On April 15 – 18, more than 3,500 food, wine and beer lovers gathered at the 20th annual VeritageMiami to eat, drink and unite, raising more than $500,000 for United Way of Miami-Dade. The four day gathering was presented by City National Bank. Guests enjoyed a world-class craft beer tasting, a stellar wine and food tasting, an Interactive Dinner led by five of Miami’s top female chefs – Eileen Andrade of FINKA Table & Tap, Adrianne Calvo of Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar, Paula DaSilva of 3030 Ocean at the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, Cindy Hutson of Ortanique on the Mile and Dena Marino of MC Kitchen - and an experience unlike any other at the Auction & Wine Dinner on the diamond at Marlins Park.
“Like fine wine, VeritageMiami keeps getting better every year,” said Allen Morris, chair of VeritageMiami and chairman and CEO of The Allen Morris Company. “It was truly a celebration of food, wine, friends and philanthropy and we are so grateful to our sponsors, guests, chefs, wineries and breweries for their participation. The needs of our community are so great, and this is a wonderful way to ‘show up’ for so many in need in our own home town.”
The VeritageMiami Craft Beer Tasting at Wynwood Walls kicked things off on Wednesday, April 15, where 1,000 guests enjoyed more than 140 different craft beers, perfectly paired with fare from 25 local restaurants, including: Quality Meats, Jimmy’z Kitchen, Proof Pizza & Pasta, EDGE Steak & Bar, R House, Shake Shack, Whole Foods Market, and Wynwood Kitchen & Bar to name a few. The young, eclectic crowd complemented the colorful walls, jammed to the tunes of the popular TreeHause Band, and voted for the People’s Choice Awards - ultimately crowning R House and Wynwood Brewing Company. Seventy-five of Miami’s trendiest breweries and distributors kept the beer flowing, including: Biscayne Brewing Co., Concrete Beach Brewery, Descarga Brewing, Funky Buddha Brewery, J Wakefield Brewing and M.I.A. Brewing Company, among others. Festivities continued at the United Way Young Leaders After-Party at MAPS Backlot, where guests played life-size beer pong thanks to Digest Miami.
From funky to fancy, the Fine Wine Tasting took place the next day at Village of Merrick Park. More than 1,000 guests strolled the garden floor of the mall, enjoyed live music from The French Horn Collective and reveled in 400 wines from around the world. Two pavilions: World of Wines Guide and Wines of Israel, served as the entryway to San Lorenzo Avenue, where another 170 wineries poured alongside 25 restaurants, including: BLT Prime Miami, Buns & Buns, J&G Grill, Piripi, SOHO Bay, Swine Southern Table & Bar and Toro Toro, among others. Uvaggio Wine Bar’s pork terrine and 2 Amigos’ Albariño received the evening’s People’s Choice Awards. United Way Trustees enjoyed a private lounge, hosted by Wine Spectator, featuring food and treats from Anacapri and Miami Cigar Company. Just before the event, the 6th annual Associate Legal Mingle took place at Artefacto, with 200 members of the legal community gathering for a great cause.
On Friday, April 17, the InterContinental Miami lit up VeritageMiami green as host of the Interactive Dinner, where five of Miami’s top female chefs led 700 guests through their own five-course meals. Before dinner, guests mingled at the Bacardi cocktail reception and bid on exclusive silent auction items in the mezzanine. Chef Paula DaSilva kicked off the dinner with one of her signature seafood starters, White Water Clams with Blue Point White IPA and Orange Broth. For the second course, guests made a classic Italian Parmigiano Reggiano Cavatelli with Vine-ripened Tomato Sauce, Chef Dena Marino’s great grandparents’ original, delizioso recipe. Next, Chef Cindy Hutson brought the flavors of the tropics with a Pan-roasted Golden Tile in Smoked Tomato Creole Sauce. For the fourth course, Chef Eileen Andrade flaunted her Latin roots with a superb Churrasco with Asian Chimichurri, Sweet Potato Mash and Green Beans. Finally, for a sweet finish, Chef Adrianne Calvo led guests through a delightful Strawberry Shortcake Napoleon, topped with chocolate ganache and confections. NBC 6 South Florida’s Kelly Blanco served as mistress of ceremonies, and interacted with guests at their cooking stations, reporting back to Indulge Magazine’s Betty Cortina, who kept the audience up to speed with the chefs’ cooking instructions from the stage. Dozens of culinary students from Johnson & Wales University served as sous chefs at the guests’ tables.
The festivities concluded at Marlins Park on April 18, with the bright and bold Auction & Wine Dinner on the Diamond. The night included an amped-up live and silent auction, dinner, a Piper-Heidsieck Champagne reception, award-winning “Best in Glass” wines and a totally ‘80s dance party on the sky terrace, overlooking downtown Miami’s skyline. Highlights from the live auction included: a “Cellar Crawl,” which zealously sold twice, where a group of eight will enjoy a chauffeured wine and food tour through four of South Florida’s most admired cellars; a trip to Northern Italy to visit the fashion capitol of the world, Milan, and then spend four days in the most exciting wine region in Europe, Piedmont, including private tours and tastings with Azienda Bocchino, Cascina del Pozzo and Claudio Alario; ten exclusive 100 Point Wines, rated by Robert Parker and Wine Spectator among others; and an exclusive, in-home tasting experience of Cognac Louis XIII and Charles Heidsieck Champagne reception for up to 20 people led by a Louis XIII Ambassador. Right when guests thought the night was over, the Maria Verdeja School of the Arts performed a Michael Jackson mashup, and zombie-like dancers lured guests from the field to a dance party on the sky terrace.
VeritageMiami sponsors include: Presenting sponsor City National Bank at the Grand Cru level; American Airlines, Marlins Park and Morays Jewelers at the Vintner level; Bacardi USA, Bank of America, Carnival Foundation, Celebrity Cruises, and Greenberg Traurig at the Cellar Master level; BB&T, Cherry Bekaert, Deloitte Services, Johnson & Wales University, Ryder System, and Warren Moore Events at the Cooper level; Acqua Panna, Baptist Health South Florida, Cisco Systems, Covanta, The Fairholme Foundation, Global Resources Registry, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Jose Cuervo, Insight Direct USA, InterContinental Miami, JPMorgan Chase, LNR Property, Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables, Munilla Family Foundation, Northern Trust Corporation, Ocean Bank, S. Pellegrino, Sherwood Food Distributors, Village of Merrick Park, World Fuel Services, and Wynwood Walls at the Sommelier level; Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and Miami Parking Authority at the Connoisseur level. Media sponsors include: Chat Chow TV, Daily Business Review, Digest Miami, Gables Magazine & CoralGablesRestaurants.com, Miami Herald Media Company, Ocean Drive Magazine, Pinecrest Magazine, South Florida Business & Wealth, and WTVJ NBC 6.
For a full list of participating restaurants, wineries, breweries and sponsors please visit veritagemiami.com. For event highlights and photo albums, visit www.Facebook.com/VeritageMiami, www.Twitter.com/VeritageMiami or www.Instagram.com/VeritageMiami.