Screw fast food and all its unhealthy connotations. Slow food is where it's at. Such is the aim of Slow Food Miami, an organization dedicated to embracing local growers and artisan food producers who focus on fair pay, sustainability, and local produce. Each year, they host the swanky Snail of Approval Awards Party, honoring local eateries that serve the group's mission.
This past weekend at the James Royal Palm, chefs from the city's best eateries crafted farm-to-table concoctions. Guests nibbled their way around the pool, sipped Grey Goose cocktails, and picked their food favorites on a breezy Miami night in March. Seriously, events like this are why Miami is unsurpassed. Beat that, New York City.
The party, an annual event, honors Miami restaurants that've earned the Snail of Approval, Slow Food's designation that's all about highlighting local purveyors and farms that opt for sustainable ingredients.
For $85, guests got to meet and mingle with the city's best chefs and eat more than their fill of local veggies, healthful meats, and colorful, creative dishes. Grey Goose served citrusy seasonal cocktails, and Vinecraft offered winetastings.
Chefs on hand included Todd Erickson of Haven, Jeff McInnis of Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, Norman Van Aken of Tuyo, Julie Frans of Essensia, and Conor Hanlon of the Dutch, among others. From a bright, rainbow-hued Thai-style mahi-mahi escabeche with homemade sweet chili sauce, local pickled veggie slaw, and Asian micro mix by Frans, to a foie gras crème brûlée with Bee Heaven Farms duck eggs from Copperbox Culinary Atelier, there were all sorts of enticing options.
Below, check out a photo recap of the event.
As far as winners for the evening's awards, the Cooking Light "Dazzling and Delicious" award went to Chef Erickson, and the People's Choice awards were as follows:
4. The Edge Steak & Bar, Aaron Brooks
3. Eating House, Giorgio Rapicavoli
2. Copper Box Culinary Atelier, Gabriela Machado
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1. Haven, Todd Erickson
Congrats to all the winners. Till next year!
Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.