Imagine combining the best fare from 35 of Miami's finest chefs, all in one delectable evening: the tastiest tidbits from Azul paired with a side of Baleen's most popular dish; divine surf and turf composed of succulent shellfish from Joe's Stone Crab and a superlative steak from Smith & Wollensky. The dreams of Miami's gastronomes will come true at tonight's Share Our Strength (SOS) Taste of the Nation fundraiser.
Eighteen years ago Chef Allen Susser, local culinary superstar, brought the nationwide event to Miami. "Feeding people is something I love to do. Being able to cook and raise money to feed less fortunate people is a wonderful, important thing," Susser explains.
The delicious do-gooder action kicks into high gear at 6:00, when four high-profile chefs serve their best at a VIP Veuve Clicquot champagne reception. At 7:00 the Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort and Club (19999 W. Country Club Dr., Aventura) will come alive with chefs from restaurants like Wish, SushiSamba Dromo, Cioppino at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Nobu, and China Grill sharing their signature dishes with eager attendees.
Besides the abundance of delicious food, enjoy watching four of the most famous chefs participate in an Iron Chef challenge, and take part in a live auction for rare wine, big chef dinners, cooking classes, and travel packages to Spain, California, Alaska, and the Caribbean. Tickets cost $75, or you can shell out $150 for admission to the VIP champagne reception. Proceeds will go to local charities. Call 305-633-9861, or visit www.miamitaste.com to learn more about the SOS summer of fundraising events. --Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik
It's Free! It's Free!
The calendar gals have a little saying we like to throw around in this city of excess and opulence: "If it's for free, it's for me." So we are happy to report that Miami-Dade County residents can enjoy free admission days at the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens (3251 S. Miami Ave., Miami) today, August 28, and September 25. You can wander through the main house and lush gardens, stop to gaze at the delicate flowers in the David A. Klein Orchidarium, and listen to historian Arva Moore Parks. For the first time, visitors can also tour eleven historic buildings in the Vizcaya Village. Gather your friends and camera, and meander through the estate today from 9:30 to 4:30. Call 305-250-9133, or visit www.vizcayamuseum.org. -- Lyssa Oberkreser
Hope and Notebooks
Miami Edison needs some
All students face the end of summer with sadness. Most simply dread the onslaught of books and homework. The students of Miami Edison Middle School (6101 NW Second Ave., Miami) have quite a bit more to consider before they return to class. Their community has a reputation for violent crime, and the school has an F grade that needs to be raised. To give the children in this neighborhood some much needed motivation, everyone is welcome to join today's annual back-to-school rally. Enjoy fun, food, and live performances by a step team, as well as local musicians like Young P, M.O.G., and Galilee 3:16. Feast on delicious pit barbecue by Chef Creole. The rally begins at 10:00 a.m. at the school. Admission is free, but attendees are encouraged to bring donations of school supplies or cash. Call 305-751-4866, or visit www.weedandseed.com. --Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik
Enjoy Some Breeze with Your Wine
Key West kicks into food fest mode
If you've been moping around and pouting about the lack of foodie fun in the middle of summer, fret no more. Just three hours away, the land of Hemingway cats and key lime pies is hosting the Fourth Annual Key West Food and Wine Festival, beginning today and running through August 7. Fresh local fish, world beers, a lobster feast, wine tastings, and dessert classes are just a few of the delicious offerings. During the annual Schooner Battle of the Bars, hospitality staff members from local watering holes and restaurants duke it out in a giant relay course to raise money for the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. You can even bring your young ones to the children's cooking class, and they might just give you a break from kitchen duty. Ticket prices range from $10 to $85. For a full schedule and locations, call 305-292-3773, or visit www.kwrba.com. --Ilona Solomon
Cruisin' Old Style
There is a time when the dream is to own a car. Then the goal becomes to own a new car. For some people, at some point that evolves into a desire to own an old car. A really old car. The older the better car. Those who seek, obtain, repair, and pimp out ancient autos do so for many reasons, one of which is to show off their rehabbed rides. If you're the owner of a vintage vehicle (manufactured before 1980), or enjoy checking them out, roll over to the Jubilee Classic Car Show between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m. at the Jubilee Community Church (3350 SW 144th Ave., Miami). This fundraiser is a family affair, with a bounce house, face painting, door prizes, and music from the Fifties to the Seventies. Everything but the food and drink is free. Call 305-223-8881. -- Greg Baker