Archive for the ‘ The Fix’ Category

Worlds Collide: BLT, WMC, Tennis, Fashion and Fundraisers

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On April - 2 - 2009

pamela-anderson-frido-van-mossel-and-richie-rich-backstageMore than 600 of Miami’s A-listers toasted acclaimed restaurateur, Laurent Tourondel, of famed New York’s BLT, as in Bistro Laurent Tourondel (get it?) at the grand opening of the southeast outpost of the eatery last Wednesday. BLT Miami, at the iconic Betsy Hotel, shares the same distinctive style and tastes of its older sister but with a sexier, swankier South Beach vibe. Lucky guests at the opening savored Tourondel’s signature dishes and desserts. The food just kept on coming! Celebs seen noshing on the endless nibbles: Burn Notice actor, Jeffrey Donovan, (to whom people kept referring as “the Burn Notice Guy,” warranting the nickname, “B.N.G.),” Melrose Place hottie, Andrew Shue, Real Housewives of New York City’s Ramona Singer, and Ingrid Hoffman of the Food Network. Other notables included art collectors, Rafael and Marijean Miyar and Bruce and Kathryn Orosz; designer, Alison Antrobus, financier Alan Randolph, fashion designer, Rene Ruiz, and Jonathan Plutzik and Lesley Goldwasser Plutzik, principal owners of the Betsy Hotel.



Miami Socialholic

In a Rich Man’s World

Abba’s Rich Man’s World was just one of several songs that composed the soundtrack to Richie Rich’s fashion show on Friday night at the Fontainebleau. Other songs which conveyed Rich’s message included Money, That’s what I Want, Material Girl and Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend. Rich, formerly of Heatherette, unveiled his latest collection during Rock Fashion Week 2009, (ahem, a “spin-off” of FUNKSHION). The whimsical show, hosted by Elaine Lancaster, featured pink balloons, bubble-gum-inspired whimsical outfits, slinky cat-suits, flirty prom dresses, t-shirts emblazoned with Pamela Anderson’s face, and lots of animal prints. The models danced, smiled, twirled, mockingly blew kisses and showed of their exaggerated, colorful accessories, many of which were shaped like giant dollar signs, in keeping with the theme. Pamela Anderson joined Richie Rich onstage at the end of the show and hugged and kissed and kissed him some more! Backstage, Rich went on and on about Anderson, his “muse,” gushing about how “she’s so much fun, loves to make people happy and is such a great mom.” When asked what makes her happy, Anderson, (looking a lot like a living caricature of Hanna Montana) thoughtfully responded, “My bangs.” Wow! Move over Deepak Chopra! Later that night, Fergie celebrated her 34th birthday with a bash at LIV, alongside husband, actor, Josh Duhamel, Wilmer Valderrama and fellow members of the Black Eyed Peas. Erstwhile superstar DJs, Steve Aoki and DJ AM took turns at the turntables at Blade.

Green with Funkshion

Models, celebrities and VIPs packed the fashion shows during Funkshion, on South Beach last week.   The Green Fashion Show kicked things off on Wednesday and the show’s eco-friendly message permeated the entire week- even the food was “green,” supplied for free to all guests by Pizza Fusion an organic pizza chain in South Florida so committed to the environment that every delivery is made with a Prius! For those who saw the big armored truck with the lit up VAULT sign in front of the tents (and driving around SoBe) and thought, “WTF?” it was neither filled with gold nor money, but with something much more valuable.  The VAULT was the official transportation for all of the models all week long!    From Miss Universe and Miss USA to models from around the world, this truck was party central all week!    Funkshion’s co-producer, Matt Heien, quips, “Who needs cash in a truck like this when you have super models inside? I feel like we just robbed a bank with a note to the bank teller stating, “Give us supermodels and no one gets hurt!”

Steppin’ Out

Nicky Hilton, along with Wyclef Jean, Romero Britto, and Akon joined forces on Saturday night at the SSN Stepping Forward Foundation Gala at the Gansevoort, sponsored by Grey Goose Vodka. The celebs mingled and enjoyed performances by teen dancing troupe, The Untouchables, and Sean Kingston, who performed several songs, including Beautiful Girl, which got everyone on their feet and singing along. On the same night at the Sunset Lounge at the Mondrian, guests got lots of satisfaction at Jade Jagger’s renowned, branded summer Ibiza party, Jezebel, the name of which stems from Jagger’s middle name. Voted the best party during WMC by South Beach locals (in an informal, biased poll), the glowing, glamorous-yet-earthy daughter of Mick Jagger, who inherited the her parents’ best genes, hung out with friends, posed for photos and showed off her new collection of clothing and jewelry in the hotel’s poolside cabanas. Inside the hotel, musician, Perry Farrell, of Jane’s Addiction and his wife, Etty, danced and sang on the bar.


Celebrity Sightings

Paris and Nicky Hilton hung at Mokai on Thursday for Paul Oakenfold’s performance during the Front Page party. Award winning singing sensation, Maria Carey, posed for photos and cheered on husband, Nick Cannon, as he spun at Cabana One on Friday night. On Saturday night, Miami native-turned-Ungaro-chief-designer, Esteban Cortazar partied at Bella Rose with fellow designer, Richie Rich, PR guru Paul Wilmot, famed fashion photographer, Pablo Alfaro and hunky NYC socialite/Miami restaurateur, Fabian Basabe. At the club’s Black Sunday party, DJ Steve Aoki and The Bloody Beetroots performed while LA It Boy, Donovan Leitch, was “murdered.” Attendees of Will Castro’s red-carpet event for Unique Auto Sports on Sunday included rappers Fat Joe, and Busta Rhythms (not Rhymes), Miami Heat stars Jermaine O’ Neal and Dorrell Wright, New Orleans Saint, Jonathan Vilma, Shawn Merriman of the San Diego Chargers, DJ Irie, and White Boy from VH1’s hit show “I Love Money.” Spotted at the Webster during the Femme Fatale DJ series: DJ Cinnamon, DJ Baby Dre of Miami Ink and DJ Gabby of NYC’s LOVE Parties and Les Coquettes, designer Tory Burch with boyfriend/ music mogul Lyor Cohen, and R&B singer, Cassie. Watching the tennis matches at Sony Ericsson: Colombian hip shaker, Shakira, Latin crooner, Chayanne, Vogue editrix, Anna Wintour, NFL players Bryant McKinnie and Thomas Jones, rapper, Common, and singers, Kelly Rowland and Wyclef Jean.

Earlier in the week, designers Russell Simmons, Caroline D’Amore, Abi Ferrin, B. Michael and Lei Marco showcased designs at the Fontainebleau;

Dr. Mc Dreamy, a.k.a., Patrick Dempsey, raced at the Homestead-Miami Speedway and NYC HousewifeRamona Singer, was spotted at Kung Fu Sushi at the Catalina Hotel and at the BEST Tennis Sony Ericsson Kickoff party at B.E.D., hosted by Ocean Drive magazine. Chef Todd English surprised guests at the grand opening of The Wine Bar at the il Lugano Hotel. Celebs on the scene last week for Miami Fashion Week included actress, Sofia Comparini; stage, movie and television star, Alejandro Chaban; actor Gabriel Porras; television personality, María del Carmen Sojo; actress and former Miss Panama, Patricia De León; actor Vincent De Paul, Mexican actress Angelica Celaya; diva, Elaine Lancaster; and Grammy Award winning songstress, Albita, who wowed the crowd when she sang her newly released hit, “Mis Tacones” (“My Heels”).

Shark Week is Here

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On March - 26 - 2009

Well it is finally here, Winter Music Conference, the dance musicwmc2009 equivalent to Shark Week. WMC, which can also be expanded to mean, “Where’s My Car?” and “What, More Clubs?” at any point along the144-hour extravaganza, is regarded as the singular networking event in the dance music industry, drawing over 62,000 event participants from over 70 countries, who will take over just about every club, hotel, and pool area on South Beach, and quite a few in Downtown Miami as well. Unfortunately, by the time you no longer need a fake ID to attend many of the WMC events, you are simply too old to go. But if you insist on channeling your inner spring breaker, get some Red Bull, take your One-a-Days and check out the line-up of some of the best WMC events below.

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Spring Fever

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On March - 19 - 2009

Spring time on South Beach gives a whole new meaning to March Madness, with the throngs of sunburned spring breakers drinking themselves, and their textbook money, into oblivion, vying for the already scarce parking spaces and pining to get into clubs that wouldn’t even want them if they were of age. “Dorothy, you’re not in Gainesville anymore.” But fret not, despite the surge of college kids on our sands, there were still plenty of high-end, star-studded events and celebrity sightings over this past week, not to mention the upcoming Miami Fashion Week and Funkshion, among the largest and most unique fashion events in the country, to keep us locals feeling somewhat at home.

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Babes, Bubbles and Bollywood

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On February - 26 - 2009

Bibbity, Bobbity, Bubble Q

Sophisticated diners bubbled over at the most gout-worthy event during the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, Bubble Q. Top Chef Tom Colicchio served as ring master over the circus on the sand that brought South Beach glam to the friendly neighborhood barbecue.Bubble Q’s sexy location, chefs as smokin’ hot as the food and gorgeous people doused in champagne, made for a bash to rival Brazil’s Carnaval.This was the epitome of the true South Beach Diet: limitless, perfectly seared meats and seafood paired with free-flowing PerrierJouët.Now there’s a diet we can commit to!Serving up the food and fun this year were some of our favorite chef-lebs, Marcus Samuelsson, Ilan Hall, Al Roker, Jonathan Eismann, Elizabeth Karmel, and Todd Miller, several of whom guzzled champagne along with the rest of us, just adding to the chaos.During the last hour of Bubble Q, the tent turned into a gigantic ball pool, (like the ones you see at Chuck E. Cheese) wherein the revelers (who had been magically transformed into a bunch of second graders under the spell of Perrier Jouët) joined the chefs and FIU sous chefs, in recklessly hurling the plastic balls that were intended to resemble champagne bubbles, to the chagrin of the DJ, who feared for his equipment.Bubble Q was definitely a chef-lebration we wish we could remember.

The mosh-pit-eating-marathon, otherwise known as the Grand Tasting Katie Lee JoelVillage on Saturday and Sunday, offered up hearty helpings of food from all over the nation and chef-lebrity cooking demonstrations and book signings by Martha Stewart, Emeril Legasse, Katie Lee Joel, Rachael Ray, Tom Colicchio, Paula Deen, Tyler Florence, Bobby Flay, Robin Miller, Masaharu Morimoto, Ingrid Hoffman, Guy Fieri, The Neelys and Michael Symone.On Saturday afternoon, guests uttered a collective groan when it was announced that everyone needed to exit the tents at the premature hour of 5 p.m.(What, only four hours of gorging and imbibing?)As we disappointedly sauntered into the hospitality area, our spirits were uplifted when we heard Heavy Metal blaring from the speakers.Rushing over to the packed cooking demonstration we discovered that the self-proclaimed Culinary Gangster Guy Fieri was in the house.This “Guy” makes Emeril seem shy and introverted.Not only did Fieri throw out steak knives (wrapped in aprons) to the crowd, he took a break from making his 8 foot sausage and beef hoagie to blend an enormous margarita right on stage and pass out shots of Patron to the crowd, who cheered and sang along to “Tequila.”

Stephanie March and Bobby FlayTo say that the tribute dinner honoring Emeril Legasse later that night was a much more subdued affair is an understatement.Emceed by Martha Stewart, the dinner was created by Charlie Trotter, Norman Van Aken, Eric Ripert, Mario Batali and Bobby Flay.One of the highlights was the marching band, dressed in full regalia, who paraded Legasse through the ballroom before his official introduction. Sunday’s, Oscar Night America Sobe Style at the Paris Theater, capped off the weekend extravaganza with a glitzy affair hosted by Bobby Flay and wife, “Law and Order: SVU” star, Stephanie March. Special guests included Laurie Jennings, who emceed and Guy Fieri.

There were a couple of moments of the festival that we would just as soon forget.For Paula Deen, the biggest roar from the crowd during her cooking demonstration had nothing to do with her southern comfort food, (the thought of which makes our arteries quiver), but with a mishap during which Deen lost her pants as she walked off the stage- talk about a southern moon over Miami, the sight of which left us longing for another shot of Fieri’s margarita.Earlier in the week, Mario Batali dropped the F-bomb in the presence of King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain, as he tried to get the crowd’s attention during the $1,000 a plate dinner, ¡Viva España! The Wines and Food of Spain, which was held on Thursday at the Biltmore.Yeah, yeah, blame it on the Spanish wine.Mama Mia, Mario!Guests in attendance included Emilio and Gloria Estefan, Governor Charlie Crist, and Grammy award-winning Spanish singer, Julio Iglesias.

Three D-words come to mind when looking back upon the eating extravaganza otherwise known as South Beach Wine and Food Festival- Divine, Decadent, Diet and Detox.

guy-fieriComing Up

MOCA Pop Bollywood

The buzz surrounding a certain little Indian flick entitled, Slumdog Millionaire only adds to anticipation for POP BOLLYWOOD, the Museum of Contemporary Art’s sixth annual POP fundraiser which will take place this Saturday night.Fittingly, this year’s theme embodies the movie magic of India.Bollywood actress Pallavi Sharda, will perform during the party, which will feature The Ruby Room, a private Cartier lounge area, complete with club entrance, concierge, champagne, signature hors d’oeuvres and a chance to bid on exclusive silent auction items.  

Heavenly Bodies

Cosmopolitan magazine will host its second annual Bikini Bash on March 14th, hosted by sexy starlet Kristin Cavallari, on the sand at Nikki Beach Club.This unique event will feature hundreds of hot, bikini-clad beauties in skimpy, sexy swimwear spelling out the word C-O-S-M-O for an aerial photograph to be included in Cosmo’s August issue. To add to the heat, David Barton Gym’s hunky trainers will provide stretching exercises before the shoot.The after party will be held the same night at Mansion.

Spotted:

Most Hollywood stars stayed, well, in Hollywood, being that it was Oscar weekend, but we still had our requisite celebrity sightings. On separate occasions, both Martha Stewart and Brooke Shields popped into trendy fashion boutique, The Webster, and shopped up a storm!Stewart splurged on Miu Miu, Balmain and Lanvin, while Shields, who was with her two daughters, bought Lanvin and Prada dresses and shoes by YSL.The night after being shocked by Batali’s blunder at the Biltmore, Gloria and Emilio Estefan dined at Asia de Cuba and sipped a few cocktails at the Sunset Lounge at the Mondrian.Gnarles Barkley’s Cee Lo, performed Crazy at SET on Saturday, during the launch of Belvedere IX.During Mansion’s five-year anniversary bash, Swedish DJ, Steve Angello spun for the crowd of over 2, 500.Sunday at Mansion, Ryan Leslie performed Diamond Girl and Addiction at his album release party.Actor Scott Conant was spotted at LIV on Saturday. Broadway superstar, Bernadette Peters was recently seen dining at YOLO Restaurant/Lounge in Fort Lauderdale.

 

 

Chef-lebrities Add Spice and Turn up the Heat

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On February - 19 - 2009


Alexis Mincolla and Pauly Shore at Bella Rose. Photo by

Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

Well, it’s here, so bring out the fat pants and schedule that gastric bypass and liver transplant for next week. For the eighth year in a row, The Food Network (the Playboy channel for foodies) takes over South Beach with a lineup of events and stars to rival Super Bowl weekend 2008. And while this town is no stranger to celebrity sightings, the festival brings a whole different breed of stars to South Beach, chef-lebrities.

The events drawing the largest number of celebs for your buck are bound to be the Whole Foods Market Grand Tasting Village on Saturday and Sunday, Ocean Drive magazine’s February issue release party and Amstel Light Burger Bash tonight (Thursday), the Pierre Jouet Bubble Q on Friday, the Tribute Dinner honoring Emeril Lagasse on Saturday and Sunday’s Oscar Night America SoBe Style.

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Celebrating with a BAM!

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On February - 12 - 2009

Renowned Chef Emeril Lagasse celebrated the fifth anniversary of Emeril’scelebrating-with-a-bamromero-britto-presents-emeril-lagasse-with-a-painting-during-his-five-year-anniversary-celebration-2 Miami Beach last Wednesday with a bash benefitting the Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation. Lagasse’s larger-than-life personality shone through as he addressed the crowd of 400, encouraging them to continue to support MCH. To get everyone’s attention, Lagasse threatened to cut off some of the delectable signature dishes that were being served. “This is how it’s gonna go,” Lagasse shouted, “first go the crab cakes, next is the lamb.” This quieted the rowdy bunch for a short while, just long enough for Lagasse to receive his Key to the City and a gorgeous portrait by Romero Britto, which the artist unveiled on-stage, bringing Legasse almost to tears. Following the presentations, New Orleans jazz vocalist and trumpeter, Jeremy Davenport, a featured musical guest on “Emeril Live” performed. Next up was famed eight-year-old pianist Ethan Bortnick. The pint-sized prodigy really showed his age during his rendition of Billy Joel’s Piano Man, during which he sang, “Singing love to his Sonic and Gym.” Adorable! Bortnick then performed a song he wrote for Legasse, entitled, “Bam – Kick it Up a Notch!” and presented the chef with the song’s lyrics. As expected, the food at Emeril’s anniversary party was plentiful and outrageous, including a raw bar, three carving stations, (one with Kobe churrasco), made-to-order Jambalaya, and tons of passed hors d’ oeuvres- all prepared according to Lagasse’s strict specifications and infusing his unique flavors and essences. VIPs in attendance, who helped raise more than $100,000 during the event included, Michael Aller, Jerry, Sandi and Jacqueline D. Powers, Michael Capponi, Lee Schrager, Gene and Hannah Bortnick, Romero Britto, Thomas and Patricia Cornish, Juan Carlos and Vivian Mas, Shawn Hauver, Emeril and Alden Lagasse, Eric Linquest, Lucy Morillo, Mario and Bibiana Murgado, Luis and Norma Quintero, Leticia Pino, Rick and Monica Schatz, Jerry South, Lyle Stern, Jonathan Tisch, Edgar and Nicole Lozano and Eric and Jocelyn Woolworth.

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Mary Jo Almeida-Shore,Jose Almeida,Maryanne Salvat
(from left to right)

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