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For Immediate Release

31st Annual Festival of Chefs

Miami, FL, November 14, 2019

Media Contact:
Nanette Molina


Miami, FL – More than 60 top local chefs, wine, spirit and dessert vendors joined forces on Wednesday, November 13th at Jungle Island for an ultimate foodie fete and fundraiser, drawing over 700 guests in attendance.  The annual event pays tribute to South Florida’s culinary scene with an evening of featured signature dishes, wine & spirit tastings, silent auction and entertainment, all to benefit the Easterseals South Florida Culinary Arts High School, a vocational training program for students with autism and other disabilities.  At Festival of Chefs, Easterseals culinary students showcased their abilities with a signature dish and incredible hospitality.

A special thanks to all the following chef participants who truly made Festival of Chefs a success this year:   La Placita and Pubbelly Sushi – Chef Chair, Jose Mendin; Goya Foods – Presenting Chef, Chef Fernando Desa; 26 Sushi and Tapas – Chef Miguel Fernandez; Coyo Taco – Chef Scott Linquist; Chef Adrianne's Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar – Chef Adrianne Calvo; Easterseals South Florida Culinary Arts High School – Chef Wendy Zacca; Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop – Derek Kaplan; Generator Miami – Chef Daniel Roy; Isabelle's at the Ritz Carlton Coconut Grove – Chef Gregory Sgarro; Jungle Island – Chef Mark Borowski; La Cerveceria de Barrio – Chef Alex Martinez; La Santa Taqueria at The Wharf – Chef Omar Montero; Le Chick Wynwood – Nicole Votano; Marabú – Chef Alberto Cabrera; Nativo Kitchen + Bar at the Conrad Miami – Chef Pablo Lamon; Noodle Station + O3 Bistro – Chef Michael B. Jacobs, Chef Walter Harris and Chef Laurent Isaure; R House – Chef Rocco Carulli; Roho Kitchen – Chef Jorge Montes; Rusty Pelican – Chef Eric Charron; Sakaya Kitchen – Chef Richard Hales; Social Club – Chef Jeffrey William; Tanuki – Chef Greg Seregi; Timō Restaurant – Chef Tim Andriola; Toro Toro at the Intercontinental Miami Hotel – Chef Jean Delgado; and Truluck's – Chef Marco Ortiz.

Their signature dishes were complemented by a variety of wine and spirits courtesy of Acqua Panna S. Pellegrino, Agave Boom Tequila, Bodegas Carrau From Uruguay, Chareau Aloe Liqueur, Chihuahua Brewing Co., Coquito Trigo from Puerto Rico, Don Bernardino Wines from Spain, Fashion TV Sparkling Wines, Fashion Vodka, Fighting 69th Seal, Grand Havana, Ketel One Vodka, Kimosabe Mezcal, Kraken Black Spiced Rum, Loco Por Ti, Maestro Dobel Tequila, Miami Club Cuban Coffee Rum Liqueur, Reed's Ginger Beer, Rums of Puerto Rico, Santero Moscatos, Selva Rey Rum, Strange Beast, The Tank Brewing Co., Treaty Oak Distilling, Trigo Reserva Añeja Rum, Veza Sur Brewing Co., Villiger Cigars, Vins Claramunt, Zyr Vodka and more.

The event also featured:  Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop, Nothing Bundt Cakes, What Are We Smokin’ Smoked Fish Dip, Kendra Scott Brickell City Centre Jewelry and more. All participating chefs received a special culinary gift, courtesy of Restaurantware -- and in addition, event guests voted on their favorite dish that evening where prize bundles are provided to the winning chefs/restaurants, courtesy of Victoria Cast Iron Cookware.  Judge’s Choice was presented to La Placita and Taster’s Choice was presented to Timō Restaurant.  Winners were announced by Jeff Martin, Morning Show Cohost/Traffic Reporter from Easy 93.1 FM/Cox Media Group Miami.  All guests took home a Goya Foods gift bag which included an Easterseals South Florida branded frying pan, courtesy of Creative Home & Kitchen.  Last but not least, a silent auction of original paintings, multimedia artwork, travel, vacations, fine jewelry, vintage wines and restaurant experiences made for an altogether memorable evening! 

Event sponsors included Edgar Allen Corporate Society Member, Ryder System Inc.; Master Chef Sponsor, Goya Foods;  Executive Chef Sponsor: Barry Solomon Family Trust; Sous Chef Sponsors:  Cook Prep Eat, Victoria Cast Iron Cookware and Royal Caribbean International;  Pastry Chef Sponsors:  Bank of America, Holland & Knight, Northern Trust, Selden Beattie and Solstice Point Partners;  Foodie Sponsors:  EY, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Mass Mutual, Rossman, Baumberger, Reboso & Spier, P.A., Simply Health and The Wayne and Nicole Cypen Philanthropic Fund;  Produce Sponsor:  Mr. Greens Produce; Security Sponsor:  Security Alliance;  Wine Lover Sponsor:  Comcast Universal; Venue Sponsor:  Jungle Island; Media & Public Relations Sponsors:  AC Graphics, Brustman Carrino Public Relations, Cox Media Group Miami, Creativas Public Relations, Food Comma Hospitality Group, Indulge Magazine, Rockaway PR, SocialMiami.com, Miami Herald, and Tony Guerra Miami. 

About Easterseals South Florida:
Easterseals South Florida, the indispensable resource for more than 1,700 families in South Florida, is proud to have served people and families challenged by disabilities and disadvantages for more than 77 years. Easterseals is responsive to the needs of each community, helping to overcome barriers that frequently hinder access to high quality services for the families they serve.  They want every child to reach his/her full potential and every adult living with Alzheimer’s to live the fullest and most dignified life possible.  Easterseals provides special education programs for children ages birth to 22 years old, Head Start programs, Alzheimer’s day care and in-home respite services. 

For more information, please contact Marta Quintana 305.547.4765, via email at marta.quintana@sfl.easterseals.com or visit www.easterseals.com/southflorida.  Follow us on Instagram @festivalofchefs or “like” us on Facebook at @ FestivalOfChefsSFL or @EasterSealsSouthFL 

Chef Mendin and Loreen

Chef Chair, Jose Mendin and Loreen Chant, Easterseals South Florida President & CEO

CA Students and Restaurantware

Easterseals Culinary Arts High School Students and Restaurantware, whom provided gift bags to each student and participating chef/restaurant

Goya Dish

Presenting Sponsor, Goya Foods:  Dish Served:  Tripleta Squares with Smoked Guava BBQ Sauce and Rocoto Aioli.

Ketel One

Ketel One garnish station

Optum serving plates and wine glasses

Optum volunteers greeting guests with their serving plates and ESSF branded wine glasses

Photo Booth

Goya branded photo booth fun!

Vins Claramunt

Vins Claramunt Wines

Mr. Greens

Produce Sponsor:  Mr. Greens Produce

Chef Mendin Serving

Chef Mendin serving his dish from La Placita:  "La Tripleta Sliders"

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