illy Returns to Best of the Best, Teams Up with Local Miami Chefs on Coffee-Inspired Desserts

 illycaffè, a global leader in high-quality, sustainably grown coffee, is returning to the 19th annual Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One (SOBEWFF®) with its passion for creating unique coffee experiences. From February 19 – 23, 2020, illy will brew classic and specialty coffee drinks for Festival attendees, including espresso, proprietary Cold Brew Aria™, and other crafted beverages made by illy Master Barista Giorgio Milos at more than ten events.

At one of the top Festival events, Fontainebleau Miami Beach presents Wine Spectator’s Best of the Best sponsored by Capital One, illy is collaborating with two local Miami chefs to create one-of-a-kind desserts. Chef Soraya Kilgore, owner of Mad Lab Creamery, is making tiramisu ice cream with illy espresso, while Chef Brielle Fratellone of Fontainebleau is creating a petite gateau made with coffee cream mousse featuring illy’s 100% Arabica Whole Bean Classico, roasted banana cake and caramel toffee. Both desserts will be accompanied with an expertly prepared shot of illy espresso to sip alongside, or to pour over the tiramisu ice cream for a delectable affogato. Read the rest here »

Photo Credit: World Red Eye

The most exclusive VIP invitation of Super Bowl LIV was the The Official Miami Super Bowl Host Committee VIP Party at Bal Harbour Shops.   The nation’s top shopping destination closed its doors to host this incredible evening.

Honorary chairs Matthew Whitman Lazenby, Christine Lynn, Rodney Barreto, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, actor Tommy Lee Jones, and Argentine polo player Ignacio “Nacho” Figueras hosted the one-of-a-kind, private celebrity-styled affair.

The fashionable event included an evening of dancing, decadent dining, as well as LED robot stilt walkers, roller-skating cheerleaders, mirrored characters, and salsa dancers in an exclusive Conga Lounge. Along with notables from the worlds of sports, media, fashion and entertainment guests were treated to this VIP experience including a Musical Performance by The Pointer Sisters.


 The Giving Back Fund’s Big Game Big Give (BGBG) presented by Oasis House, was the largest celebrity charity event during Super Bowl weekend in Miami, raising much needed funds to benefit national philanthropic advancement and local Miami nonprofits including Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. The A-list philanthropic event gathered dozens of celebrities, city and national dignitaries, players and artists at a private $65 million estate on Star Island in Miami Beach last night. 

The exclusive affair co-hosted by famed filmmaker Michael Bay and award-winning actors Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul featured a special live performance by actor/singer Jamie Foxx, who also emceed and co-hosted the event. 

Pro Football Hall of Famer, All-Time leading rusher for the Cleveland Browns, American football legend and social activist Jim Brown was honored with The Giving Back Fund’s annual Philanthropic Achievement Award, presented by Pro Football Hall of Famer and Super Bowl XXXV MVP Ray LewisMayor of Miami Francis X. Suarez presented Jim Brown with a key to the city of Miami. The event also featured a musical performance by singer Kevin Lyttle and appearances by actors Scott EastwoodKeegan-Michael KeyCuba Gooding Jr., and model Karolina Kurkova. Other dignitaries in attendance included Mayor of Miami-Dade County Carlos A. Gimenez and Governor of California Gavin Newsom. Hall of Fame sportscaster Lesley Visser hosted the red carpet. 

Throughout the night, guests participated in silent and live auctions; enjoyed curated cocktail stations from multiple brands including Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston’s signature mezcal, Dos Hombres; and indulged in delicious catering by award-winning chef Adrianne Calvo. This year’s theme for the event was “Miami Through the Decades” showcasing the city’s art and fashion through the years. Read the rest here »

On Monday, September 16, Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida and in-kind Ball donor InterContinental® Miami celebrated the 25th Annual InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish® Ball VIP Kickoff Party at the InterContinental® Miami in anticipation of this season’s  MASTERPIECE XXV-themed gala on Saturday, November 2, a creative interpretation of Game of Thrones. Host Robert Hill, General Manager of InterContinental® Miami and Gala Host was joined by Shareef Malnik, Chairman of the Board Emeritus of Make-A-Wish Southern Florida and Gala Chair of the InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish® Ball, and Norman Wedderburn, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish Southern Florida – the trio affectionately known as the “Three Amigos”– to honor the Ball’s donors and supporters.

Gala Chair Shareef Malnik announced that four-time GRAMMY® Award-winning Steven Tyler with the Loving Mary band will headline The Ball, and that T.I. will perform at the Ball’s after party, the InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish® Nightclub presented by E11EVEN MIAMI. Actress and documentary film director Gabrielle Anwar will return as the Celebrity Emcee for the 9th year. Malnik also announced that members of the Chairman’s Challenge Society have once again underwritten expenses associated with the Ball.

The cocktail soiree featured opulent food stations by InterContinental Miami Executive Chef Jhonnatan Contreras, decorated in a medieval theme with moat displays accented by ice statues of wolves, fortresses, copper cooking pots, wooden wheelbarrows, and market stalls. Dishes included the Field & Forest stall’s Farro Exotic Mushroom, Baby Carrot Salad, Caramelized Fennel & Apricot Salad, Roasted Beets with Goast Cheese Foam, Shaved Brussel Sprouts & Leek Spring Roll, and Zucchini Flower Stuffed with Cashew Cheese; the Sushi and Seafood station’s Jumbo Gulf Shrimp, Oysters, Spicy Salmon Roll, California Roll, and Vegetable Roll; and a variety of sweets in the dessert “cave,” whose entrance was guarded by an elaborately carved chocolate dragon.

Guests enjoyed specialty cocktails and wine served by a wait staff in renaissance costumes as they were treated to a special DECO Productions dance performance choreographed by New Century Dance Company. Attendees of the evening soiree included hosts Ball Chairman, Board Chair and Founder of Chairman’s Challenge Society Shareef Malnik; President and CEO of Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida Norman Wedderburn; InterContinental® Miami General Manager and Gala Host Robert Hill; actress and documentary film director Gabrielle Anwar; Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools Alberto Carvalho; Ball creative directors Maxwell  Blandford and Clif Loftin; socialite/philanthropists Stanley and Gala Cohen; Joseph Perez; Dennis Crowley; Eugene Frenkel; Danielle Rubinstein; Jodi Siravo; Brian Exelbert; Dr. Art Diskin; Drew Mandala; Robby Elias; Ramona Messore; Michael Capponi; Stephanie Sayfie; Yvonne Hila and Bret Beach; Linda Levy Goldberg; and Fabian Basabe.

The evening concluded with an endearing speech by Nicole Ciovacco, mother of 6-year-old Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida Wish kid, Evan Ciovacco. Diagnosed with chronic kidney disease in infancy, Evan’s dream was to go to Orlando Theme Parks as he has spent most of his life visiting doctors to battle his condition. His wish, granted by Greg Salsburg, was to go on a 7-day vacation with his family, where he met all his favorite characters, received fast-passes to all parks and attractions, and had breakfast and dinner with Mickey and friends. With tears in her eyes, Nicole described how Evan’s wish gave the Ciovacco family the will to move forward, become stronger and realize the importance of carving out family time. Nicole concluded her testimony by thanking Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida and the donors for making Evan’s dream a reality and giving him an extraordinary experience when he was facing one of the toughest challenges of his young life. Read the rest here »

Lizzo Lights Up South Beach

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On October - 1 - 2019ADD COMMENTS

Absolut Juice hosted the official afterparty for Lizzo’s Concert in Miami on September 11, 2019, at Irma’s at the W South Beach, as part of the brand’s partnership with the superstar. Lizzo treated fans to a boisterous and energetic performance and mingled with guests at the exclusive event. Lizzo’s friends and fans enjoyed Juice cocktails, photo moments and swag giveaways.

 Absolut Juice and Lizzo are making news by “squeezing” the moments of summer into a movement with fans across the country. From exclusive video drops to a summer of juicy surprises, fans can #GetJuicy with Absolut Juice and Lizzo by following @AbsolutVodka_US on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to be the first to see Lizzo‘s exclusive collaboration with Absolut Juice.

Watch Lizzo perform below.




Genuine Pizza Garden Party

Tuesday, May 14, 7-10PM

MGFD Miami welcomes chef-owner-author Michael Schwartz for a cookbook release day party. Join us as Genuine Pizza: Better Pizza at Home takes over the restaurant inside and out on the patio for a stationed event with plenty of pizza and awesome things to go with it, taken from the pages of his new book.

Each ticket is $100 and includes a signed copy to take home, tax and gratuity and a pizza party with assorted passed snacks, 6 pizzas, a selection of composed salads and entrées, cocktails, wine and beer all night long!

Cookbook Garden Party Menu


Polenta Fries with spicy ketchup

Lollipop chicken wings with agrodolce & rosemary crema

Merguez Meatballs with creamy cucumber & herbs

Caponata Crostini with basil

Ricotta Crostini with peperonata & oregano


Chopped Salad

Kale Salad

Escarole Salad



Procuitto Cotto

Short Rib

Rock Shrimp




Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder with creamy polenta

Seared Cobia with kale, fennel stew, lemon aioli

Roasted Chicken with salsa verde


Mini Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Zeppole with honey whipped-ricotta

Milk Chocolate Cremoso with candied orange & crema

Panna Cotta with strawberry basil compote


James Beard award-winning chef Michael Schwartz, who redefined what fresh, local food means in Miami at his famed flagship restaurant Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink, shares the building blocks to making unforgettable pizza at home in the highly anticipated cookbook Genuine Pizza (Abrams; May 14; U.S. $29.99; Hardcover).

The popularity of pizza at Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink inspired Schwartz to open a casual pizza restaurant, Genuine PizzaTM, and this book reveals the chef’s tried and true approach for making his signature pies. Schwartz believes that the home cook can and should eat better pizza at home, and so Genuine Pizza is inviting and fun, covering the basics first, so that readers can then be adventurous in their own kitchens, mixing and matching ingredients that appeal to them, to create the perfect pie.

“My philosophy is simple and straightforward—the secret to good food is good food, and it starts with sourcing great ingredients,” says Schwartz. “Genuine Pizza is my approach as an American chef who puts quality and simplicity first. Pizza has always been an important part of all my restaurants. It’s an opportunity for expression and I want the home cook to feel like they now have a great resource that they can turn to and enjoy using.”

Beginning with Pizza Fundamentals, Genuine Pizza explores everything from useful equipment and must-have ingredients to detailed, step-by-step techniques for how to make incredible dough, including recipes for gluten-free and rye-based options. Part two is all about composing nuanced, flavorful pizzas, with recipes that include classics such as Margherita and Soppressata, as well as pies with more unorthodox, yet irresistible topping combinations. Schwartz shares his favorites, like Zucchini with ricotta, anchovy, chile, lemon, grana padano, mint, and basil, BLT with bacon with arugula, tomato, and taleggio, and Pastrami on rye crust. Inspired by the Miami locale, pizzas also feature local Rock Shrimp and Slow-roasted Pork, Schwartz’s nod to the Cuban sandwich in pizza form. Because no one can live on pizza alone, Genuine Pizza also explores Snacks, Soups, Salads, Main Courses, Desserts, and Drinks, forming a guidebook to creating balanced, vibrant meals, centered around everyone’s favorite food. “Pizza is just the beginning—it’s a jumping off point to colorful, delicious meals at home,” says Schwartz.

Follow #genuinepizzaathome and visit for more information, events, and behind the scenes content leading up to the release.