More than $100,000 was raised for Make-A-Wish Southern Florida, Special Olympics Miami-Dade and Broward and the Orange Bowl Leadership Academy at the Orange Bowl Food & Wine Celebration presented by Florida Blue at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center. More than 1,000 tickets were sold the most ever for the event–in support of these organizations and for patrons to enjoy a night of extraordinary food and entertainment. The Orange Bowl Committee and Make-A-Wish Southern Florida surprised 6-year old “Wish Kid” Antonella by bringing her on stage to be greeted by Hawaiian dancers and a lookalike Moana, Antonella’s favorite Disney princess. She was then told that her wish to go with her family to Disney Aulani Resort in Hawaii, has been granted.
Artisan Beach House, run by executive chef Paula DaSilva, received the overall “Flavor of South Florida” Award, voted by a celebrity panel of judges headed by INDULGE Magazine Editor Evan Benn. Other judges’awards went to Ms. Cheezious as Best Miami-Dade Restaurant and 3030 Ocean for Best Broward Restaurant. The judge’s also awarded Best Dessert to Miami Beach EDITION Hotel-Matador Room by Jean-Georges Vongerichten & Market at EDITION by Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The People’s Choice Awards for Best Bite went to Boatyard and for Best Dessert went to SoBe Promos.
Johnny Alexander was recognized for the significant impact he has made in the community with the Orange Bowl Keith Tribble Community Service Excellence Award. Johnny Alexander has been involved with youth sports in the Fort Lauderdale area for nearly 50 years, including 40 with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. His guidance and dedication have resulted in many great athletes having come from the area to exceed at the collegiate and professional level. Alexander is a graduate of Dillard High School where he served as captain of the baseball, basketball, football and track and field squads. Among his many awards, he has been enshrined in the Florida Track & Field Hall of Fame.
The highly acclaimed executive chef of Artisan Beach House, Paula DaSilva, who was the runner up on season five of Hell’s Kitchen, served as celebrity chef. The evening was hosted by Lisa Petrillo, the Entertainment and Lifestyle Reporter for WFOR, CBS4 in Miami. Evan Benn, editor in chief of INDULGE, the Miami Herald’s luxury lifestyle magazine, served as judges’ captain.