Local foodie favorite B&S Gastropub, 9059 SW 73 Ct. in Kendall, recently held its first charity dinner — a fundraiser for the Live Like Bella Foundation for childhood cancer.
The dinner, which succeeded in raising more than $3,500 for the organization, was a joint effort among the restaurant, Monica Pardo of Luxurious Events and chef Michael Beltran, who owns PIG Inc. Apparel.
“It was a great time — a great night for a great cause,” said Jorgie Ramos, B&S Gastropub head chef and co-owner. “Of all the dinners I’ve ever done, it was probably the most fun and successful one.”
The evening’s 55 guests purchased tickets for $75 per person two weeks in advance. Chefs Ramos and Beltran each prepared three courses, including inspired creations such as corned duck croquettes with duck fat Brussels sprouts and champagne grape mustard; eschabeche mixta with amber jack, shrimp, kale and fennel; capricci pasta with pork sugo and pecorino cheese, and grilled lamb loin with tamal en cazuela and a castelvetrano olive and mint salad.
Premier Beverage Co. and Halpern’s Steak & Seafood both donated food and beverages to the dinner, and 100 percent of the evening’s proceeds went to the Live Like Bella Foundation.
“The way it really came about is that they were asking for a donation to buy a table [for their upcoming Live Like Bella Ball] and I said, ‘It’s kind of hard for me to afford $5,000 for a table out of pocket, but I could donate my time and my efforts and raise as much money as possible,’ and that’s what I did,” Ramos said. “Our guests are really good people; they want to give back, and $50 to $75 is acceptable to them.”
The dinner was held on a Monday night — a night B&S Gastropub is usually closed — and, according to Ramos, it marked the beginning of what he hopes will be an ongoing effort with the restaurant to support local causes. They even have their next charity event already scheduled: a Sunday brunch benefiting Teach Hope, an organization founded and run by Miami teachers which feeds the homeless with the aid of participating students.
“This is something that we’ve really wanted to do for a while,” Ramos said. “Whatever you can do to help, even if it’s just a little bit, is very gratifying.”
The Live Like Bella Foundation was created in June 2013 to honor Bella Rodriguez-Torres, a young girl who passed away last year after a lengthy battle with Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma, a soft tissue cancer that affects children and young adults. Her parents, Raymond and Shannah Rodriguez-Torres, founded the nonprofit and held the first annual Bella’s Ball, an ambitious charity banquet, at the Jungle Island Treetop Ballroom on Sept. 13.
“The fundraising dinner at B&S Gastropub benefiting Live Like Bella Foundation was a wonderful event,” they wrote. “It was truly humbling to see so many Bella’s Believers enjoying a beautiful night and a delicious dinner. I am sure that had Bella been with us, she would have been saying ‘mmmmm’ after every bite.”