Miami's Best Eats and Drinks This Weekend: Celebrity Chefs, Beer Blasts, and a Locavore Brunch

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Although Labor Day made this week a short one for most people, that doesn't mean Friday isn't a most welcome gift.

Tonight's reason to dress up is the Chefs Up Front gala at the Biltmore. Then, tomorrow, it's all about beer when two Wynwood breweries celebrate special releases. Finally, wind down the weekend with a brunch inspired by local produce.

Weekend starts now!
Chefs Up Front at the Biltmore
It's time to break out the fancy duds and head to the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables for the annual FLIPANY Chefs Up Front Miami dinner. Beginning tonight (September 9) at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception, dine for a cause as South Florida's best chefs prepare their signature dishes in an intimate dinner setting. Chefs include Top Chef winner Jeremy Ford of the Matador Room, Robyn Almodovar of Palate Party, Mike Fischetti of Zest, Cristian Cuevas of 50 Eggs, Eric Baker of Max's Harvest, Ryan Martin and Michael Shikany of 180 Degrees, Masamoto Hamaya of Dragonfly, Phil Bryant of the Local Craft Food & Drink, Nuno Grullon of Café Roval, Yetunde Shorters of the Afropolitan Chef, Dustin Ward of BLT Prime, Dave Hackett of the Biltmore, Gabriel Medici of Novocento, Brian Nasajon of Beaker & Gray, Adrianne Calvo of Chef Adrianne's Vineyard Cafe, Jose Mendin of Pubbelly, and Pedro Lopez of Soyka.

The best part is that proceeds from this special evening supports Cooking Matters for schoolchildren and their families in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties, a program that teaches children and their families how to make healthy food choices, cook healthful meals, and shop for nutritious foods on a budget. FLIPANY is the only agency providing such programs in South Florida and is the leading partner of the national Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters’ program.

Tickets cost $250 and can be purchased at chefsupfront.org. 
Concrete Beach Blocktoberfest
This Saturday, September 10, from 2 to 6 p.m., Concrete Beach will host its second-annual Blocktoberfest. To get you in the mood, the Larry Roberts Polka Band will play some traditional German music, and Miami Smokers will cook up German sausage. The brewery will also release its Floridafest beer, an Oktoberfest-style lager with coconut. The beer will be available in cans and on draft.

J. Wakefield's Miami Madness Release Party
Beginning at noon Saturday, September 10, J. Wakefield Brewing fans can get their hands on the brewery's Miami Madness — a mango-guava-passionfruit Berliner weisse made with 1,500 pounds of local fruit. The beer is available in 750 ml bottles and on draft. In addition, the brewery will release two cans — Who's on First, an imperial IPA brewed with local saw palmetto honey from Garden of Ian ($19 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans), and Rainbow Road, a guava saison made with local fruit ($16 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans). All cans and bottles are sold on a cash-only basis (an ATM is onsite for convenience). 
Farmers' Market Brunch at the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove
This Sunday, September 11, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., enjoy a buffet brunch with a locavore slant. The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove hosts its weekly Farmers' Market Brunch featuring ingredients from local purveyors. For $49 per adult (and $24 per child), enjoy unlimited carving stations, fresh seafood, breakfast items, and sweets. Add $20 for access to the bloody mary, bubbly, and mimosa bar. Complimentary valet parking is included, but tax and gratuities are not. For reservations, call 305-644-4680. 

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