This weekend, top chefs and mixologists in the region will come together for the annual Taste of the Nation, while Cochon555 returns with participants including Barley's Jorgie Ramos and the Bazaar by José Andrés' Karla Hoyos.
Plus, Grillin 'N Chillin kicks off South Florida's barbecue season, the Rum Renaissance Festival returns to Coral Gables, and Exquisito Chocolates celebrates one year in Little Havana with $1 chocolate factory tours. Sunday, hang out at the Wharf for a Game of Thrones viewing party, complete with themed cocktails.
South Florida Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry at Ice Palace Film Studios. Friday, top chefs and mixologists in the region will come together for one of Miami's largest evenings of food and drinks, which benefits the fight to end childhood hunger. The event will present dishes from more than 50 of the area's best restaurants. The evening will also include a silent auction and a Citi lounge where guests can sample a selection of wines, beers, and spirits. Participating restaurants include Bird & Bone, Phuc Yea, Bourbon Steak, Beaker & Gray, Stubborn Seed, Kyu, and La Placita. 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, May 17, at Ice Palace Film Studios, 59 NW 14th St., Miami. Tickets cost $150 via events.nokidhungry.org.
Rum Renaissance Festival Returns to Coral Gables. In 2008, the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival debuted in Coral Gables with just 54 luxury rums and 150 attendees. Over a decade later, it has become the largest gathering of rum experts and professionals in the world. In 2019, the 11th-annual event will return to its roots with more-intimate tastings at the historic Coral Gables Woman's Club. On Friday and Saturday, pirates, tiki mugs, and hundreds of glistening bottles of rum will fill the venue, where attendees will have their pick of unlimited pours and seminars. This year, approximately 75 vendors will offer more than 200 varieties of rum from the Caribbean, the Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa. There will also be various seminars covering topics from the emerging American rum market to the diversity of everyday rum. Friday, May 17, and Saturday, May 18, at the Coral Gables Woman's Club, 1001 E. Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables; 707-278-6736; rumrenaissance.com. Tickets cost $25 to $125 via rumrenaissance.com.
Burger King's Impossible Whopper Tour Bus. Burger King's meat-free Impossible Whopper is now available in Miami. Though prices may vary by location, the Impossible Whopper sandwich costs $4.29 in Miami and will be $1 more than a regular Whopper in a meal combination. To celebrate the launch, Burger King is rolling out an Impossible Whopper tour bus around Miami through Saturday, May 18, with games, music, and free swag. Here's the schedule.
CentralFare Grand Opening at the Virgin MiamiCentral. Virgin MiamiCentral's food hall, Central Fare, officially debuts this weekend. Tenants include World Famous House of Mac, Bucks Crepes, Delicatessen Patagonia, Bio Bio Gelato, and the wine bar Art de Vivre, in addition to La Estacion American Brasserie by Juvia Group. Parliament Coffee & Espresso Bar and Rosetta Bakery are already open, and 800 Degrees Woodfired is set to open this fall. Through Sunday, expect $5 fares, live music, activations, social media moments, and pop-ups, as well as food and drink specials. 600 NW 1st Ave., Miami; 305-520-2300; virginmiamicentral.com.
Craft Carousel at MIA Brewery. SLF Hops, a local group that hosts meetups at breweries, beer bars, festivals, tastings, and other beer-related events, recently expanded its focus by launching its own series of events dubbed Craft Carousel. SFL Hop's new venture highlights local up-and-coming craft brewers and beer bars. Each Craft Carousel will feature five to nine beer tents and offer a people's choice competition, merchandise, local vendors, and beer games. The first Craft Carousel takes place from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday at MIA Brewery in Doral, and will include Octave Brewing, Stebbins Brewing Company, Monkey Business Brewing Co., Urban Brewers, Edukos, and Silver Brewing Company. 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at MIA Brewery, 10400 NW 33rd St., Doral; 786-801-1721; mia.beer. Tickets cost $6 to $18 via eventbrite.com.
One-Year Anniversary at Exquisito Chocolates. Celebrate with an hour-long chocolate factory tour at Exquisito in Little Havana. Get an inside look at the factory's production space, which turns cacao beans sourced from across the world into chocolate. You'll get to taste-test chocolate, too. In honor of the factory's one- year anniversary, tours will be available all weekend for $1. Use the code "MiamiWillyWonka" at checkout. Saturday, May 18, and Sunday, May 19, at Exquisito Chocolates, 2606 SW Eighth St., Miami; 786-558-4580; exquisitochocolates.com. Tickets cost $1 via eventbrite.com with code "MiamiWillyWonka."
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Grillin 'N Chillin at Peacock Park. Grillin 'N Chillin, a family event in Coconut Grove, kicks off barbecue season with lots of meat and veggies. In its seventh year, the all-day fest includes a chef cook-off and a huge party serving everything from Carolina to Korean to Brazilian barbecue. There will be live music, a kids' zone, and even a veggie and sauce corner. Noon Sunday, May 19, at Peacock Park, 2820 McFarlane Rd., Miami; grillininthegrove.com. Admission is free.
Cochon555 at the Biltmore. The annual event, which will take place at the Biltmore from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, will task five chefs — including Barley's Jorgie Ramos, Goya's Fernando Desa, and the Bazaar by José Andrés' Karla Hoyos — with creating an innovative lineup of pork-centric food and drinks. Expect pop-ups too, including a cheese bar; a salami, charcuterie, and pâté station; a tartare bar with truffles and foie gras; a bakery with numerous sweets; and a butcher shop. 5 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, May 19, at the Biltmore, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables. Tickets cost $130 to $200 via cochon555.com.
Game of Thrones Series Finale Watch Party at the Wharf. Sunday, hang out on the Miami River with hundreds of Game of Thrones fans during the series finale. Enjoy live viewing on a giant 14-foot LED screen, as well as $12 limited-edition GOT Johnnie Walker “White Walker” and additional GOT-themed cocktails. In addition to drink specials, the watch party will offer food by Lung Yai Thai Tapas, Cracked by Chef Adrianne, Spris Artisan Pizza, Mojo Donuts, La Santa Taqueria, OG Ceviche and Seafood Shack, and Sweet Melody Crafted Ice Cream. Beginning at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 19, at the Wharf, 114 SW North River Dr., Miami; 305-906-4000; wharfmiami.com.