Social Cena Hosts Special 4/20 Dinner

Photo by Ray Sevilla
Table set for a social gathering.
Lots of great stories begin with a garage, but what about a backyard or a kitchen? Apple, Google, Disney, and Amazon all started in garages.

Sear'N Gears has decided to take this same approach with a company that its progenitor, Aleric "AJ" Constantin, hopes to turn into a restaurant (empire). For that, the chef last month used his house, which happens to be a residential/commercial property, and his good friends and fellow artists to kick off the first of many pop-up dinners dubbed "Social Cena." The series continues this month with a special 4/20 dinner Sunday night, followed by a 4/20 Zombie Savior afterparty where guests can digest their six-course dinner and cocktail pairing with beats and dancing.

See also: Sear'N Gears Social Cena Monthly Pop-Up Kicks Off Friday

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Pincho Factory Offers Free Beer Tonight at Sweetness Bake Shop

Cassie Glenn
Pincho Factory's toston burger won over Hoda and Kathie Lee on the Today Show last month. That gave locals a reason to be thankful Nedal Ahmad's creation is readily available when hunger pangs hit. After opening his second location in Coral Gables last August, Ahmad is ready to expand again. This time to where he originally planned to put his first restaurant, his hometown of Hialeah.

While it will not be ready until the second half of this year, the Pincho kings are saying #HelloHialeah tonight with an event at Sweetness Bake Shop featuring burgers, desserts, and free beer.

See also: Sweetness Bakeshop to Open Second, Larger Hialeah Location

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Veritage Miami Interactive Dinner: Guests Cooked With Miami's Top Chefs (Photos)

All photos Sara Ventiera
Warm arthichoke and mushroom salad by Todd Erickson.
Anyone who is even remotely into food should also be into cooking classes.

Unless, you work in a kitchen yourself, chances are you could always use a few tips and pointers.

This past Friday night, Veritage Miami's Interactive Dinner at the InterContinental Miami brought together local culinary enthusiasts with come of city's top toques.

See also: Third Annual Ommegang HopChef Competition at the Biltmore April 28

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Eating House to Host 4/20 Dinner for Stoners

Photo by
Giorgio Rapicavoli celebrates 4/20 with a special menu.
It's no secret that the nation's official views on marijuana are changing for the better. States are ruling for the legalization of medical marijuana, and Colorado recently made history by becoming the first state to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana. Even Florida might jump on the bandwagon come November. If that happens, expect a lot more "comfort" food on restaurant menus.

Ever a trailblazer, Eating House's chef/owner Giorgio Rapicavoli for a few years has been hosting an annual 4/20 dinner. This year is no exception, with his Coral Gables restaurant opening for a rare, prix fixe Sunday dinner. Sunday, April 20, from 6:30 to 11 p.m., enjoy a special munchies menu, live music, drink specials, and stoner movies.

The prix fixe, served family-style, features a killer munchies menu priced at $42.0 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. Special wine and beer selections are $4.20. Do you see a pattern here?

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Veritage Miami 2014: Local Chefs Give a Preview

Courtesy of Veritage
Veritage Miami kicks off this week. Formerly known as the United Way Miami Wine & Food Festival, the four-day event is now its in 19th year. If this is the first time you've heard about it, you have some catching up to do. Luckily, there are plenty of events to get you up to speed.

It starts this Wednesday at Wynwood Walls with a craft beer tasting, which boasts more than 100 craft and microbrew samplings paired with food. Later, there will be a walk-around winetasting at Merrick Park. Indeed, there's something for every palate. But there's more than wine and beer; there's learning too. The highly anticipated Interactive Dinner, taking place Friday, April 11, at the InterContinental Miami, will bring a handful of the Magic City's superlative chefs under one roof to guide 600 hungry guests in making a five-course dinner. Each chef will take the stage to cook one course, while Johnson & Wales culinary students will be the night's sous-chefs and sommeliers, roaming around to help and pairing wine with whatever is cooking.

We asked the participating chefs -- Alberto Cabrera, Cesar Zapata, Giorgio Rapicavoli, Jose Mendin, and Todd Erickson -- to give us a hint about what they'll make, offer advice to participants, and reveal the best cooking advice they've ever gotten.

See also: Kush: Burgers, Beer, and Bacon Brownies in Wynwood (Photos)

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DB Moderne Kicks Off Wine Dinner With Cultural Influencers Tonight

Courtesy of DB Bistro Moderne
Tonight, DB Bistro Moderne kicks off the first of a series of wine dinners that calls upon not only the DB Bistro Moderne team but also Miami's cultural influencers. Leaders from the arts, culture, and entertainment community will take turns hosting a monthly dinner that's emblematic of their persona and outside the realm of French food.

Miami Symphony Orchestra's lead conductor, Maestro Eduardo Marturet, kicks off the series, hosting an "Evening in Greece." Jason Pringle will cook a four-course meal to complement wines from the Greek Isles selected by sommelier Christopher Birnie-Visscher.

Guests who participate in the food-meets-art affair will get to attend Triple Russians Sunday, May 4, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts -- courtesy of the Miami Symphony Orchestra maestro and DB Bistro Moderne. We spoke with Marturet, Pringle, and Birnie-Visscher about how the wine series originated, the choice of an evening in Greece, and the wine selection.

See also: Miami Rum Renaissance Festival Returns: VIP BOGO Offer

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Miami Rum Renaissance Festival Returns: VIP BOGO Offer

Laine Doss
Get yer ration of rum at the festival (parrot and eye patch optional).
The Miami Rum Renaissance Festival returns to the Doubletree Hotel Miami Airport Convention Center for three days of rum tastings, seminars and festivities April 25 to 27.

Now in its sixth year, the festival features more than 80 rum producers worldwide offering tastes of over 200 rums to rum enthusiasts, pirates, and modern tiki gods.

And, like the spirit it celebrates, the festival is much more complex than just merely indulging. In addition to the grand tasting exhibition, Miami Rum Renaissance offers entertainment, a lifestyle showcase (because you need a hula girl lamp and a few tiki shirts), and expert seminars by some of the most knowledgeable and entertaining authors and distillers in the business. The festival is also the host of the world tiki cocktail championships, where top bartenders will be tasted with making the ultimate Tiki drink. Bartenders will be judged on showmanship, presentation, execution, taste and creativity by a panel of experts. The results will be announced at the festival.

See also: Miami Rum Renaissance Festival: Ten Rums You Probably Haven't Tried Yet

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Johnson & Wales University Hosts Chef Richard Ingraham

All photos by Laine Doss
Chef Richard Ingraham mentors JWU students at DVC dinner.
As the folks at Johnson & Wales University celebrate their centennial, their distinguished visiting chef series continued over the weekend with Richard Ingraham serving as executive chef for a four-course feast prepared and served by the school's culinary students.

If you haven't eaten Ingraham's food, it's because the busy chef doesn't work at a traditional restaurant; he opts to cook instead for some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment including Kelly Rowland, Disney on Ice, Patrick Ewing, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade. When he's not dishing out food for A-listers, he's showing Miami's children how to eat better through Michelle Obama's Move 2 Schools White House Initiative or feeding homeless individuals at 13th Street and 1st Avenue in Overtown the first Saturday of every month.

The chef, along with his friend and associate Terrance R. Williams prepared a decadent meal at the university, with proceeds benefiting a student who receives a $2,000 scholarship in the chef's name. Derryann Adams was chosen to receive the award for her academic excellence.

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Deering Seafood Festival: Food, Sun, and Junkanoo Celebration

All photos by Laine Doss
The Deering Estate is the majestic backdrop of its annual seafood festival.
Thousands of people flocked to the Deering Estate on Cutler Bay to enjoy a perfect Spring afternoon in South Florida.

Armed with lawn chairs, savvy fairgoers staked a claim on the expansive estate lawn to enjoy the cool bay breezes and entertainment as they chowed down on fruits of the sea.

The weather couldn't have been more perfect to enjoy a beer, scarf down a dozen crawdaddies, and get some some at the 10th annual Deering Seafood Festival. Here's what we ate.

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Timon Balloo Big Winner at JWU's Zest Awards

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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