Sunday, April 03, 2022

Farm to Fork

Revel in South Florida’s culinary bounty in a celebration of farm-to-table sustainability, paired with exciting wines and a lively auction. Invite friends to join you for a delightful virtual Sunday brunch that you won’t soon forget.

Coral Gables Country Club

997 North Greenway Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33134 - Get directions

Sunday, April 3

For sponsorship opportunities, contact or call 305.646.7105.  


As curator of our Farm to Fork brunch, James Beard Award-Winning chef Michael Schwartz is making his third appearance with us – more than any other chef in our 25-year history. He was a featured chef at our first auction and festival in 1996, the celebrity chef for our Interactive Dinner in 2009 and now has gathered outstanding colleagues for a meal that celebrates his longtime commitment to sustainable agriculture and locally sourced ingredients.

The Philadelphia-born owner of The Genuine Hospitality Group and cookbook author, Schwartz is the face of the South Florida restaurant industry and a nationally recognized celebrity chef.  Since his flagship, Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink, first opened in Miami’s Design District in 2007, locals and tourists alike have come to embrace and crave its refreshing combination of laid-back, bistro atmosphere and straightforward food emphasizing fresh, local ingredients.

The Genuine Hospitality Group of restaurants includes three fine dining restaurants in addition to the “mother ship” in the Design District, he has created Amara at Paraiso, the quintessential Miami waterfront restaurant serving bold Latin American flavors on Biscayne Bay, Tigertail & Mary, a lush neighborhood bistro in the heart of Coconut Grove, and an additional Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink in Shaker Heights, OH.  The group also includes two locations of Harry’s Pizzeria® and a third in development, named one of Food & Wine magazine’s 25 Best Pizzerias in the U.S. Finally, the company has a partnership with COMO Hotels and Resorts and through this they opened in 2019, Traymore by Michael Schwartz at the Como Metropolitan Miami Beach.

*2021 participating chef.


Chef Justin Flit combines the best of classical training and high-profile experience over more than 17 years to create a uniquely South Florida approach to Italian food and seafood. With an early introduction to the culinary scene, Flit was exposed to the ins and outs of a restaurant kitchen at the ripe age of eighteen. He trained at the famed French Culinary Institute in New York City then went on to work with Daniel Boulud and Michael Mina as well as South Florida legends Oliver Saucy and Gabe Fenton.

Always fascinated by traditional Italian cooking, chef Flit became a local star at his restaurant Proof Miami in Midtown Miami, where his freshly made pastas and classic (and stunningly authentic) Neapolitan pizza had critics raving.

Today, Flit is co-owner and executive chef of Navé in Coconut Grove. Navé opened shortly before the pandemic shuttered many restaurants, so it quickly pivoted to having a thriving takeout business. Recently it partially reopened for in-person dining at the elegant outdoor patio it shares with chef and business partner Michael Beltran’s Ariete. At Navé, Flit continues to offer his signature fresh pasta and pizza dishes alongside an extensive menu featuring fresh seafood from South Florida waters. Here, he has forged relationships with local fishermen as well as local farms for a true farm and sea to table experience. The Farm to Fork brunch is Flit’s second interactive appearance at VeritageMiami.

*2021 participating chef.


A Miami native, Brian Nasajon was born into a family where a love of food and an appreciation of culinary arts were household values. Exposed to global flavors as a youngster, Nasajon’s favorite memories include observing his grandfather’s every move as he expertly grilled asado – a staple of any Uruguayan household. “We had chefs and serious cooks in the family,” says Nasajon of those early years. “Great food was the center of our lives, so it became almost instinctual for me as a kid. Later, it seemed obvious that cooking professionally would be my life.”

With that end in mind, he left college in New York to apprentice with chef Joshua Capon at the wildly popular Lure Fishbar in Manhattan. One week in and Nasajon knew the kitchen was truly where he belonged.

Nasajon returned to Miami 2009 where he got his first paying job as line cook at the critically acclaimed restaurant Wish at The Hotel of South Beach. Sharpening his skills on the job, he rose through the ranks to sous chef and then became Wish’s Chef de Cuisine in 2011. From there he became executive chef at both SushiSamba locations in Coral Gables and Miami Beach before becoming chef/owner of Wynwood’s Beaker & Gray. He partnered with chef Justin Flit to lead the Interactive Dinner at VeritageMiami in 2016 and we’re thrilled to have him back for our 25th anniversary year at the Farm to Fork brunch.

*2021 participating chef.

Photo credit Felipe Cuevas


Chef Niven Patel is closely identified with the cooking of Florida, his home state. Knowing what a strong influence he is on Miami’s dining scene, one might forget just how extensive his culinary background is. After culinary school, he worked with chef Dean Max in Fort Lauderdale, then took a six-month sabbatical to travel around Italy seeking inspiration and picking up further culinary skills along the way. It was on that trip his strong identity with farm-to-table cooking was forged.

On his return to the U.S., Patel worked in Baltimore before being recruited as executive chef at Islamorada’s Cheeca Lodge and Spa. He reunited with Dean Max to create a restaurant in the Cayman Islands, where he met Michael Schwartz who talked him into returning to Miami to be chef de cuisine at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink. After a stint at Schwartz’s lamentably short-lived Cypress Room, Patel struck out on his own, establishing his own farm in Homestead to supply the produce so central to his cooking style.

Today, Niven Patel has an eclectic portfolio of restaurants, including Ghee, the Downtown Dadeland restaurant that celebrates his Indian heritage, and Mamey, a wildly popular gastrobar situated in the new Coral Gables’ THēsis Hotel. And, we are just days away from the opening of chef Patel’s newest restaurant (also at Thēsis), Orno, an American restaurant dominated by its namesake, an enormous wood-burning oven. All of Patel’s restaurants (and his course at our VeritageMiami brunch) focus on the produce he grows at his farm Rancho Patel and nearby farms he supports.

*2021 participating chef.