Chef Adrianne: March of Dimes Chef Ambassador
Ten years. You read that right. Ten years. That’s how long Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar has been open in the corner of a strip center in West Kendall. Quite a feat in a volatile restaurant economy and a statement to what good food, consistent service and a committed chef who knows what they are doing can accomplish.
Chef Adrianne Calvo is a personable and passionate chef (and hard to miss with her red hair), whose formula for success has included her love of cooking, her support of local farms like Gabriele Marewski’s Paradise Farm, and the mutual respect between herself and her staff and servers, many who have been with her for years. On a busy Wednesday night, I sat down with Chef Adrianne to talk about her successes, her passions and her support and involvement with many charitable organizations.
As Ambassador Chef for next Thursday’s November 16th 20th Annual March of Dimes Chef Signature Auction event, Chef Adrianne will be joined at the Hyatt Miami by more than 20 local chefs who have donated food and their time in support of The March of Dimes, an organization that works on funding research for the prevention of birth defects.
Chef Adrianne is not new to charitable causes, having worked closely with St Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Easter Seals, and Common Threads to name a few. An entire wall is filled with plaques thanking her for her support. When I asked her about why she works with so many of these organizations, she commented that she felt it was important for the restaurant community to give back, that “serving the community” did not just mean serving food in a restaurant.
She reminisced about her first March of Dimes event, when as a lowly culinary student at Johnson & Wales, she got to meet James Beard winner, Chef Michelle Bernstein, and how honored she is to now be the Ambassador chef.
But in addition to her philanthropic side, Chef Adrianne turns out some pretty delicious food. Authentic home cooking is at its best with Main Event specialties like her Filet Mignon with buttery mashed potatoes, Rack of Lamb, Duck breast, Osso Bucco and Wild Alaskan salmon. Each dish is seasoned perfectly and served with just the right amount of Au jus, truffle butter, or demi glaze to enhance and not overpower. What a refreshing change from the over sauced or over seasoned dishes that many a chef thinks makes them distinctive.
We started with a glass of Chef Adrianne’s signature red sangria, a refreshing blend of wine and fruit juice in a large enough wine glass to last us through the meal (although, ordering a second glass is always an option!).
The Blue Fin Tuna Tartare was piled high on tortilla chips and topped with cream and truffle oil. A creamy burrata salad was served over prosciutto with balsamic and fig jam.
The filet was cooked perfectly, tender and very flavorful. With the sides of mashed potatoes and asparagus, this meal is sure to please the most discerning carnivore, including the longtime Maître d’ of Joes Stone Crab who came to Chef Adrianne’s just last week at the repeated suggestion of his customers just to order her steak dish.
Chef Adrianne, who has authored four cookbooks, is also very active on social media, where her Instagram followers alone top 200K. We talked at length about social media and she feels that it has been the single biggest game changer in the restaurant business and that is important for every chef and restaurant to use social media to share menus, events and food pictures. We even discussed how a good and informative Instagram or Facebook feed actually replaces Yelp in helping diners select restaurants.
If you haven’t ventured to Chef Adrianne’s yet, plan a night and do so. Special nights to consider include “Dining in The Dark”, which is offered once a month on the 3rd Wednesday and usually sells out in minutes. Follow Chef Adrianne on Instagram for details.
Or catch her every Thursday at 11:30 am on NBC6 “6 in the Mix” for her regular cooking show.
Support this busy lady who works so hard in support of so many charities, including at next weeks, The March of Dimes Chef Signature Auction.
To make a donation or for more information and ticket info for The March of Dimes Signature Chef Auction on Thursday 11/16, please visit: