Kristin Chenoweth sang on the diamond; Executive Chefs from Bread+Butter, HaVen South Beach, Pubbelly, Eating House and The Federal shared their culinary talents and much more

MIAMI (April 16, 2014) – In its 19th year, VeritageMiami scored a homerun for the community, raising $500,000 for United Way of Miami-Dade. Over the course of four days, April 9 – 12, more than 3,500 food, wine and beer lovers gathered in celebration, highlighted by a live performance by Kristin Chenoweth of Wicked fame and an interactive dinner led by five of Miami’s top chefs – Alberto Cabrera of Bread + Butter, Todd Erickson of HaVen South Beach, José Mendín of The Pubbelly Restaurant Group, Giorgio Rapicavoli of Eating House and César Zapata of The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions.

Presented by City National Bank, VeritageMiami raised both awareness and funds to advance United Way’s work in education, financial stability and health.

“We experienced Miami at its very best – the people, the entertainment, the food and wine, the venues, the weather, the atmosphere,” Harve A. Mogul, president and CEO, United Way of Miami-Dade, said. “It was truly a celebration of food, wine and philanthropy and we are so grateful to everyone – our sponsors, guests, celebrity chefs, Kristin Chenoweth – for their participation. Their generous support was the key to our success this past weekend.”

The four days were filled with magical moments, but perhaps none more than Saturday night on the field at Marlins Park. With the roof open and a near-full moon overhead, Tony and Emmy award-winning star Kristin Chenoweth wowed the audience with a live performance of four of her favorites songs: “Should I be Sweet,” “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” “Popular,” and “I was Here.” Her performance was part of the live auction and dinner that took place right on the baseball diamond. Highlights from the live auction included: a vintage 18-karat white gold and 25-carat diamond bracelet that sold for $37,000; and a week at June and W. Allen Morris’ stunning home in Black Mountain, North Carolina, which was auctioned off three times at $12,500 each. The evening opened with a silent auction and reception sponsored by Bacardi, Wine Spectator and Champagne Pommery,and continued with a grand slam of an after party at the Clevelander.

The night before, Friday, April 11, the InterContinental Miami lit up VeritageMiami green as host of the Interactive Dinner, where five of Miami’s most innovative chefs led 650 guests through their own five-course meals. HaVen’s Chef Erickson was first at bat with a warm artichoke and mushroom salad with black truffle aioli and Meyer lemon vinaigrette. For the second course, guests made duck and pumpkin dumplings with soy brown butter under the tutelage of Pubbelly’s Chef Mendin. Bread + Butter’s Chef Cabrera took over for the third course to create arroz con mariscos. The Federal’s Chef Zapata showed off his signature dish for the fourth course – steak with cheesy grits and brown butter radishes. For a sweet finish, Eating House’s Chef Rapicavoli led guests through the dessert course – maduros foster with guava ice cream. NBC 6’s Jackie Nespral served as mistress of ceremonies and was joined on stage by Indulge magazine’s Betty Cortina, who helped the chefs talk the guests through each course. Dozens of culinary students from Johnson & Wales University served as sous chefs. The surprise of the evening - a progressive dinner for 10 with one course at the restaurant of each of the five chefs, sold three times during the live auction, raising a total of $60,000 alone! The night ended with a conga line led by the students from Johnson & Wales, and guests and chefs dancing on the tables.

VeritageMiami kicked off with the Craft Beer Tasting at Wynwood Walls, on Wednesday, April 9, where 800 guests enjoyed 120 different craft beers and bites from 20 local restaurants, including: City Hall, the Daily Melt, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Oak Tavern, OTC, R House, Shake Shack, The Embassy and Wynwood Kitchen & Bar. Throughout the night, guests voted on their favorite restaurant, ultimately crowning R House with the People’s Choice Award. From stouts to pilsners and pale ales, guests tapped into craft brews from 55 breweries and distributors, including: Crafty Connoisseurs, Florida Beer Company, Gravity Brewlab, Miami Brewing Company, Miami Area Society of Homebrewers and Wynwood Brewing Company, among others. The night continued with the United Way Young Leaders After-Party at C1 Bank.

The Fine Wine Tasting took place on Thursday, April 10, at the Village of Merrick Park, where 1,000-plus guests enjoyed great food and wine. World of Wines, Wines of Chile and Wines of Cariñena each sponsored special pavilions as part of the tasting, and Bacardi's Martini & Rossi transformed the garden area into a lounge, where guests gathered to listen to Spam Allstars. Another 70 wineries lined San Lorenzo Avenue along with 30 restaurants, including: Ciopinno, J&G Grill, La Tagliatella, Lorenzo, Miccosukee Resort & Gaming, Pascal’s on Ponce, Smith & Wollensky, The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Toro Toro and Trulucks. Uvaggio Wine Bar’s pork rillete terrine received the evening’s People’s Choice Award. The fifth annual Associate Legal Mingle kicked off the evening at Artefacto, with 250 members of the legal community gathering for a great cause, sponsored by Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra, LLC., and the Daily Business Review.

VeritageMiami sponsors include: Presenting sponsor City National Bank at the Grand Cru level; American Airlines and Marlins Park at the Vintner level; Bacardi USA, Bank of America, Carnival Foundation, Celebrity Cruises, Global Resources Registry, Greenberg Traurig, Royal Caribbean International, and Village of Merrick Park at the Cellar Master level; BB&T, CBIZ, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Johnson & Wales University, Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables, Miccosukee Resort & Gaming, Ryder System, and Starwood Hotel and Resorts at the Cooper level; Acqua Panna, Baptist Health South Florida, Wines of Cariñena, Cisco Systems, Clevelander, Deloitte Services,Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Ernst & Young,The Fairholme Foundation, Insight Direct USA, InterContinental Miami, JPMorgan Chase, LATAM Airlines Group, LNR Property, Northern Trust Corporation, Noven Pharmaceuticals, Pommery Champagne, S. Pellegrino,Wines of Chile, World Fuel Services, World of Wine Guide and Wynwood Walls at the Sommelier level. Media sponsors include: Chat Chow TV, Gables Magazine & CoralGablesRestaurants.com, Indulge, Miami Herald Media Company, Wine Spectator, WLRN and WTVJ NBC 6.

For a full list of participating restaurants, wineries, breweries and sponsors please visit www.veritagemiami.com. For event highlights and photo albums, visit www.Facebook.com/VeritageMiami, www.Twitter.com/VeritageMiami or www.Instagram.com/VeritageMiami

About VeritageMiami

The annual VeritageMiami, presented by City National Bank, brings together wine, spirits, beer and food lovers for a four-day festival featuring, top sommeliers, notable chefs, prestigious wineries and winemakers, breweries and impressive auction lots, all to benefit the South Florida community. Celebrating its 19th year, VeritageMiami benefits United Way of Miami-Dade, supporting programs in our community that are focused on improving education, financial stability and health – the building blocks for a good life.

About United Way of Miami-Dade

For 90 years, United Way of Miami-Dade has been an innovative force in the community with a long and successful track record of responding to emerging needs and transforming people’s lives. Today our work is focused on education, financial stability and health — the building blocks for a good life. We invest in quality programs, advocate for better policies, engage people in the community and generate resources. To learn more, give, advocate or volunteer, visit unitedwaymiami.org, facebook.com/UnitedWayMiami or twitter.com/UnitedWayMiami