chef sandra canella


Adjunct Instructor Sandra Canella-Rawls of the Miami Culinary Institute (MCI) at Miami Dade College is the semi-finalist for the American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) 2014 Competition at the Southeast Region Conference to be held in April.

The Brazilian native who worked for the past 20 years as a pastry chef, executive pastry chef and head baker and is the author of Pao: Arte & Ciencia, a book about breads and doughs, which won the “The Best Bread Book of 2005” award by the Gourmand Association in Germany, will compete for the title of Pastry Chef of the Year.

“I’m very excited. After working so hard so many years, I thought it would be good to get into the competition scene,” said Canella-Rawls, who has taught baking and pastry at the MCI for the past year and a half.

“Sandra is a real asset to our program at the Miami Culinary Institute and this will further enhance the learning experience for our students. Her kind of spirit and drive are also present in all our great professors," said MCI’s Culinary Chair, Collen Engle.


To celebrate National Frozen Yogurt Day Pinkberry frozen yogurt launches its new South Beach location on 1523 Alton Road with a complimentary Pinkberry frozen yogurt Friends and Family Celebration  on Thursday, Feb. 6th  from 7 pm to 10 pm.

The store will officially open on Friday Feb. 7th at 11 a.m. − Grand Opening; Pep rally with Miami Beach High Band

Pinkberry Alton Road has  partnered with Miami Beach High School not only for the grand opening on Friday, but also for the entire month of February.  During the month of February, when anyone mentions Miami Beach High at the register, the school will receive 20 percent of the purchase.  The proceeds at the end of February will all go toward the Miami Beach High graduation fund.

In honor of the Chinese New Year, Hakkasan, the AAA Four Diamond award-winning modern Chinese restaurant located in Fontainebleau Miami Beach, will celebrate the Year of the Horse with a special family-style prix-fixe menu offered at $128 per person. The menu will be available from Monday, January 27, 2014 through Saturday, February 1, 2014. The official Chinese New Year celebration will take place on Friday, January 31st and will include entertainment and a traditional Dragon Dance that will begin at Bleau Bar at 9:30 p.m. and end at the restaurant. (Please see attached release and image for more information.)
Hakkasan is located at 4441 Collins Avenue in Fontainebleau Miami Beach on the fourth floor rooftop and is open daily for dinner beginning at 6:00 pm. Traditional Dim Sum is served on Saturdays and Sunday from noon – 3:00 pm. For more information or reservations please visit or call 877.326.7412.
In honor of the Chinese New Year, Hakkasan, in the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, will celebrate the Year of the Horse with a special family-style prix-fixe menu offered at $128 per person. The menu will be available from Monday, January 27, 2014 through Saturday, February 1, 2014. The official Chinese New Year celebration will take place on Friday, January 31st and will include entertainment and a traditional Dragon Dance that will begin at Bleau Bar at 9:30 p.m. and end at the restaurant.  Hakkasan is located at 4441 Collins Avenue in Fontainebleau Miami Beach on the fourth floor rooftop and is open daily for dinner beginning at 6:00 pm. Traditional Dim Sum is served on Saturdays and Sunday from noon – 3:00 pm. For more information or reservations please visit or call 877.326.7412.

On Sunday, December 8, chef/owner Jamie DeRosa will team up with celebrated graffiti and fine artist Claudio Picasso, for a special “Art Basel Brunch Bashfrom 11 a.m.  to 3 p.m., with bottomless drinks and T&C favorites, followed by a street party with break dancers.  Claudio’s Art Basel collection will be on display and for sale and the artist will be on-site to sign his work along with additional artists including Skott “Rage” Johnson, Trek 6, Atomik and Monz.   Tongue & Cheek, 431 Washington Avenue, South of Fifth. (305) 704-2900 .Open to the public.

On Tuesday, December 10,  from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. “Art Basel Hangover” Happy Hour with bites and  a pop-up store by foodie design brand, Flavour Gallery  where “A Taste of South Florida”-themed T-shirts and painted tiles will be on sale.   Tongue & Cheek, 431 Washington Avenue, South of Fifth. (305) 704-2900 . Open to the public.

At this year's Art Basel in Miami Beach Michelle Bernstein Catering will not only provide catering for a number of official Art Basel events, but will also operate two, full dining outposts - Michy's Miami Beach Pop Up and the Garden Café by Michelle Bernstein.

Michy's Miami Beach Pop Up from Tuesday, December 3 through Saturday, December 7,  will seat an intimate 100 guests per night 2 seatings: 6:30 and 9 p.m  . Chef Michelle Bernstein will prepare a four-course menu of creative, contemporary fare.   Michy’s Miami Beach is located within the Botanical Gardens at 200 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach, Pre-purchase RSVP required. 305.759.2001 or $135 per person (tax and gratuity not included) with a wine pairing option for an additional $55 per person.

Garden Café by Michelle Bernstein, inspired by Bernstein’s Crumb on Parchment,  will offer comfort food favorites with salads, freshly made sandwiches, hot plates, soups and baked goods. Cracked Florida stone crabs with homemade mustard sauce will be available at market price as well as one of Crumbs’ signatures – Mom’s Layer Cake. Botanical Gardens at 200 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach. From Tuesday Dec. 3 through Sunday Dec.8  10:00 a.m. to 6:00pm, Wednesday 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. No reservations required; walk-ins welcome.

 The Pubbelly Restaurant Group and Macchialina Taverna Rustica announced today that they will amicably split ways, effective immediately.

Macchialina’s  chef Michael Pirolo and General Manager Jen Chaefsky have purchased the concept, name and brand from the Pubbelly Group and will now be operating the rustic Italian concept as a separate entity. “We will miss having them as part of the team,” said Andreas Schreiner, founding partner and Managing Director for Pubbelly Restaurant Group.

Macchialina Taverna Rustica, located at 820 Alton Road on South Beach, serves dinner, Tuesday–Thursday, from 6pm-midnight; Friday and Saturday from 6pm-1am and Sunday from 6-11pm.  (305) 534-2124

As an alternative to the always-packed breakfast scene at Myles Restaurant Group's Big Pink, restaurateur Myles Chefetz and Corporate Chef Mike Sabin have created a gourmet Saturday and Sunday Brunch from 11:30 a.m.-3:30pm at the upscale Prime Italian. Guests are invited to dine inside or al fresco and sip their way into the day with the Morning Glory, ($10) a mix of fresh squeezed orange, grapefruit, pineapple and pomegranate juices. In addition to breakfast classics, Prime Italian's brunch offers Meyer Lemon and Blueberry Pancakes with Lemoncello Syrup ($14), a flavorful Maine Lobster Omelette w/ Creme Fraiche & Ossetra Caviar ($25), and a Pumpkin Spiced Malted Waffle topped with apple cobbler and schlog ($14).   Prime Italian,101 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139. 305.695.8484

El Brazo Fuerte Bakery, Miami and Karla Bakery, Miami placed 20th and 40th respectively on The Daily Meal’s list of America’s 50 Best Bakeries. Click here for the slideshow  

From consultations with some of the most notable experts in the field including François Payard, Dominique Ansel, Pichet Ong, and Eric Kayser, to a careful analysis of the more than 6,000 retail bakeries nationwide, from Oakmont, PA to Sioux Falls, SD,  The Daily Meal turned their attention to America’s finest bread and pastry institutions – just in time to pick-up dessert for one of many upcoming holiday parties.

About the ranking…  According to the Daily Meal: “In order to assemble our ranking, we sorted through more than 1,400 bakeries and whittled it down to America’s top 50 using the criteria of:  whether they bake both breads and pastries (we didn’t exclude them if they don’t however), originality, how long they've been around for, if they have notable and award-winning chefs, if they make all their baked goods from scratch, and their buzz factor.”

To find out more link to



All three Spaghetto locations (Miami, South Beach and Davie) will be closed for Thanksgiving.

On Venerdi Nero (Black Friday) November 29, starting at 11:30 a.m., owners Felicita and Francesco Mazza, will offer diners 50% off of specially selected entrees such as spaghetti, fettucine, macaroni and fusilli ($4.98 for a regular sized portion to $6.98 for a large portion, before discount) with the purchase of a beverage, soft drink or ice tea with each entrée.

Spaghetto South Beach, 540 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, (305) 763-8106
Spaghetto Davie, 1910 S. University Drive, Davie, (954) 514-7233
Spaghetto Downtown Miami, 100 South Miami Avenue, Miami, (305) 373-7731

For more information:

From Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Happy Wine in the Grove – wine store and restaurant − offers  a glass of house red or white wine for $4, as well as mimosas, bellinis and sangria for just $1.85, and the bar bites for $4.50.  Other specials include: Steak Tuesdays, 16oz Black Angus NY Strip for $15.99 all day, paella with Felix on Fridays at noon, and live music every Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday evening.

New additions to the regular menu include: grilled langostinos a la plancha; grilled sea scallops; risotto con setas salvajes, arborio rice with portobello mushrooms, parmesan cheese and truffle oil; crispy roasted pork belly, browned then slowly braised and served with a potato terrine; fire roasted piquillo, peppers stuffed with seafood and house made tomato sauce; huevos rotos, fried egg, chorizo and potatoes; among others.

Happy Wine in the Grove,2833 Bird Avenue,Coconut Grove, FL 33133,305.460.9939,

dsc09974To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of  the 140-seat Café Prima Pasta , Founder Gerardo Cea , his brother Fabian, their father Arturo who oversees the kitchen as executive chef and their mother Carla, who bakes fresh breads and desserts daily,  invite patrons and guests an anniversary special. Starting November 11 and through December 31, all are invited to a free Bellini upon arrival, a complimentary Bruschetta appetizer, homemade cookies for dessert and a digestivo of Sambuca.

Since 1993, Café Prima Pasta has offered guests home-style, Italian cuisine in a comfortable, yet refined atmosphere.  The Miami Beach neighborhood bistro is casual yet regulars often include celebrities such as Matt Damon, Lenny Kravitz, Dwyane Wade, Shakira and hundreds of others as evidenced by the signed and framed headshots that adorn the dining room.

Café Prima Pasta is open Monday through Saturday for dinner from 5 p.m. to midnight and Sunday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.  414 71st Street, Miami Beach, FL 33141, 305.867.0106,


Chef Alan Hughes is celebrating one year anniversary of his restaurant The Embassy on the edge of Miami’s Design District with a three day fete beginning Tuesday, November 19 and a new menu of seasonal selections.

From Tuesday November 19th through Thursday, November 21st, Chef Hughes will issue patrons Official Passports, filled with coupons for promotions and discounts throughout the year.    On Wednesday, November 20 from 6 pm to 9 pm, he will celebrate the first anniversary party with drinks and tapas on the house  and special live musical performances all evening.

Effective immediately, diners can enjoy the innovative Fall menu items including barbequed alligator ribs with Asian slaw; apple cider-braised rabbit with polenta, gorgonzola and roasted apples; Australian rack of lamb with celery root puree and oyster mushrooms; and  baked farro risotto with mushrooms and fontina.  Hughes is also introducing a a new entrée to the delight of Miami’s vegan community; quinoa, wild rice, marinated chick peas, pickled asparagus, roasted eggplant roasted kuri squash with pine nuts & field greens.

The Embassy is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 6:00 pm to midnight. The bar remains open late on Fridays and Saturdays; brunch is served Sundays from 10 am – 3 pm.  Beginning Monday, November 18, lunch will be served Monday through Friday from 11:00 am to 4 pm .   4600 NE Second Avenue in Miami’s Design District.  (305)-571-8446;

 Meat Market, The quintessential nightlife spot on Lincoln Road bustling restaurant is now open for lunch menu,  seven days a week from noon – 4 p.m.

Executive chef/co-owner Sean Brasel has added to the night time favorites  an array of salads and sandwiches ($15-$22); grilled meats(available in 6 oz. and 12 oz.) and Snake River Farms American Kobe hot dog with Fresno chili confit, Napa cabbage slaw and market fries.  Seafood and pasta also figure on the list as well as sides and desserts.

Meat Market, 915 Lincoln Road,  South Beach is open daily for lunch from Noon – 4pm and dinner from 6pm - midnight.  Bar opens at 5pm daily and Happy Hour is available each Friday, 5pm – 8pm.    (305) 532-0088.

Farmers' Market at South Miami on Sundays 9 - 2 p.m.
Every Sunday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m,  through the end of November, the Farmers' Market will be held in South Miami City Hall,  6130 Sunset Drive, with the participation of all the Pinecrest Farmers Market vendors.

Every Sunday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m,  through the end of November, the Farmers' Market will be held in South Miami City Hall,  6130 Sunset Drive, with the participation of all the Pinecrest Farmers Market vendors.



Chef Cesar Zapata, Aniece Meinhold  and the team at the Federal  have revamped the entire menu into a family-style menu broken down in four sections: The Federal Classics, Pescatarian Pleasures, Meatlovers’ Delight and Veggie Friendly. Each section features dishes that were inspired by different memories and phases from Zapata’s formative years in Huston, Texas.

The Federal Classics include the Buffalo Style Pig Wing (blue cheese mousse, pickled carrots & celery, $6), the Jar o’Duck (winter-spiced duck rillettes, charred fluff, candied yams, crusty bread, $12) and the Jumbo Biskit ($6, just awarded one of the Best Biscuits in the US by Food and Wine Magazine).

Meatlovers’ Delight takes on that old western, cowboy feel with dishes like The Tavern Rib Eye (slow roasted 18oz. prime rib, smothered onions, foie gras butter, crispy onion rings, $35), Ceez’s Smoky Fried Chicken (mesquite smoked, hot sauce ‘n honey, buttermilk ranch dressing, pickled watermelon rind, $15), Smoked Turkey Wing (pumpkin chestnut hash, country pork sausage, cranberries, $12) and Babs’s Venison ‘Chili & Fries’ (Texas venison, pasilla/ancho/guajillo chilies, crispy grits, cotija cheese, crème fraiche, $14) all integrate the flavors of chilies, the smoke pit and the fiery grill. Out goes the Federal Lamb Burger and in comes Zapata’s PHATburger (12oz short rib/brisket/chuck patty, grilled onions, pickled jalapenos, avocado, chipotle cream, fried egg, $16); and the savory dessert:  Bananas Foster Foie Gras (roasted, buttered brioche, vanilla mascarpone, dark spiced rum, $17)

Pescatarian Pleasures highlights largely Florida-sourced seafood such as spiny lobsters, Key West pink and red shrimp, white water clams from central Florida and gulf oysters from Apalachicola. U6 Scallop Rockafella (creamed spinach, cotija cheese, spicy biskit crumbs, $7) and Golden Baby Conch Salad (fresh hearts of palm, avocado, charred oranges, citrus vin, $12) crown the section. More substantial is the Hearty Florida Seafood Stew with smoky tomato broth, corn, potatoes and sausage, $28

The Federal now offers over ten vegetarian items, plus daily specials  such as the Truffled Egg & Buttered Dumplings (handmade noodles, fresh herbs, sautéed chanterelles, white truffle oil, poached egg, $12), Local Creamy Burrata (“the federal forest,” local burrata, frisee, concord grapes, spiced hazelnuts, $14) and Roasted Beets (assorted roasted beets, candy striped/red/yellow, honey yogurt, crisp goat cheese fritters, $12),  Southwest Mac & Cheese, $8, and Jumbo Biskit, $6.

The Federal will be offering a $33 Chefs Tasting Menu for a limited basis structured as a 4-course degustation menu showcasing the bevvy of Zapata’s new dishes.

The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions,5132 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33137

In anticipation of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), Rosa  Mexicano ( plans  a special menu of autumn-inspired dishes from October 27-November 3. In honor of All Saints Day (Nov 1) and All Souls Day (Nov 2), festive menu additions for this traditional Mexican holiday include:

Fall Guacamole – a riff on Rosa’s world-famous dip with roasted pears, apples and toasted almonds

Sea Scallops with Pumpkin Seed Pipian – with huitlacoche flan and caramelized chayote squash

Churros en Bolsa – hot donuts served with three dipping sauces: Mexican chocolate-piloncillo, Strawberry chile de arbol, and Dulce de leche

El Diablo Ahumado (The Smoky Devil) – a spicy sip made with Ancho chile-infused Herradura reposado tequila, fresh blood orange, apricot brandy and cinnamon


virgile brandel chef


The Conrad Miami recently named Virgile Brandel as Executive Chef of the hotel. With more than 25 years of experience, the French native will  oversee all culinary operations including developing a new menu, managing inventory, leading the kitchen staff and monitoring meal preparation for Atrio Restaurant & Wine Room, and catering events at the hotel.

Brandel began his culinary career in France where he apprenticed at a Michelin-starred restaurant in the Champagne region. Following his apprenticeship, he was promoted to Chef Tournant at Boccaccio in Nice, he worked in London for five years at The Park Lane Hotel as Senior Chef de Partie and advanced to Junior Sous Chef at The Dorchester Hotel thereafter.

Prior to working at Conrad Miami, Brandel was Executive Sous-Chef at the Eden Roc Hotel in Miami Beach. During his tenure there, he created a variety of innovative menus, coordinated numerous special events and successfully reduced total food cost. Previously, he served as a Senior Banquet Chef at Waldorf Astoria’s Casa Marina in Key West, where he contributed to the 4-star rating at the property. Earlier, he was a Banquet Sous Chef for the Loews Hotel in Miami Beach under the supervision of acclaimed “Master Chef of France,” Marc Erlher.

In 1991, the French native graduated from the Hospitality and Culinary School in Sur Marne, France, where he earned his Bachelor degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management and an Associate’s Degree of Applied Science in Culinary Arts. He has been featured in Aloha Spirit and also was named “Chef of the Month” in Gulf Shore Life.


sushi sambaSUSHISAMBA Coral Gables’ new lunch menu features Executive Chef Brian Nasajon’s quick and affordable fare like salads ($14) such as the Robata Shrimp Salad with baby tatsoi, hearts of palm, roasted cashew, red quinoa and candied ginger vinaigrette; sandwiches ($15) as  Wagyu Sliders served on a sesame brioche bun with aji panca ketchup, shredded lettuce, tomato and fries or the Chicken Katsu with pickled rutabaga, sriracha aioli, avocado and mint; and Signature bentos ($16-$19).featuring a choice of 6 different entrées including  Roasted Chicken with kuromitsu-soy; Salmon Robata with sweet soy and Soba Noodle Salad with market vegetables and dashi-amazu sauce served with miso soup, a field green salad and choice of white rice of red quinoa. The restaurant also has takeout and delivery options to make office meetings seamless. SUSHISAMBA Coral Gables is open daily, serving breakfast 7am – 11am, lunch 11am – 4:30pm and dinner 5pm – midnight. SAMBAHOUR is available Monday – Friday, 4pm – 7pm and 11pm – close, featuring cocktails, sushi and menu specials.  Located in the Westin Colonnade Hotel at 180 Aragon Avenue in Coral Gables  (305) 448-4990.


christyTo celebrate its 35th anniversary, in November Christy’s invites diners to enjoy Christy’s Classics for $35 – Filet Mignon 8oz., Sea Bass, and Rack of Lamb  preceded by Christy’s famous Caesar Salad, and to choose from a select list of highly rated wines for a flat $35 a bottle.  The list includes Achaval Ferrer Quimera, Hess Collection 19 Block Cuvee, Bennett Family The Reserve, Patz and Hull, Lange Reserve Eola and Silverado Cabernet, to name a few. 

Christy’s Restaurant opened in 1978 when fancy French restaurants were in in Coral Gables,  to quickly become a landmark famous for prime steaks and fresh seafood.

Since then, consistency and impeccable service, sophisticated ambiance and outstanding food have kept celebrities, presidents, US senators, Justices, sports stars, entertainment moguls and local patrons coming back to Christy’s plush and discreet men’s club-like atmosphere where deals are made and hands are shaken over rare steaks, stiff drinks, and good wines and where vintage Champagne flows at every birthday gathering.

christy2Many things have changed since 1978. Then,  Eastern Airlines was the #1 carrier based in Miami; Jimmy Carter was President and pardoned the draft dodgers of the Vietnam War; Gas was 63 cents a gallon; the top TV shows were Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Love Boat and the top movie was Grease with John Travolta and Olivia Newton John!

For Christy’s  the changes are a new bar with live piano jazz on the weekends; Flights and Bites wine night at the bar; and waiters no longer wear tuxedos!

Christy’s is open Monday through Saturday for dinner starting at 5 p.m. and is closed on Sundays. 3101 Ponce De Leon, Coral Gables, FL 33134 · (305) 446-1400


truffle pizzaCecconi’s Miami Beach has officially kicked off truffle season and the truffle menu items are now available for a short period of time.  Chef Sergio Sigala will be offering four unique truffle entrees: Black Truffle Pizza, Asparagus, Parmesan Cheese, Eggs and truffle;  Truffle Risotto and Egg Tagliolini with Truffle as well as the option to have truffle shaved table-side when requested.

Other menu highlights include Wood-Oven Roast Scallops with Pancetta and Rosemary; Kobe Beef Tartare with Truffle and Pecorino; Burrata, Red Onion and Fresh Tomato Pizza; Maine Lobster with House-made Spaghetti;Veal Ossobuco with Gremolata; anda first-rate selection of prime steaks served with truffle jus and garlic confit.


The indoor/outdoor Cecconi’s Miami Beach is located at Soho Beach House, 4385 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, Fla., and is open Monday to Thursday 7 a.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday 7 a.m. to 1 a.m., and Sunday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.  786.507.7902 or visit

callum molloy_general manager at grille 401


Brimstone WFG Holding Company has appointed Callum Molloy as General Manager of Grille 401. Callum will oversee the day to day management and operations  and work closely with all of Grille 401’s personnel to create a warm and friendly dining experience.

Located at 401 East Las Olas Boulevard, Grille 401 offers a menu of freshly grilled seafood, steak, homemade pastas, fresh salads, delicious desserts and an expansive mezzanine perfect for private events, socializing and corporate meetings.

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James Beard Award-winning wine journalist Lyn Farmer on: Garnacha from Carinena; the next great wine


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Lidia Batianich, celebrity chef, TV host, author and restaurateur 






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