Some of South Florida’s elite chefs and food lovers gathered on Friday, March 15, to celebrate the growing “slow food” movement in Miami at the 2nd Annual Snail of Approval Tasting Party benefitting Slow Food Miami and their Edible Garden Program.
The tasting party, hosted by Chef Norman Van Aken and Deco Drive’s Louis Aguirre, was set up pool side at the James Royal Palm Hotel where guests dined on bites from local restaurants such as 1500°, Copperbox, Eating House, The Federal, Yardbird Southern Table & Bar and many others. If that lineup wasn’t enough to satisfy the party goers, they got to wash it all down with beer tastings from The Abbey and The Titanic breweries, cocktails courtesy of Grey Goose Vodka, and specialty wines provided by Vinecraft.
At the beginning of the night guests were each given a pin that they were to award to their favorite bite of the evening. At the end of the party, the chef who got the most pins from the guests was awarded the “People’s Choice Award.” This year’s winner was Todd Erickson of Haven Gastro-Lounge for his shrimp and corn grits dish. For all of you who want the winning recipe, it will be featured in an upcoming issue of “Cooking Light” magazine, which also sponsored the event.
Following the tasting party, there was a VIP reception hosted by Florida Cookery featuring special guest Hedy Goldsmith, Executive Pastry Chef of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink and author of “Baking Out Loud.” The after party also honored 2014 nominees Kris Wessel of Florida Cookery and Matt Hinckley of Boxpark.