Last evening's Chefs for Obama was a veritable who's who of the Miami culinary scene. Hosted by chef Michael Schwartz (Michael's Genuine Food & Drink) and congresswoman and Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the event, held at the Moore Building, was one of a series of Chefs for Obama grassroots fundraisers held across the nation.
The event wasn't only about food. Music was provided by Grammy-nominated jazz artist Sammy Figueroa, DJ Irie, and DJ Africa (DJs for Obama), and Obama-inspired art was displayed.
Supporters could also shop at the pop-up Runway to Win, which sold T-shirts, scarves, tote bags, and even doggie shirts (I Bark for Obama) -- each created specifically for the campaign by designers such as Jason Woo, Rachel Roy, and Nanette Lepore.
Supporters who ate for Obama were treated to an impressive roster of chefs, including:
- Patrick Adams (Gourmet Design Catering)
- Timon Balloo (Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill)
- Rom Duprat (Top Chef Season 6)
- Patrick Feyten (Atelier Monnier)
- Hedy Goldsmith (Michael's Genuine Food & Drink)
- David Hackett (Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa)
- Cindy Hutson (Ortanique on the Mile)
- Richard Leroy Ingraham (Dwyane Wade's personal chef)
- Michael B. Jacobs (Strategic Hospitality Group)
- Jouvens Jean (St. Regis Bal Harbor)
- Aria Kagan (Next Food Network Star)
- Larry Lavalley (3800 Ocean)
- Steve Mosley (S&J Catering)
- Dena Marino (MC Kitchen)
- David Schwadron (Chef David Catering)
- Michael Schwartz (Michael's Genuine Food & Drink)
- Wilkinson Sejour (Chef Creole)
- Hugh Sinclair (Irie Spice)
- Aaron Taylor (STK Miami)
- Kris Wessel (Red Light Little River and Florida Cookery)
A bar turned out Obamatinis and "Forward, Not Backward Rhum Punch," made with Barbancourt rhum, and Michael's Genuine Food & Drink poured its home brew while a lively crowd sampled meatballs from the popular Design District restaurant.
Chef Richard Ingraham's wild mushroom grits with shrimp were a hit.
Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill's Timon Balloo trotted out an entire roast pig to carve for his pork lettuce wraps.
A highlight of the evening was the chance to sample food from two of Miami's most anticipated fall arrivals. Dena Marino, from the soon-to-open MC Kitchen in the Design District, served pumpkin ravioli with rabbit ragout, and Kris Wessel made a goat empanada to showcase his upcoming Miami Beach restaurant, Florida Cookery.
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The event, which cost $250 for general admission and $1,000 for VIP access, raised funds for the Obama for America campaign.