Posts Tagged ‘Les Dames d’Escoffier Miami’

You just had to say MMMM at the annual Tropical Brunch that Les Dames d’Escoffier held recently at the lushly landscaped Schnebley Redland’s Winery. Celebrating local agriculture was the theme this year, and there was quite the assortment of fresh vegetables at the salad table. The highlights were large colorful heirloom tomatoes from Teena’s Pride, and a variety of edible flowers along with small heirloom tomatoes from Paradise Farms.

Colorful heirloom tomatoes and edible flowers from Paradise Farms.

Author Carole Kotkin with a copy of her cookbook MMMMiami: Tempting Tropical Tastes for Home Cooks Everywhere.

Several dishes were taken from MMMMiami: Tempting Tropical Tastes, a cookbook authored by food writer Carole Kotkin. She held court by the gazpacho table, where you could get a cup of the chilled soup that included Florida oranges as one of the main ingredients.

Shrimp citrus ceviche.

Another tasty dish was the Shrimp Citrus Ceviche. In Carole’s book the recipe called for scallops, but it worked well with shrimp. Also featured was Tropical Couscous Salad, flavored with orange juice and studded with bits of ripe papaya.

Winery owner Peter Schnebley and Dame Ariana Kumpis

La Diva and DJ Nevah Late dig in.

Maggie Sibley looks forward to sinking her teeth into fresh salad.

Sink your teeth into Guava Glazed BBQ Ribs served by Lucy Duran. Chef Adri Garcia was everywhere with a helping hand.

Hard working students from MAST Academy made and served pancakes.

Students from Robert Morgan Educational Center made omlets under the watchful eye of Chef Tony Staravaggi.

Chef Cathy Lucas (center) at the dessert table with her students.

At the dessert table, I located another goody from MMMMiami. The Roasted Plantain Cake with Toasted Coconut Topping tasted like super intense banana bread, and who can go wrong with coconut? But biscotti baked by president Ariana Kumpis stole my heart. They were light and crispy, and studded with bits of tart red fruit. She caught me red handed as I wrapped a handful in a napkin to take home.

So many treasures, so little time!

The heart of the brunch was the lavish silent auction. So many amazing things were available. I saw bottles of wine, gourmet baskets, golden serving dishes, Breville small kitchen appliances, and even jewelry to bid on. Money raised by the auction will help fund nutrition and cooking education for local kids, and support school vegetable gardens.

Leticia De Mello Bueno of Gastronomisti, and Annush Fernandez, lifestyle and (occasionally food) blogger.

The large chickee hut was full of contented guests, and I’m guessing at least 200 attended. I had fun meeting old friends and making new ones. And, I got my copy of the cookbook signed by both Carole and Ariana (she has a recipe for ajiaco). Members of Les Dames worked for months to make the event a success. Believe the buzz, the event is that that good.

(MMMMiami: Tempting Tropical Tastes was published in 1998, and is unfortunately out of print. There are a few used copies available online, but you’ll have to search for them. Carole said a paperback edition might be released next year, maybe.)

Sheah Rarback and Lance Tucker danced to the easy tunes of Jukebox Joe Tunon.

Le menu

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Les Dames d’Escoffier Miami
4th Annual Tropical Brunch in the Redland

Sunday April 15, 2012
11 am to 2 pm

The Miami chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier is holding their Fourth Annual Fundraising Brunch deep in the heart of Redland. Come for the delicious tropical food and drink, and stay to bid on lavish auction lots. It’s all for a good cause. This year’s Tropical Brunch will help fund nutrition and cooking education for local kids, and underwrite school vegetable gardens.

The feast is a locavore’s delight, presenting locally grown fruits and vegetables, farm-fresh eggs, fruit breads and pastries, and various ethnic specialties. Paradise Farms is providing greens for the salad bar and edible flowers. Teena’s Pride, famous for its ginormous, flavorful heirloom tomatoes is providing tomatoes and cucumbers for the gazpacho. And there will be microgreens from Swank Farms, just to name a few of the local growers involved. Schnebly Redland’s Winery & Brewery will pour their tropical fruit wines, along with their newest craft beers.

The menu draws its inspiration from MMMMiami: Tempting Tropical Tastes for Home Cooks Everywhere, authored by Dame Carole Kotkin and Miami Herald food editor Kathy Martin. (The book is out of print but there’s still a few copies to be had on Amazon.)

Orange-Tomato Gazpacho

Salads & Cheese Board
Shrimp Citrus Ceviche, Calypso Chicken Salad, Tropical Couscous Salad
Redland-Raised and Fresh from Florida field-ripened vegetables and greens
Aged Cheddar, Bonne Bouche, Cacciotta Brinatta, Manchego and Tetilla
Assorted breads, crackers, fruit and tapenades

Finger-lick’n Spare Ribs with Guava Barbecue Sauce and Mixed Cabbage Slaw
All-American Sliders with Caramelized Onions and Pickle
Arroz Campesino Paella of Chicken, Pork & Sausage with Corn and Roasted Red Peppers

Cooked-to-order with a choice of ingredients, including:
Mushroom, Onion, Scallion, Spinach, Tomato Cheddar Cheese, Cream Cheese, Ham

Cooked-to-order Sweet Potato Pancakes with Chantilly Cream
Silver Dollar Pancakes with Florida Strawberries

Roasted Plantain Cake with Toasted Coconut, Mango Ice Cream
Piña Colada Cheese Cake, Orange Bundt Cake, Key Lime Pie
Guava Linzer Torte, Triple-Chocolate Brownies, Lemon Biscotti
Florida Strawberries with Whipped Cream

Schnebly Redland’s Winery & Brewery signature wines, sparkling wine and craft beers
Coffee, fresh Florida orange and grapefruit juices

(Gluten-Free dishes available upon request)

Les Dames president Ariana Kumpis will also give a cooking demonstration. Guests will dine al fresco at shaded picnic tables by the waterfall, and live easy listening music by Jukebox Joe Tunon will set the mood.

The best part is a Silent Auction with something for everyone. Some of the items to bid on: brunch at Paradise Farms, Sustain restaurant gift certificate, Monkey Jungle family passes, food baskets, wine lots, gourmet coffees, and a Breville espresso maker.

Schnebly Redland’s Winery
30205 SW 217 Ave
Homestead FL 33030

Adults: $45 advance / $50 at the door
Children (5-12 years): $15 advance / $20 at the door
Buy tickets online: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/235515
or call 305-531-0038

Specially priced winery and brewery tours, tasting and commemorative glass at day of event. Payment at door only: $12 pp.

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