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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Would Suspended Coffee Work in Miami?

Categories: Food Charity

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Laine Doss
Would you buy a stranger a cup of coffee?
On a recent trip to Dublin, I saw it on a coffeehouses's menu board. Along with lattes, mochas, and teas, there was "suspended coffee." Thinking it was a new way of brewing, I asked.

Suspended coffee is neither a method nor a flavor. It is a movement. Basically, you order a suspended coffee as you would anything else on the menu. But after paying for it, you receive nothing. Instead, the little you paid for your coffee goes into a "suspended" transaction, to be saved for someone who doesn't have the money.

When that person comes in, he or she is given the beverage you paid for in advance. It's a formalized pay-it-forward.

See also: Why Is Miami So Mean? Pay It Forward at the Starbucks Drive-Thru

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Steve Martorano, Makoto, Michelle Bernstein at Epicure's Cooking on the Courts Fundraiser

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Lynn Parks
Chef Makoto entertains Jorge and Darlene Perez at Cooking on the Courts II.

This past weekend, Jason and Diana Starkman opened their Bay Harbor home to 60 guests for a dinner party. Jason Starkman is owner of Epicure Gourmet Markets and Jerry's Famous Deli.

But it wasn't just any dinner party. The $1,000-a-plate fundraiser for United Cerebral Palsy of South Florida -- titled Cooking on the Courts II -- invited some of South Florida's best chefs to cook and entertain the guests on Starkman's tennis court.

The dinner, in conjunction with a silent auction and tennis tournament, raised $100,000 for the charity, which featured Steve Martorano (Café Martorano), Michelle Bernstein (Michy's), Makoto Okuwa (Makoto), and Epicure's own Michael Love, Hector Morales, and Cyrille Morin.


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Slow Food Miami's Ark of Taste: Michael Schwartz Takes on the Everglades Tomato

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All Photos by Kareem Shaker
Michael Schwartz (holding glass) and crew prepared dishes on stage.
In Miami, much like the rest of this country, most people have no clue where their food comes from. Slow Food, an international non-for-profit organization that combats the standardization of taste and culture brought on by the popularization of fast food, is looking to change that.

"Any time you can get involved with an organization whose sole purpose is to support locally-sourced ingredients and the farmers that produce them, it benefits everyone involved," says James Beard award-winning chef Michael Schwartz.

Last night, he appeared for the fifth consecutive year at Ark of Taste in support of Slow Food Miami at the Kampong Garden.

Schwartz brought along his crew from the Cypress Room, a sophisticated eatery in the Design District. Along with chef de cuisine Roel Alcudia and executive pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith, Schwartz showcased the tiny Everglades tomato in a four course meal.

See also: The River Seafood & Oyster Bar's Brunch: We Get a First Bite

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Les Dames D'Escoffier Miami to Host Gourmet Garage Sale

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Not your everyday garage sale.
How in the world can you call yourself an avid home cook when your home tools consist of some half melted plastic spatula and a frying pan you bought at Publix for 15 bucks?

The proper tools are essential for succeeding in the kitchen, but some of the prices are outrageous! Luckily for you, the Les Dames D'Escoffier Miami (LDEM) are hosting their annual garage sale, where you can stock up on everything you need at bargain prices.

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Donate Food for the Holidays at Camillus House, Miami Rescue Mission, and More

Categories: Food Charity

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Mulad Flickr/cc
As the holiday season heads into overdrive, most of us are overwhelmed with excess in our lives, from gluttonous amounts of food to piles of presents to a flood of party invites. But not everyone is so lucky.

As we bemoan our annual overeating, there are people facing hunger right here in our own backyard. So in the spirit of the season, here are some places where you can donate your extra food before the holiday. Isn't giving what Christmas is all about?

See also: Miami's Ten Best Holiday Cocktails

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Toys for Pints at Wynwood Brewing Company

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Photos by Laine Doss
Wynwood Brewing hosts Toys for Pints.
Christmas brings out the best in people. There's something about the season that reminds us that we're all part of a larger community and we should help lift one another up.

Wynwood Brewing Company, one of the newest additions to Miami's food and beverage community, wants to pitch in and do its part, so it's hosting a Toys for Pints drive to collect toys for children in the neighborhood.

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