March 27, 2012

Driven To Dine & Heart Of A Chef


Anyone who thought it would be quiet for food & wine lovers this spring was sorely mistaken. In April 2012, the Florida Heart Research Institute (FHRI) is once again producing two of the area’s top-tier culinary fundraisers: Driven to Dine and Heart of a Chef. Geared toward the FHRI’s mission to stop heart disease through research, education and prevention, these unique events will showcase the importance of having a heart healthy diet while never losing sight of the joys of fine dining.

Driven to Dine is a one-of-a-kind, luxurious dining experience taking place on Saturday, April 14, 2012. It kicks off with an exclusive cocktail reception where guests will sample an array of wines and spirits compliments of Total Wines, enjoy delectable appetizers provided by Le Cordon Bleu, and participate in a live auction. After the reception, guests will gather into groups of 8 and select a sealed envelope containing the name of one of several top restaurants in South Florida. With their destination unknown, diners will adjourn to a stretch limousine, which will ferry them to the restaurant for an elegant multi-course, heart healthy dinner sure to please their palates. After an amazing meal, limos will return guests to the place of origin.

The FHRI hand-selected some of South Florida’s most prestigious restaurants to partner with in this year’s Driven to Dine. They include: 1500˚ at Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach, CRAVE, db Bistro Moderne, Edge, Steak & Bar at the Four Seasons Miami, Flemings Prime Steakhouse, La Cofradia, RED The Steakhouse, Tudor House, Truluck’s and J&G Grill at the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort. Tickets for Driven to Dine cost $5,000 per limo, which seats 8 guests; or $625 per person.

Eat, play and be healthy at Heart of a Chef (HOAC), a unique culinary experience presented by Florida Blue and Whole Foods Market. Taking place on Sunday, April 29, 2012, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, HOAC is a family-friendly food festival focused on the prevention of childhood obesity, which has been known to lead to heart disease. At this fun, interactive event, activities for all ages including food and wine tastings and educational seminars, all designed to heighten awareness and give children and their parents the tools to make health-conscious decisions while adopting a heart healthy lifestyle.

Short Chef, a life-long culinary expert who has dedicated several years to educating kids on proper nutrition, will give a special cooking demonstration. Short Chef has been working with children in South Florida for the past ten years, helping them understand the importance of eating a healthy, balanced diet. His mission, similar to the FHRI’s, is to battle childhood diabetes and obesity.

No doubt, the day’s highlight will be Heart of a Chef’s annual culinary battle. This year’s chef cook-off will feature two local, culinary heavyweights – Joshua Wahler, executive chef at CRAVE Restaurant versus Jaime DeRosa, executive chef at Tudor House. A basket of mystery ingredients will be given to the chefs, challenging them to create a meal which is both delicious and heart healthy.

Tickets for HOAC are $30 per person; the purchase of one adult ticket includes admission for two children.

The Florida Heart Research Institute is an independent, non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to stopping heart disease through research, education and prevention. FHRI has been an international leader in cardiovascular research since 1944, offering free services to the community such as onsite and offsite screening programs for the underserved and uninsured.

Driven to Dine will take place on Saturday, April 14, 2012; the cocktail reception, at a private residence, will begin at 5 p.m. Tickets cost $5,000 per limo, which seats 8 guests, or $625 per person. Heart of a Chef will take place on Sunday, April 29, 2012, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Tickets are $30 per person; the purchase of one adult ticket includes admission for two children. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is located at 10901 Old Cutler Road in Coral Gables. All proceeds benefit the Florida Heart Research Institute. For more information and tickets visit

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