The City of Miami Gardens' first-ever Wine and Food Experience is this Saturday, November 14, a day Councilwoman Lisa Davis has long awaited. "I like to call this event a 'brainchild' of mine," she says. "I've had it for about two and a half years now. I love attending food and wine tastings, but they all seem to be the same. I wanted to try to do something that no one else is doing. Hopefully it'll become a legacy for Miami Gardens."
The one-night only event, held at the City of Miami Gardens Municipal Complex (18605 NW 27th Ave.), will feature a master chef cook off, complimentary eats and drinks from local eateries, and Omari Hardwick as a guest celebrity judge. "I've heard that Hardwick is really excited for the night," she says. "I'm really excited, and I know most of the ladies are too."
Hardwick is just one attraction of many. Guests can nibble on bites from Finga Lickin, Bahama Breeze, Lux Cakery, Red the Steakhouse, Prime One Twelve, and ten other participating restaurants. There will be a medley of wine and spirits available from Dry Sparkling, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Jack Daniels, PRP Wines International, and others. A mixologist showdown is planned too. "I don't really think of it as a festival," she says. "It an experience. Once you come this year, you'll want to come back the next."
Davis expects about 800 attendees and is confident the "experience" will be unforgettable. "It's not only for Miami Gardens residents, but all of South Florida," she says. "It's going to be sophisticated, grown, and sexy. I really want it to cater to a mature and professional audience."
South Florida-based chefs Myriam Charles, Troy Tingling, Ali Francois, and Alain Lemaire will compete in the chef cook-off, with each one challenged to make a dish from a secret basket of ingredients. "I can't tell you what's in the basket," she laughs. "It'll remain a surprise. But I can say the winner will take home the first Golden Fork award."
Chef Myriam Charles,
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When she's not in competition mode, Charles will head Lux Cakery's vendor table, available with sweet treats throughout the night. "I really think this will be the first of many food experiences, and I'm honored to be apart of it," she says. "And really, who doesn't love food and wine events? You can't go wrong."
With this year's experience only a few days away, Councilwoman Davis already has ideas for next year's. "I'm thinking a masquerade party," she laughs. "I have to keep people wondering what Councilwoman Davis will do next! But really, we work so hard. We want people to enjoy their lives as well."
For more information on Miami Gardens Wine and Food Experience, visit miamigardenswinefoodexp.com.