional and specialty needs.
“To give is to receive.”
For additional information about a beautiful cause, go to ci-mgt.com/about-ci-foundation/
All images courtesy of South Beach Seafood Festival