2016 Top Chef winner and South Florida’s top southern-style restauranteur to headline
Coming off the heels of the successful Spring Edition Interactive Dinner, VeritageMiami continues to celebrate its 21st anniversary with four more days of world-class culinary indulgence on October 5, 6, 7 and 9. The reigning champion of Bravo’s Top Chef season 13, Jeremy Ford, will lead guests in preparing a three-course meal at the Interactive Dinner. The new Auction and Bubbly Brunch on Key Biscayne, will feature southern favorites from the menus of Yardbird Southern Table and Bar, Swine Southern Table and Bar and Spring Chicken – the restaurants of 50 Eggs Inc., founded by John Kunkel.
W. Allen Morris of The Allen Morris Company is once again VeritageMiami chair, along with his wife, June Morris. VeritageMiami is presented by City National Bank, and proceeds benefit United Way of Miami-Dade’s work in education, financial stability and health. VeritageMiami tickets are now on sale at www.veritagemiami.com.
Jeremy Ford, winner of Bravo’s Top Chef season 13 and the chef de cuisine at Miami’s Matador Room by Jean-Georges, will headline VeritageMiami’s Interactive Dinner on Friday, October 7. Labeled the ultimate good time for foodies, the Interactive Dinner will take place at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami, where more than 700 energetic guests bravely sport cooking aprons and toques as they prepare a three-course meal, under the direction of Chef Ford. Johnson & Wales University students will serve as sous chefs, helping guests at each table, and the dinner is accompanied by Best in Glass gold and silver medal wines, which were previously selected by some of South Florida’s top sommeliers. Ford began his culinary career at the legendary Los Angeles French eatery, L’Orangerie under world-famous Chef Christophe Eme. Later, he worked at Patina with Chef Joachim Splichal, and in 2008, secured a position with the celebrated South Florida chef, Dean Max at 3030 Ocean in Fort Lauderdale. Over the course of five years, Ford went from sous chef to chef de cuisine to executive chef to corporate chef at 3030 Ocean, and worked with Max to open four restaurants that shed light on the growing farm-to-table movement. Ready for his next step, Ford secured a job at the new restaurant from Michelin-star celebrity chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Matador Room, before deciding to compete in and win Top Chef in March 2016.
Brand new to this year, VeritageMiami will culminate on Sunday, October 9 with an Auction and Bubbly Brunch at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne. Led by the king of southern fare John Kunkel and his 50 Eggs Inc. team of James Beard-nominated and award-winning restaurants Yardbird Southern Table and Bar, Swine Southern Table and Bar and the newly opened Spring Chicken. Kunkel has always had a passion for cooking, fueled by his southern roots, where food assumed a central role. In 2011, after spending hours perfecting his family recipes, Kunkel opened his first southern-style restaurant Yardbird, and the rest is history. Some anticipated favorites include Kunkel’s grandmother’s famed recipe for 27-hour brined and crispy fried chicken served with heavenly waffles and buttermilk biscuits. Award-winning wines from the Best in Glass Wine Challenge and plenty of champagne will be paired with the three-course brunch, and one-of-a-kind experiences will be auctioned off.
On October 5, guests will enjoy a Craft Beer Tasting featuring more than 100 craft beers and micro-brews complimented by delicious bites from dozens of local restaurants amidst the eclectic and vibrant backdrop of Wynwoods Walls. On October 6, guests are invited to the Fine Wine Tasting, an evening of unparalleled wine and food pairings at the lush Shops at Merrick Park, with more than 65 wine producers and importers pouring 300 wines from around the globe and culinary treats from top dining spots. This year, Evan S. Benn, editor-in-chief of INDULGE magazine is helping to bring the best of South Florida’s restaurants to the Tastings, as VeritageMiami’s first Culinary Curator.
VeritageMiami events are led by a group of community volunteers, including: Melinda and Jorge Gonzalez, Sheldon Anderson, Alex Binelo and Claudia Succar Ferre, Matthew Bittel, Barry Goldmeier, Jeff Mihm, Rush Norton, Ani Nuñez, Soledad Picon, Toby Rohrer Evelyn Torres and Joe Zubizarreta.
Joining City National Bank as sponsors are: American Airlines at the Vintner level; Bank of America, Carnival Foundation, Celebrity Cruises, Greenberg Traurig, Ocean Drive Magazine, Ryder System and Shops at Merrick Park at the Cellar Master level; Baptist Health South Florida, Deloitte, and Johnson & Wales University at the Cooper level; Bilzin Sumberg, Carlton Fields, Covanta Dade Renewable Energy LLC, Global Resource Registry, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, JPMorgan Chase, MCM – Munilla Family Foundation, Northern Trust and Sabadell, at the Sommelier level; Miami Herald and Indulge Magazine at the Scribes level; and Roar Media as the Digital Media Partner. Trustees include: Linda and Michael Bittel, Annelies and Jossy Da Costa Gomez, Amy and Ed Easton, Colleen and Richard Fain, Nelly and Miguel Farra, Melinda and Jorge Gonzalez, Lisa and Victor Mendelson, Carlos Migoya, Jeffrey Miller, June and Allen Morris, Susan and Robert Norton, Sonia and Nestor Plana, Oscar Suarez, Richard Yulman and Judy and John Zeder.