Remembering Barry Alberts, Miami Wine Educator

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Laine Doss
Barry Alberts doing what he loved best.
If you've ever been to a winetasting or a pairing dinner in Miami, chances are you met local wine educator Barry Alberts.

Alberts died suddenly this past weekend. His daughter, Lexi, posted the news on Alberts' Facebook page Saturday, April 5. Alberts also had a son, Chad, who lives in Portland.

See also: Weekly Wine Tasting at Sonesta Coconut Grove: Killer View Included

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IKEA Miami Now Hiring: 350 Jobs Including Food Service Positions

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Y-Shumin via Flickr
Want to make the meatballs?
It's coming! IKEA, the land of affordable assemble-it-yourself furniture, Swedish meatballs, and lingonberry soda is (finally) opening its first Miami-Dade location this summer. (No more schlepping to Sunrise for a twenty-buck end table and some frozen salmon!)

See also: IKEA to Open in Miami: Five Reasons for Foodies to Rejoice

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Chef's Roll, LinkedIn for the Culinary Crowd, Draws in Miami's Kitchen Talent

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Courtesy of Chef's Roll
There's no denying that the culinary world is its own wild, woolly trip down the rabbit hole. The kitchens of the world are a far cry from the corporate boardrooms, particularly when it comes to career paths. Ever read Kitchen Confidential? Yeahhhhhhhh, that.

So it makes major sense that chefs should have their own social network. Somehow, LinkedIn doesn't seem up to the task of showcasing a sous chef's epic au jus or highlighting a toque's talents with a blade. So for back of the house superstars, there's Chef's Roll.

See also: Fashion Blogger Pamela Wasabi Embarks on Vegan and Raw Foods Chef Career

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Giorgio Rapicavoli, Jose Mendin Are Food & Wine's People's Best Chef Nominees

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Hector Torres
Pubbelly's Jose Mendin is one of Food & Wine's best chefs.
Food & Wine's fourth-annual the People's Best New Chef nominees have been announced, and two Miami chefs are in the running.

Jose Mendin, director of culinary operations for the Pubbelly Restaurant Group, and Giorgio Rapicavoli, chef/partner of Eating House and the soon-to-open Taperia Raca, are among the 100 toques nominated for the award, which "honors talented up-and-coming innovators who have run their own kitchens for five years or fewer."

See also: Taperia Raca Opens Friday: Giorgio Rapicavoli Tells Us What to Expect

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Timon Balloo Big Winner at JWU's Zest Awards

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Laine Doss
JWU's Dean Ozga, Timon Balloo and daughter, and JWU North Miami campus president Loreen Chant at the Zest awards.
Miami's finest chefs and most enterprising restaurateurs gathered at Johnson & Wales University last evening for the third annual Zest Awards.

The awards, which were created in 2012 by the university to recognize leaders in the Miami culinary industry.

The awards were presented in six categories (Best Restaurant, Best Bar/Lounge, Culinary Innovator, Newcomer of the Year, Baking & Pastry Innovator and Reader's Choice Best Food Blogger).

See also: James Beard Finalists Announced: Miami Snubbed

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Miami Fast Food Workers: New Website Asks "Are You Robbed on the Job?"

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Low Pay is not OK
Protesters converge on a Miami McDonald's to demand better wages.
Fast food workers across America as getting tired of the vast difference between the salaries of the corporate bigwigs and their meager earnings. The difference, by the way, is astounding.

According to a Nerdwallet report, if broken down into an hourly wage, the CEO of McDonald's would earn $9,247 every 60 seconds. Compare that to the average hourly wage of an employee in his ranks, which is $7.73.

See also: Miami Fast-Food Workers to Protest at Miami McDonald's for Fair Wages

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James Beard Finalists Announced: Miami Snubbed

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Laine Doss
No Beard for Broken Shaker...this year.
No need to book a trip to New York City for the 2014 James Beard Foundation's awards gala on May 5, because there will be no South Florida chefs or restaurateurs to root for when the awards are announced.

The James Beard finalists were announced yesterday and not one Miami connection was among the short list of people and places up for the coveted award.

Not Michael Schwartz (Michael's Genuine Food & Drink), a semifinalist in the Outstanding Chef category; nor The Broken Shaker in the Outstanding Bar category. Jose Mendin (Pubbelly) and Horacio Rivadero (The District Miami), who were both given preliminary nods in the Best Chef: South category, were also left out of the final tally of Beard hopefuls.

See also: James Beard 2014 Semifinalists Announced: Miami Talent Included

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Miami Fast-Food Workers to Protest at Miami McDonald's for Fair Wages

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Low Pay is not OK
McDonald's workers protest for better wages.
Last week, McDonald's workers in New York, California, and Michigan filed class-action lawsuits against the fast-food giant. They claim Mickey D's "illegally underpaid employees by erasing hours from their time cards, not paying overtime, and ordering them to work off the clock," according to the New York Times.

The combined lawsuits demand that McDonald's, which earned nearly $5.6 billion in profits in 2013, pay back the stolen wages and stop its illegal theft of workers' pay.

See also: The Burger King and Ronald McDonald Rap Battle for Better Pay: Watch Here (Video)

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James Beard 2014 Semifinalists Announced: Miami Talent Included

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Photo by Ben Fink
Michael Schwartz gets a Beard nod.
The James Beard Foundation has announced the semifinalists for the 2014 Restaurant and Chef award categories today, and a smattering of Miami culinary professionals made the list. The total number of South Florida semifinalists for 2014 is five, down from last year's seven.

The announcement took place at Orlando's East End Market. The Beard Foundation, by the way, called Orlando "one of Florida's burgeoning culinary hubs." The actual awards ceremony takes place in New York City on May 2 and 5.

See also: James Beard Announces 2013 Semifinalists: Miami Gets Several Nods

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JWU Zest Award Nominees Announced: Vote for Short Order

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Vote for Short Order.
Nominees have just been announced for the third-annual Johnson & Wales University's Zest Awards, which honor leaders in South Florida's culinary arts scene.

On March 19 from 7 to 9 p.m., the JWU North Miami campus will host the invitation-only event, which showcases our best and brightest in six award categories, including best restaurant, best bar/lounge, culinary innovator, baking/pastry innovator, newcomer of the year, and best food blogger. In addition, Richard Ingraham will receive a special community leader award.

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