Chefs Up Front, the specialized culinary experience and fundraiser, returns for its third straight year to the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables on Sept. 18. The event is organized by local non-profit organization Florida Introduces Physical Activity and Nutrition to Youth (FLIPANY).
Larger than before, the dinner will feature 19 notable local chefs who will prepare a customized five-course signature dinner for groups of 10 at their own table, complete with wine pairings. Guests have a chance to interact with the chefs and ask questions. The evening will be hosted by Ryan Phillips, morning meteorologist at NBC6 and benefits Cooking Matters, a program that teaches children and their families how to make healthy food choices, cook healthy meals and shop for nutritious foods on a budget.
Participating are Aaron Dreilinger, Chef David Catering and Event Design; Adrianne Calvo, Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar; Brian Nasajon, Beaker & Gray; Cristian Cuevas, Burger Taco Whiskey; David Blonsky, Apeiro Kitchen & Bar; David Sears, Sushisamba; Diego Martinez, Fresh American Bistro; Diego Solano, Bulla Gastrobar; Dustin Ward, BLT Prime Miami; Giuseppe Galazzi, Fontana Restaurant at the Biltmore; James Cawley and Jordan Marano, Rosa Mexicano; Jeremy Ford, Matador Room; Marlon Rambaran, Scarpetta at Fontainebleau; Michael Shikany, Shikany; Nuno Grullón, R House; Robyn Almodovar, Palate Party Gourmet Food Truck; Ryan Martin, 180° @ the DRB; Santiago Gomez de la Fuente, Cantina La Veinte Miami, and Thomas Griese, Michael Mina 74 at Fontainebleau.
Chef Giuseppe Galazzi of the Fontana Restaurant at the Biltmore in Coral Gables is back for the second time because he likes the event. He is known for stuffed homemade pasta combining the original recipes of his hometown and the local Caribbean products that Miami offers.
“It’s an honor for me to participate in an event that aims to end childhood hunger in America by connecting children with the nutritious food they need to lead healthy, active lives,” Galazzi said. “As a chef I can teach the families how to prepare healthy, tasty meals on a limited budget. These kinds of events bring us together. As professional chefs we are happy to bring our expertise outside the walls of our kitchens and be able to teach adults and teens the secrets behind the scene.”
Chef Aaron Dreilinger of Chef David Catering and Event Design in Palmetto Bay, also is returning. He is known for seasonal and very local food and also creates menus for Celebrity Cruise Line.
“I’ve done this for a couple of years, at the Biltmore and also in Fort Lauderdale,” Dreilinger said. “This is a really great event and it has a good cause behind it, and we’re doing a lot of good by doing it. You get to relax a bit and interact with people, preparing food in front of them, answering their questions and giving them a look behind the curtain. It’s fun for the chefs and for the guests also. Chefs are notoriously competitive, so there’s camaraderie, but there’s also quiet competition.”
Chef Robyn Almodovar of the Palate Party Gourmet Food Truck which tours many cities locally is returning for her fourth year. She said she is known for giving people “a party in your mouth,” but is especially known for her deep fried bread pudding.
“I enjoy doing this event because it gives me a chance to express myself differently than I do on my truck,” Almodovar said. “What appeals me the most about this event is all the chefs coming together as one to give back to a great cause. I want to be a part of it because I enjoy hearing the stories and influences the younger generation has. It’s bringing family time back into cooking. I have not always been a chef who owns a food truck. I started under Elizabeth Barlow at Pier 66. Being able to ‘play’ in the kitchen with such great chefs is a night of its own.”
The Biltmore is located at 1200 Anastasia Ave. in Coral Gables. For information or to purchase tickets