Would Suspended Coffee Work in Miami?

Categories: Food Charity

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

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

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

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

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

Thumbnail image for wynwoodbrewing_flight.jpg
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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LoKal Hosts First Annual Thanksgiving Paw Drive Tonight

Categories: Food Charity

Courtesy of LoKal
Some of the dogs looking for a home at LoKal.
This week most of us will gather together with family and friends to share a warm meal and give thanks for what we have.

But, while we're eating our fill of turkey and ham, thousands of dogs and cats will languish in a cold, loud shelter -- many of them are former pets who found themselves in this situation after careless owners lost them or surrendered them like a used sofa.

Each year, over 37,000 animals find their way to Miami-Dade Animal Services, the county run facility. Although staff and volunteers try to reunite these dogs and cats with their owners or find new homes, the sad reality is that most of these animals wind up euthanized after spending just a short time at the shelter.

See also: Miami's Top Ten Dog-Friendly Restaurants

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Typhoon Haiyan Benefit Planned at the Local House Tonight

Courtesy The Local House
Ciro Campagnoli is hosting a dinner to benefit the Philippine Red Cross.
Though the Philippine Islands are about a 22-hour flight from Miami, South Floridians can surely empathize with the people of the area. After all, we are acutely aware of the deadly force of a monster storm, as evidenced by our experience with Hurricane Andrew.

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Blue Collar to Raise $5,000 for Breast Cancer Awareness Tonight

Danny Serfer is no stranger to breast cancer. "My mother died 11 years ago this month," he says.

With a mission to raise awareness, he's teamed up with Cobaya founders to host a one-night-only Pink Collar dinner featuring the best caviar, the best stone crabs, and the best truffles (which were plucked from the ground two days ago, by the way) that money can buy.

"This is a serious disease and I'm completely serious about supporting the cause," he told Short Order last year.

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db Bistro, Terrazza, Sweet Revenge & More: Go Pink and Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Categories: Food Charity

Laine Doss
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Breast cancer affects too many of us, whether we are a survivor or the friend or family member of one.

According to the American Cancer Society, "breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancers. About one in eight (12%) women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime and in 2013, about 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women."

Although the chance that breast cancer will be responsible for a woman's death is about one in 36 (about 3%), death rates from breast cancer have been steadily declining, partly because of earlier detection through screening and increased awareness, as well as better treatment. Currently, there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, a time when people -- from major league sports teams to everyday mothers, daughters, fathers, and sons -- wear pink to show solidarity against a disease that affects us all.

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