How many of you got emails or saw promotions on Facebook or thru Gilt NYC for the huge kickoff Mario Batali and celebrity chef dinner in New York City this past Sunday to benefit (RED)? At $295- $10,000 a seat, this dinner was a bit rich for my liking, but I am excited to report that Miami has joined in the effort on a local level.
(RED) was founded in 2006 by Bono and Bobby Shriver to get businesses and people involved in the fight against AIDS.
(RED) was created to help provide an ongoing flow of money from the private sector to fight AIDS. Over $315 million to date has been raised through the sale of (RED) products from iconic companies, like Apple and Starbucks and from specially designed (RED) events. And 100% of that money goes to work on the ground.
The month of June is designated as Eat (RED) Drink (RED) month with participating restaurants helping to raise money for the cause with the ultimate goal for an AIDS FREE GENERATION. #86AIDS is the hashtag handle they are encouraging people to use.
Our Miami chefs are no strangers to wonderful causes, supporting both local and national efforts to feed the underserved or disabled, create special menu items that are healthy and now support the (RED) effort to eradicate AIDS.
Chef Dena Marino of MC Kitchen has been selected as the Florida Ambassador for (RED), and I posed a couple questions about her involvement and the other participating Miami restaurants, which include in addition to MC Kitchen; South Beach and Coral Gables locations of SUSHISAMBA ( creative menu includes a (RED) Martini and (RED) influenced dishes like a (RED) roll and Beet cured salmon) NIU Kitchen, Harry's Pizzeria, BLT Steak, The Standard, The Bazaar by Jose Andres, Restaurant Michael Schwartz, Mr Chow, and on a nationwide basis, Chipotle.
!. How did you get involved in the (RED) program? I am so honored to be part of this program and was thrilled when they reached out to me to act as Ambassador.
2. What is your role as Miami Ambassador? To reach out to my fellow Miami chefs and encourage them to support (RED) thru various ways...donations, special menu items or just a portion of profits at the end of the month. Also, to help raise awareness to our patrons about (RED) and the wonderful work they do.
3. What other restaurants are involved in Miami area? The list keeps growing but so far we have over 10 Miami chefs and restaurants including both locations of SUSHISAMBA, NIU Kitchen, Harry's Pizzeria, BLT Steak, The Standard, The Bazaar by Jose Andres, Restaurant Michael Schwartz, Mr Chow and Chipotle, who is a national sponsor. And of course my restaurant, MC Kitchen.
4. How does it work? We can be as creative as we want; We are able to create dishes, dinners, drinks, whatever we would like to raise money, at end of the month we donate to (RED). For example Chef Michael Schwartz is asking for mango donations for special dishes on his Harry's Pizzeria menu and chance to win ticket to OCinema and dinner.
5. How can Miami diners get involved? Basically by visiting the restaurants participating and dining with us. Ask which dishes are part of the (RED) program or they can just simply go to the special Eat(RED)Drink(RED)SAVELIVES website to donate. http://eatreddrinkred.org/save-lives/
Final thoughts/quotes from Dena:
"Let's make this next generation an AIDS FREE Generation. I am honored to support this cause and humbled to be the Florida Ambassador! Let's #86AIDS!"