About a week ago RA Sushi extended a challenge to me and other food writers in Miami -- create a sushi roll for an event at the popular restaurant. If it gets the most votes -- both online and in person -- it will be featured on the menu for 30 days -- with a portion of proceeds donated to your favorite charity.
Who could turn down the opportunity to make a sushi roll, co-host a fabulous party, and raise money and awareness for a local charity?
I couldn't, so I went down to the South Miami restaurant and worked with their chef to make a sushi roll that best represented the flavors of our city.
The Tropical Heat roll features fresh mango, avocado, jalapeno, and tuna. It's accompanied by some sweet and savory mango salsa. As a finishing touch, a drizzle of sriracha is served on the plate for people who like a little more spice in their lives.
The charity I'm playing for is Tri-County Humane Society, a small no-kill animal shelter serving Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. The shelter, which runs on a tight budget, rescues many dogs and cats from dire situations. Recently, they took in over 50 chihuahuas from a hoarding situation in Hialeah, where they were housed in an industrial warehouse bay.
Without proper conditions, the dogs were dehydrated,
malnourished, and sickly. I adopted a small five pound female named
Dora. Vets at
the shelter's clinic worked on her for nearly two months before I could
take her home. When I did, I found a post-it in her file that said,
"Tell Dora every day that she has a family to come home to".
Other foodies (and their charities) include:
Linda Gassenheimer, columnist at The Miami Herald is competing for Camillus House, a full-service center that has provided humanitarian services to the indigent and homeless populations of Miami-Dade County for more than 50 years.
Jen Karetnick, dining critic at MIAMI Magazine, is competing for Doctors Without Borders, an international medical humanitarian organization that provides independent, impartial assistance in more than 60 countries.
Lydia Martin, columnist for The Miami Herald, is competing on behalf of Pridelines Youth Services, an organization dedicated to supporting, educating and empowering South Florida's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth in a safe and diverse environment.
Jacquelynn Powers, editorial director of MiamiPopMedia.com is competing on behalf of Mourning Family Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Alonzo and Tracy Mourning to better serve South Florida communities and its children.
Johnny Todd, Miami community director at Yelp is competing on behalf of Year Up, a an organization that seeks to close the Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their true potential.
Then, come out and eat the sushi and vote for your favorite in person at a free party at RA Sushi on February 13 from 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
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You'll meet all the foodies and munch on free sushi, while a DJ will set the mood for a great pre-Valentine's day event.
The event is completely free, but please RSVP to FoodiesShowHeart@taraink.com.