This spring, Florida Heart Research Institute (FHRI) will once again present two of South Florida’s favorite culinary fundraisers: Driven to Dine and Heart of a Chef. Benefiting FHRI’s mission to stop heart disease through research, education and prevention, these unique events 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 13, 2013. The evening kicks-off with an exclusive cocktail reception at the home of Coach Don and Mary-Anne Shula; guests will be greeted with a welcome pour of the internationally-recognized, luxury sipping tequila, Casa Dragones, while enjoying delicious light bites provided by Le Cordon Bleu and 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 limousine, which will take them to the restaurant for an elegant multi-course dinner sure to please their palates. After an amazing meal, limos will return guests to the place of origin.
FHRI hand-selected some of South Florida’s most recognized and prestigious restaurants to partner with for this year’s Driven to Dine. They include: 1500˚ at Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach, Alba Seaside Italian, db Bistro Moderne, Toro Toro at InterContinental Miami Hotel, Dolce Italian, Oak Tavern, Scarpetta at Fontainebleau Miami Beach, Truluck’s Seafood Steak & Crab House 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 special culinary experience sponsored by Whole Foods Market – Coral Gables, Goya, Mercedes Benz of Coral Gables and Cutler Bay, 305 Kitchen and Kiwanis of Biscayne Bay, among others. On Sunday, April 28, 2013, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., foodies and families alike are invited to attend this family-friendly food festival focused on the education and prevention of childhood obesity. At this fun, interactive event taking place at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, activities for all ages will include food and wine tastings and educational seminars, all designed to entertain, heighten awareness and give children and their parents the tools to adopt heart healthy lifestyles. Guests are also welcome to explore the new exotic Wings of the Tropic butterfly exhibit.
No doubt, the event’s highlight will be Heart of a Chef’s annual culinary battle. This year’s chef cook-off will feature two of South Florida’s most buzzed about chefs – Todd Erickson and Aaron Brooks. In addition to helming the kitchen of Haven South Beach, Chef Erickson was recently seen as a competitor on ABC’s hot new culinary show The Taste. Brooks serves as executive chef at Edge Steak & Bar at the Four Seasons Miami. A basket of mystery ingredients will be given to the chefs, challenging them to create a meal in only 30 minutes which is both delicious and heart healthy.
Another not-to-be-missed moment is the high school cook-off featuring star student chefs from John A. Ferguson Senior High School and returning championship school, Coral Gables Senior High School. In addition, crowds can gather to watch Ellen Kanner, vegan chef and award-winning author of Feeding the Hungry Ghost: Life, Faith and What to Eat for Dinner, who will be giving a special cooking presentation.
Tickets for HOAC are $30 per person in advance, $40 per person at the door; the purchase of one adult ticket includes admission for two children.
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 13, 2013; 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 28, 2013, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Tickets are $30 per person in advance, $40 per person at the door; 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 Florida Heart Research Institute. For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.heartofachef.org.