March of Dimes Signature Chef Event and Auction

Categories: Food Charity

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Photo by Holly Wachowicz
Todd Erickson
A signature chef event and auction to raise money for the March of Dimes is held annually in more than 200 cities. This past weekend at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Miami, more than 20 chefs rolled out their best signature dishes to help moms carry full-term pregnancies. In recent years, this event has raised more than $25 million to make sure all babies are born healthy.

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Shuck Breast Cancer: Mignonette, Fontainebleau, and More Go Pink in October

Categories: Food Charity

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Courtesy of Joy Martin
Yeah, what that shirt says.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and this time every year we're hit in the face with everything pink. NFL players don rose-hued uniforms and the White House and Empire State Building are bathed in a pink glow. But what's behind all the colorful hoopla?

According to Breastcancer.org, over 200,000 women will be diagnosed with new cases of invasive breast cancer in 2014. That means about one in every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Surprisingly, about 85 percent of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of the disease, which means that technically all women are at risk. That's why early detection and regular exams are so important.

Even with all the pink in the air, you really don't get the sheer magnitude of this disease until it hits home. My best friend, a healthy, young professional and the mother of a young boy, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. I met Joy while training for a marathon and the tall, thin, athlete and I became close friends. That's her in the Fuck Cancer shirt the night before having a mastectomy, just two weeks ago. She's recovering and her prognosis is fantastic thanks to great doctors, early detection, and support.

So, this year, I will make it a point to eat and drink at these places that are raising funds and awareness for the cure. Because now it's personal.

See also: Drink Pink in October and Support Breast Cancer Awareness

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Bartender Louis Salgar Remembered With Events, Special Coin

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All photos and artwork courtesy of Nicole Salgar
Louis Salgar is remembered in a special coin.
On June 23, the tightknit Miami bartending community was rocked by the brutal killing of one of its own.

Louis Salgar, who was both a bartender and a talented musician, was fatally shot at his Upper East Side home. A few weeks later, 51-year-old Raul Reinosa (AKA Reinoso Martinez) was arrested in St. Augustine, after fleeing the scene in a stolen Honda. Reinosa is facing burglary and murder charges.

Just two months after the tragic event, Louis' sister, Nicole Salgar is keeping the memory of her brother alive through music, cocktails, and art.

See also: Louis Salgar, Broken Shaker Bartender, Killed Inside Home

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Batch Gastropub Takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Calls Out Three Restaurants

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Batch Gastropub
Any ice left for the cocktails?
Brickell's Batch Gastropub has taken the ALS Ice Bucket challenge to a whole new level.

Not only did Batch partner Kevin Danilo accept the challenge, which dares people to pour a bucket of ice water over their heads or donate $100 to ALS support and research, but he went a step further by recruiting his entire team to take the challenge. Not only has Danilo pledged to donate $20 for each Batch employee that joins the team challenge, he's taking it one step further by challenging other Miami area restaurants to join in the hope of causing a chain reaction of charitable giving in South Florida.

See also: Batch Gastropub Opens: We Get a First Bite

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Slow Food Miami Accepting Nominations for Snail of Approval Awards

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Photo by Laine Doss
Michael Schwartz won the first Snail of Approval in Miami.
Just a few short years ago, Miami's food scene wasn't exactly known as a thriving mecca of locavore cuisine.

Even with its proximity to oceans teeming with fish and farms that raised everything from tropical fruit to cattle, South Florida establishments ordered more from Sysco than farmer Joe.

See also: Slow Food Miami Snail of Approval Tasting Party: Clean Bites on the Beach

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Miami Chefs Host Fundraising Events for Fit to Fight Challenge

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Fit to Fight via Facebook
From Flywheel to Sobekick, Miami chefs are sweating it out all around town.
While we're getting fatter taking advantage of Miami Spice, the chefs behind those meals are slimming down for a good cause. As part of the Fit to Fight challenge, 12 local toques have committed to lose weight while raising funds to benefit Live to Fight, a nonprofit that supports individuals with life-threatening illnesses. After their last weigh-in August 4, some are already down almost 20 pounds!

In addition to competing to drop the most weight, each chef is tasked with raising a minimum of $1,500. Many are hosting events and touting restaurant specials to help meet their goals and promote healthful living.

See also: Fit to Fight: Miami Chefs Compete in Weight Loss Challenge for Charity

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Mangoes to Share Looks to Bring Tropical Fruit to Those Less Fortunate

Categories: Food Charity

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Photo by Hannah Sentenac
If you're sick of eating, seeing, hearing about, and, uh, reading about mangoes, just remember there are plenty of folks who'd love to have mango overload as their First-World problem.

Actually, there are plenty of people in our own backyard who'd be grateful for a food surplus of any kind.

And that's the idea behind Mangoes to Share, a philanthropic endeavor launched by Ania Milaeva. The group is all about distributing our city's excess mango crop to those less fortunate.

See also: International Mango Festival: A Tasting Guide to Casturi, Totopuri, Angie, and More

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Taste of the Nation: South Florida's Best Chefs Serve Up a Great Evening

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All photos by Laine Doss
Nina Compton, Sean Brasel, Timon Balloo, and Lindsay Autry share a moment.
Taste of the Nation South Florida, the fundraising gala that benefits Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign, took over the Loews Miami Beach Hotel last night.

Just about every chef worth his or her salt was at the event -- either serving their best bites or mingling as a guest. The event featured a silent auction and live auction led by Taste of the Nation's founding chairman Allen Susser and chef Ralph Pagano, where guests, emboldened by good food and drink, bid generously on vacations, dinners, and wine.

The main attraction, of course, was the chance to schmooze with your favorite chefs while noshing on beautiful food -- all while helping to end childhood hunger. Good food, good karma.

See also: Miami's Best Chefs Preview Taste of the Nation Event

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Get Belvedere Cocktails at The Standard, Raise Money to Fight AIDS (Recipes)

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Photo by We Are Social | Flickr CC
From June 1 through June 10, The Standard in Miami Beach is partnering with Belvedere vodka to create a cocktail menu to help raise money for the "EAT (RED). DRINK (RED). SAVE LIVES.," a campaign by Michelin-starred restaurants and bars donating money to The Global Fund to fight AIDS.

The ten day cocktail line-up includes drinks made with Belvedere (RED) specialty vodka and are the creation of Belvedere Global Head of Mixology, Claire Smith.

See also: Free Bloody Marys This Weekend at the Stoli Vodka Truck in Coconut Grove (Recipe)

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Alba Seaside Italian to Host Surfers Healing Beach Fundraiser, Surfing Classes for Autistic Children

Categories: Food Charity

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Courtesy Surfers Healing
Surfing pro Izzy Paskowitz and friends.
Autism is in the forefront of the news these days with good reason.

Classified as a disorder of neural development, around one in 68 American children identify on the autism spectrum, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's a startling statistic made even more startling by the fact that these numbers have grown ten-fold in the past 40 years.

An estimated one out of 42 boys and one in 189 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States alone, with over ten million individuals worldwide. That means that you likely know someone affected with the disorder. Ralph Pagano knows all too well how autism can change a family forever.

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