The Million Orchid Project: Fairchild Gardens & Miami Design District

Photo Credit:  Andrew Giambarba for MIAbites

Photo Credit:  Andrew Giambarba for MIAbites

Tucked away on over 83 acres of lush tropical foliage in Coral Gables, is the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. A day spent there is a perfect escape from the work week and the stresses of the world around us.  Fairchild’s mission is to save tropical plant diversity by exploring, explaining and conserving the world of tropical plants including mangos, dates, and nectarines.

During last months June 21 Summer Solstice, Fairchild joined with the luxury retail and upscale food destination, Miami Design District,  on a very ambitious project, The Million Orchid Project, to plant native Florida orchids in around the plazas populated by the luxury retailers. Fairchild’s goal is to propagate millions of native orchids for reintroduction into South Florida’s urban landscapes.

Celebrating the ceremonial planting was Nathan Browning, Principal of Island Planning Corporation, and Jason L. Downing, Ph. D., Orchid Biologist at Fairchild Tropical Gardens.  The orchid seedlings are actually planted in the trees with twine and a bit of liquid nail (glue). The Design District will get 20,000 of them in the canopy and in planters. If they “take” they will begin to bloom as they get mature.

Also on hand was, STEMLab at The Market #atMDD inside Jungle Plaza (3801 NE 1st Avenue), a decommissioned school bus transformed into a state-of-the-art botanical propagation lab that gives visitors the opportunity to participate in the Million Orchid Project. It is a permanent fixture at the popular Market #atMDD every Wednesday from 3- 8 pm, which features over 40 vendors with fresh produce, artisanal breads, teas, gelato, oils, jams and prepared meals to sit and enjoy or to take home.

Andrew Giambarba was on hand for the planting and captured these wonderful images of the passionate team behind the Million Orchid Project and joined them for a glass of Prosecco in celebration at nearby OTL.

For more information about the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens and their ongoing and new exhibits please visit their website at http://www.fairchildgarden.org/

And next time you visit the Design District, smile at those orchid seedlings up in the trees and in the planters around you.  Encouragement is the best plant food. 

Weekly Nibble: Swim Week, MIABeer and Dragonfly, Nina Compton BBQ's at The Dutch and more

Miami Weekly Nibble Events Swim Week

Each week, MIAbites presents the Weekly Nibble, featuring curated foodie events in and around Miami.  All listings are subject to change, so always call ahead to confirm details, prices and times.

Thursday July 20thBaru Latin Bar in Kendall is ready to officially celebrate at their Grand Opening on Thursday, July 20th,  which also marks the day of Colombian Independence, at 6 pm with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The third Baru Latin Bar expansion will be offering guests Happy Hour prices with half off well drinks till 12 am and free Aguardiente shots for all until 10 pm. Baru Kendall will also be playing everyone’s favorite Latin beats, along with a special live Vallenato performance. Baru Latin Bar Kendall Baru 8405 Mills Dr, Suite 309 Kendall, FL 33183

Swim Week Miami Pomazul

Saturday July 22nd-  Swim Week is in full swing with bikini clad models strutting poolside at hotels all over Miami Beach.  MIAbites is co-sponsoring with Miami Beach Life Magazine an Invite Only launch party for Pomazul Swimwear at the Raleigh Hotel beginning at 6 pm with After Party at Sweet Liberty. To get on the guest list email: pomazulswim@gmail.com

Miami Swim Week Villa Azur

Sunday July 23rd-  Villa Azur kicks off Swim Week with a glamorous, philanthropic fashion in partnership with Fundacion Por Ti Mi Venezuela – a charity dedicated to the lives of children in Venezuela who have no food or resources. Showcasing Venezuelan designer Sharon Osp’s new summer line, the $80 pp presentation will feature complimentary champagne, hors d’oeuvres and a first-look at Osp’s handmade haute couture dresses, with meticulous design details and hand embroidered fabrics from all over the world. The show begins at 7pm and 10% of all proceeds will be donated to the foundation. Villa Azur 309 23rd St. Miami Beach, FL305 988 0868.

Dragonfly Izakaya MIA Brewing dinner

Wednesday July 26thDragonfly Izakaya and Fish Market in Doral is hosting a Six Course Beer Pairing Dinner with MIA Beer Company on Wednesday, July 26 at 7 p.m. Menu examples include Branzino Crudo paired with MIA Hard Water Grapefruit, Chicken Yakitori and MIA Neon, Anago Nigiri with MIA Rye Tortugas. Tickets are $65 (all inclusive) and are now available https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dragonfly-izakaya-mia-brewery-do-dinner-tickets-36232010920   Dragonfly Izakaya 5241 NW 87th Ave. Doral, FL

The Dutch BBQ series Nina Compton

Wednesday July 26thExecutive Chef Adonay Tafur and Chef Joshua Gripper will wrap up the 6th Annual BBQ Series at The Dutch in the W South Beach’s “The Grove” with New Orleans’ culinary darling Nina Compton, Chef/Co-Owner of Compére Lapin. Compton is one of Food & Wine magazine’s "Best New Chefs 2017" and was recently named a finalist for James Beard Awards “Best Chef South”. For this grand finale, Compton will team up with Chefs John Gallo and Rene Reyes of Pinch Kitchen Miami. to create a BBQ buffet along with a variety of decadent desserts for only $40 per person, plus tax and service charge; excluding beverages. The Dutch W South Beach Hotel & Residences, 2201 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach  (305) 938-3111.     

New and Ongoing:

CRATE - Plant-based Kitchen, Bar and Lounge, Miami’s first vegetarian and vegan culinary and nightlife experience, has opened its doors in Brickell, brought to life after years in development by restaurateur and designer, Anselmo Di Virgilio Hernandez.  Located on South Miami Avenue in Brickell Village, CRATE is the latest addition to the heart of Miami’s downtown bar and business district and is now open for casual walk-ins for lunch and dinner without a reservation. CRATE 901 South Miami Avenue, Miami, Florida. 786.534.2538.  

River Yacht Club New Chef Lee

River Yacht Club Miami’s visionary waterfront destination, has introduced a new menu by recently appointed executive chef Jun Hee Lee. In keeping with River Yacht Club’s elegant Mediterranean style, Chef Lee’s new menu encompasses both simplicity and sophistication. Delectable new starters include Alaskan King Crab with a vegetable gazpacho, basil oil, and cherry tomato; Green Bean Salad with avocado, soy sesame dressing, seaweed, and heart of palm; Foie Gras Sliders with truffle vinaigrette, onion rings, and ginger gastrique;  Main dishes like, Pan Seared Scallops get an update, seared with corn puree, baby carrots, ginger chive oil, and seaweed chips; and Yellowtail Snapper served whole with grilled vegetables and tapenade. River Yacht Club 401 SW Third Avenue on the Miami River. Miami, FL. (305) 200-5716. 

Casa Faena’s charming café on Collins Ave offers its new (Not Your) Basic Beach Brunch. Available every Sunday from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, this a la carte brunch offers traditional South American dishes like Wagyu Beef Empanadas and Churrasco with classic American cuisine, including Lobster Benedict Eggs and Pork Belly and Grits. Sip on specialty cachaça cocktails or opt for bottomless Bellinis and mimosas while live musical performances by Bossa Nova-inspired artists set the tone for this weekly dining experience in the café’s inviting bistro-style atmosphere and tropical outdoor veranda. Casa Faena 3500 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140 (305) 604-8485

( Information provided by various sources and subject to change.  Please confirm all details beforehand and make reservations as necessary. )

To submit information for inclusion in MIAbites Weekly Nibble please send to info@MIAbites.com 

RECIPE: Chef Adrianne's Grilled Jumbo Shrimp with Kiwi, Green Apple, Green Chili & Mint Relish

Chef Adrianne Calvo Shrimp Kiwi Miami

The dog days of summer are here and so is grilling season.  Cool down with Chef Adrianne Calvo’s, Chef/Owner of Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar, Grilled Jumbo Shrimp with Kiwi, Green Apple, Green Chili, & Mint Relish. Here's the quick and easy recipe that's sure to have your guests raving for days.  Maximum Flavor, true to the core, with these boldly refreshing flavors!

Grilled Jumbo Shrimp with Kiwi, Green Apple, Green Chili & Mint Relish

Serves: 2

 Ingredients:

 6 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon paprika

 canola oil, for brushing

1 tablespoon kiwi, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon green apple, peeled and minced

1/2 teaspoon jalapeno, seeded, deveined, and minced

1 teaspoon red onion, minced

1 teaspoon cilantro, minced

1 teaspoon mint, minced

1 teaspoon lime juice

1/8 teaspoon lime zest

1/2 teaspoon honey

 kosher salt and pepper, to taste

sliced radish, garnish

sliced jalapeno, garnish

sliced kiwi, garnish

Directions:

Preheat the grill to medium high. Rub the grill with canola oil to prevent sticking. On a clean work surface, season shrimp with garlic salt, pepper, and paprika. Place seasoned shrimp on preheated and oil grill. Grill 2-3 minutes on each side or until they become coral color and opaque.

In a medium bowl, combine kiwi, green apple, jalapeno, onion, cilantro, and mint to make the relish. Add lime juice, lime zest, honey and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and allow flavors to come together. To plate, line a plate with sliced kiwi. Add grilled shrimp and top with relish. To garnish, top with sliced radish and jalapeno.

Side note: Also pairs will with a simple lemon aioli and a chilled bottle of your favorite white or rosé.

 

 

Saturday Sweets: Keeping it Cool and Boozy with Frozen Treat Infused Cocktails

There are so many fun food holidays - there’s almost one worth celebrating every day. This month is National Ice Cream Month, but National Ice Cream Day is tomorrow July 16th. In honor of two of my favorite things: ice cream and cocktails, I’ll be celebrating with ice cream infused cocktails! Okay okay, some of these aren't fully ice cream. BUT the ones that aren't, DO have frozen popsicles in them that are sure to cool you down on a hot day!   

It's the latest trend to hit Miami and personally I’m loving it. Here are a few places where you can keep cool while getting your ice cream fix during happy hour:

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How To Celebrate Bastille Day In Miami

Bastille Day is a day of celebrations of French culture. It celebrates the end of the French Revolution. Many large-scale public events are held, including a military parade in Paris, as well as communal meals, dances, parties and fireworks. There is a large military parade in Paris in the morning of July 14. Service men and women from various units, including cadets from military schools, the French Navy and the French Foreign Legion, participate in the parade. The parade ends with the Paris Fire Brigade. Military aircraft fly over the parade route during the parade. The French president opens the parade and reviews the troops and thousands of people line the route. Other people spend the day quietly and eat a celebratory meal or picnic with family and close friends.

While we are nowhere near France, we’ve still got plenty of options to do a little celebrating of our own here in Miami.

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National Mojito Day Is Today!

Each year on July 11th, people across America join together to mark National Mojito Day. We don’t know how many people really celebrate this holiday, but we certainly do! The Mojito is a traditional Cuban highball consisting of white rum, sugar, lime juice, sparkling water and mint.

It’s got low alcohol content and is a refreshing cocktail that in Miami can be enjoyed all year long, but around the rest of the world it has found popularity in the summertime and is loved for its combination of sweetness, citrus, and mint flavors.

A classic Mojito has lime wedges and mint leaves garnished an ice filled glass. Although born in Cuba, the exact origin of the Mojito is under debate with theories with origins as early as 1586.

Observing National Mojito Day is pretty easy! Mix up a pitcher to enjoy mojitos with friends and have a great day! We’ve included 4 favorite mojito recipes that are super simple to make at home.

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Beaker & Gray and Burlock Coast Come Together in Collaboration for Best Buddies

It’s no secret that collaboration in the kitchen has been trendy for years, and personally, I hope it never goes out of style. I recently attended the 954 in the 305, a collaborative four course dinner experience with Beaker & Gray and Burlock Coast to benefit the Best Buddies of South Florida. The cocktails and the food were spectacular and inspired by the 305 and the 954.

Beaker & Gray has been serving up trendy, out of the box bites in Wynwood since the day their doors open. At the helm of the kitchen, Miami native Chef Brian Nasajon melds unexpected flavors in a warm and welcoming environment.

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Katz's Deli Comes To Miami To "Pass the Pastrami" at Harry's Pizzeria

A little bit of New York City is stopping in Miami this week! New York City’s iconic Katz’s Delicatessen is sharing the Jewish Deli love across the country with the launch of its first-ever Pass the Pastrami series. Lucky for us - it's in Miami starting today at Harry's Pizzeria in Coconut Grove and can be enjoyed until July 16th. Celebrated chefs will “pass the pastrami” from chef-to-chef with each of their restaurants offering a signature Katz’s-inspired dish.

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Saturday Sweets: Federal Donuts Finally Opens in Wynwood

The year long wait after the first initial announcement is finally over - Federal Donuts is officially open in Wynwood. The concept has been brought to us from Philadelphia by Michael Solomonov and partner Steven Cook. They’ve got a CooknSolo team of veterans running the shop - Chef Dean Hildebrand and General Manager Autumn Tully moved to Miami a few months ago and are now calling Wynwood home with the first ever Federal Donuts location outside of Philadelphia.

The menu keeps things simple with two categories of donuts: Fancy and Hot Fresh.

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It's National Fried Chicken Day!

It’s National Fried Chicken Day!  On this day, fried chicken lovers across the country celebrate this American favorite at a nearby restaurant, home or an outdoor picnic.

A little fried chicken history: Scottish immigrants brought their tradition of deep-frying chicken in fat to the southern United States.  After its introduction to the American South, fried chicken soon became a staple. Over time, seasonings and spices were added to enrich the flavor of the chicken. Fried chicken is a dish that consists of chicken pieces which have been floured or battered then pan-fried, deep-fried or pressure-fried. The breading adds a crisp coating to the exterior of the chicken. Traditionally the chicken is fried in lard.  However, corn oil, peanut oil, canola oil or vegetable oil are also frequently used.

Bet you’re craving some fried chicken now! In that case - here are 5 spots you can get your fill today:

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