On Friday, March 7, 2014 the Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Beach Resort hosted the 2014 Delish Fire and Ice event to benefit ARC Broward. The setting was magnificent. The bars and food stations surrounded the pool which overlooked the Atlantic Ocean and Ft. Lauderdale beach. The inky sky was filled with millions of twinkling stars and the palm fronds rustled in the breeze. There was also something magical about the way the trees were swathed in red, white and blue lights.
ARC Broward Culinary Institute uses food as a tool to transform lives and build stronger communities. Their non-profit catering program creates outstanding culinary experiences in an ambiance of style and taste while providing real world employment opportunities for the graduates of the Entry Level Culinary Arts Certificate Program.
The food for the five stations was prepared by these amazing students. Guests were dazzled by such delicious items as Ceviche of Corvina Three Ways; a Bruschetta Bar; Pastor Pulled Pork or Espazote, Lime and Chile Chicken Tacos with Mexican Salsa, Marinated Onions, Roasted Habanero Salsa and a relish of Serrano Chiles, Avocado and Cilantro; Beef Meatballs with Olive, Parmesan and Tomato Chutney and Lamb Meatballs with Oregano, Dill and Tzatziki Sauce; and Sweet Orange Chipotle Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Bourbon Shrimp Flambe a la Creme and Peruvian Lomo Salteado. In addition to the five food stations prepared by Arc Broward students there was a full open bar and a fabulous Stoli Vodka bar made of ice. Hoffman’s Chocolates presented the desserts which matched the food in excellence. They served Dark, Milk and White Chocolate Covered Pretzels, Chocolate Covered Huge Strawberries and Cashew Nut Toffee Crunch.
And as if all of that wasn’t enough, there was a D.J. spinning tunes all evening, a Silent Auction filled with fabulous gifts and a Head to Head Quick Fire Challenge between Chef Michele Ragussis and the Hilton’s Executive Chef Sean McDonald. Some of you may recognize Chef Ragussis from The Next Food Network Star a couple of years ago. She made it to the top three finalists on Bobby Flay’s team. The ingredients to be used were Swiss chard, shrimp, pancetta and pistachios. The dishes were judged by the event committee and Chef Ragussis won handily.
As a highlight to this festive evening a recent graduate of ARC Broward Culinary Institute, Ashley Guzman, was presented the “Michy’s Best Award” as student of the year. This annual award is named in honor of Chef Michelle Bernstein and given to the student who best embodies Chef Bernstein’s culinary passion. Ashley assisted Chef Michele Ragussis in the Quick Fire Challenge.
All of this created an evening of total enjoyment and help raised funds to further ARC Broward’s mission. This support helps the organization transform the community by providing opportunities for people with disabilities and other life challenges to realize their full potential.