“City National Bank is committed to giving back to the communities we serve, and United Way – because of its sustainable impact in the areas of education, healthy and financial stability – is the centerpiece of our efforts,” City National Bank President and CEO Jorge Gonzalez said. “As a community bank it is also great to support a festival that celebrates South Florida’s burgeoning food scene and these talented young chefs who have been hailed as the city’s new culinary guard.”
Alberto Cabrera is the executive chef of Bread + Butter in Coral Gables, where the Miami native embraces his Cuban-American roots – taking traditional dishes and revamping them by adding a modern spin, such as his Chicharron De Puerco with a truffle-black bean puree. Cabrera learned the art of cooking as he moved up the ranks at notable kitchens including Robbin Haas’ Chispa and the Miami extension of Madrid’s La Broche. At Bread + Butter, Cabrera infuses the carefree charm of Cuba’s mambo era with the modish slant of the modern American gastropub.
Todd Erickson is the executive chef of HaVen South Beach on Lincoln Road, a futuristic electric lounge offering innovative cocktails and some of the most refined food in the city. At HaVen, Erickson takes local, organic ingredients and transforms them into a variety of global small plates from crudos to duck sliders. Erickson got his culinary start at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and from there went on to open a catering company and three four-star restaurants in Dallas, Texas. After having such a successful start with HaVen, Erickson and the Haven Hospitality Group opened Huahua’s Taqueria just down the street. Erickson has also announced HaVen will be expanding this spring to include a full dinner menu.
José Mendín is the director of culinary operations for The Pubbelly Restaurant Group, the team who many Miami foodies credit for the local chef movement. Mendín, a graduate of Johnson & Wales University, worked for many well-known restaurants including Nobu and Sushi Samba, before opening Pubbelly Gastropub in Miami Beach with his Pubbelly Group partners Andreas Schreiner and Sergio Navarro. Since then, the Pubbelly Group has experienced incredible success and has expanded to include four more restaurants – PB Steak, Pubbelly Sushi, Barceloneta and the newest, L’Echon Brasserie. In 2012 and again this year, Mendín was distinguished as a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef South, and most recently won Miami Cochon 555, a regional all-out pork cooking frenzy, and will compete in the Grand Cochon competition this summer.
Giorgio Rapicavoli is the executive chef of Eating House, the innovative pop-up restaurant turned Coral Gables mainstay. Rapicavoli burst onto the Miami food scene when he became the first Miami chef to win Food Network’s “Chopped” television competition. After winning the competition and $10,000 prize, Rapicavoli and business partner Alex Cassanova opened the Eating House pop-up. The venture was so successful that Eating House eventually opened as a full-time establishment at its original location in Coral Gables. In 2013, Rapicavoli was distinguished as a James Beard Award Rising Star chef semifinalist. Rapicavoli is also nominated for Culinary Innovator in this year’s ZESTtm Awards at Johnson & Wales University.
César Zapata is known as the “Stove Master and Pig Whisperer” of The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions. Before opening The Federal, Zapata changed the way South Floridians thought about food by opening Miami’s first pop-up restaurant, Phuc Yea!, in 2011. After its widespread success, Zapata and his business partner/wife Aniece Meinhold opened The Federal on Biscayne Boulevard. Since opening, The Federal has received praise from major publications such as Food & Wine Magazine and USA Today. As their next venture, Zapata and Meinhold are in the process of relaunching “Phuc Yea!” in a permanent location.
As of March 4, VeritageMiami sponsors include: Presenting sponsor City National Bank at the Gran 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 and Village of Merrick Park at the Cellar Master level; BB&T, CBIZ, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Johnson & Wales University, Ryder System and World of Wine Guide at the Cooper level; Baptist Health South Florida, Cisco Systems, Deloitte Services,Ernst & Young,The Fairholme Foundation, Image Photo Services, Insight Direct USA, InterContinental Miami, LNR Property, Nestle Waters North America, Noven Pharmaceuticals, Northern Trust Corporation, World Fuel Services and Wynwood Walls at the Sommelier level. Media sponsors include: The Miami Herald – el Nuevo Herald, Indulge Magazine, WTVJ NBC 6, Wine Spectator, WLRN and Gables Magazine & CoralGablesRestaurants.com.
VeritageMiami brings together more than 4,000 wine and food lovers for four days of culinary indulgence. This year’s lineup begins on Wednesday, April 9, with a Craft Beer Tasting at Wynwood Walls, includes a Fine Wine Tasting at the Village of Merrick Park on April 10, followed by the popular Interactive Dinner at the InterContinental Miami on April 11, and the final inning is an Auction & Wine Dinner on the diamond at Marlins Park on Saturday, April 12. Since its inception, VeritageMiami has raised more than $12 million for the community. All proceeds support United Way of Miami Dade’s work in education, financial stability and health.
The annual VeritageMiami 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. For more information, visit www.veritagemiami.com, www.facebook.com/VeritageMiami and www.twitter.com/VeritageMiami