With temperatures dropping and Uggs making their annual appearance, now is the perfect time for a midwinter's FEAST.
FEAST Miami, the city's art-meets-eats vegan pop-up dinner series, will kick off its sixth installment this Sunday, February 21, at Villain Theater at MADE at the Citadel. The dinner begins at 6 p.m., and there's a minimum donation of $40 per person. Tickets can be purchased at brownpapertickets.com.
For those who haven't had a chance to indulge in any of the edible affairs, here's how it works: Diners pay a fee to chow down on a plant-based meal, hear presentations from artist applicants, and then vote for their favorite. The winner scores a grant to support his or her idea.
"Artists and small arts organizations apply to our grant, a rotating committee made up of art professionals determines the finalists, and then the attendees vote on their favorite project on the day of the event," cofounder Susan Caraballo explains. "The event brings people together to learn about innovative arts projects that impact that community while enjoying a healthy meal."
The vegan culinary component is spearheaded by FEAST cofounder and chef Loren Pulitzer, of Meals That Heal and Simply Sharon's cookies.
The menu for the sixth edition (with ingredients supplied mostly by Whole Foods) includes a wintery mix of root vegetables, hearty spices, and nutrient-dense greens. Here's the lineup:
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- Green salad topped with toasted pumpkin seeds with lemon vinaigrette
- Sweet potato and almond stew seasoned with cumin and turmeric
- Roasted root vegetables: carrots, parsnips, and beets
- Butternut squash rounds stuffed with coconut quinoa
- Sauteed triple greens: kale, chard, and collard served with tahini sauce
- Dark-chocolate truffles
The FEAST concept kicked off in 2013 after receiving a $40,000 matching grant from the Knight Foundation. Since then, FEAST has hosted five brunches and dinners and funded projects including Marie Whitman's Eat Your Poem: Poetry With a Purpose; Amanda Season Keeley's Exile Books; Jonathan De Camps with Ghosts in America; Katie Wiegman's On Board; and Nathaniel Sandler's Bookleggers Bookbox Project.
This month's artist applicants are Biscayne Bay by Gustavo Oviedo; Sunroom Poetry in Schools, by Laurel Akemi Nakanishi and O, Miami Poetry Festival; Miami Zine Fair 2016, by Lauren Monzon and Amanda Keeley; Bold Beauty Project, by Shelly Baer, Eva Ritvo, and Starr Sariego; and Sprayskull: Sprayface CR3atures, by Jay "Remote" Bellicchi, Natalie Lewis Schere, and Seth "Brimstone" Schere.
Marking its third year, the project is going strong. "We work with an amazing project manager, Amanda Finuccio, who is the point person for the applicants and the coordinator of the event logistics," Carabello says. "We also have an advisory committee that assists us in the planning and promoting. We have a pre-FEAST meeting that we discuss what we need from them. Since we are at our sixth event together, we have a pretty good rhythm down."