World Festival Miami: Valet Hell
In the resort-like lobby of the Palms Hotel, reps from chef Michelle Bernstein's Michy's greeted guests to the right, while Common Threads founder, chef Art Smith, presented to the left. A station of complimentary Fiji water was a nice touch, and butler passed around champagne.
On the terrace, silent-auction tables featured gift certificates, baskets of goodies, and bottles of wine. Bars stocked with donated wines and spirits were set up as well. In either corner of the event, world musicians played, providing a gentle soundtrack to the evening.
Area 31's chef, John Critchley, who showed no signs of defeat following Miami New Times' recent Iron Fork event, prepared seared yellowtail snapper with roasted pumpkin purée and salsa verde. The only dessert offering was anything but disappointing. Essensia's assistant pastry chef, Samantha Frei, along with her Common Threads helper, served passion fruit panna cotta with chocolate almond meringue.
Chef Jeanetti says that because the event was so well received, the Palms and Common Threads are planning to host the second annual event next year. He assures that the valet parking situation will be remedied by then.