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BOX LUNCHES AND PLATTERS @ GARDNER'S MARKETS EXPRESS
There's always something new and smelling like freshly baked bread and cookies at Gardner's Markets. Now anyone can have it wrapped up in a box and delivered to office, home, a friend, or pick up on the way to the airport to skip those nasty mushes on plastic trays. The latest creative Box Lunches cost $10.50 and include a sandwich, a bag of chips, a fresh fruit, a dessert and water (you can also add a split of wine if you're willing to pay a few more dollars), or a salad with freshly baked baguette, fruit, dressing, dessert and water. Everything is made to order, by hand, and is hermetically sealed in insulated, leak-free paper, and delivered in a box. Soon you'll be able to see Gardner's delivery trucks in the same colors as the box. The neat thing is that you can order online, at Gardnersmarkets.com, and pay by credit card or cash upon receipt. All of Gardner's Markets locations: Coconut Grove, 3117 Bird Ave; South Miami, 7301 SW 57th Ave., Red Road; Pinecrest, 8287 SW 124th St.; or Ocean Reef Club, 26 Dockside Lane, Key Largo, respond to one number: 305-271-0760.

BRASSERIE LES HALLES CELEBRATES LIBERTY FESTIVAL
Sunday July 4th through Wednesday July 14th, 6th Annual Liberty Festival at Brasserie Les Halles New York, Washington DC, and Miami to celebrate America's Independence Day on the 4th of July and France's Bastille Day on the 14th of July with dishes including Red, White and Blue. The special menu will feature "Stars and Stripes" (Tuna and tomato tartare appetizer), and "Cabillaud Tricolore" (Codfish with beet and blue potato Purée, white wine sauce) as Entrées. For dessert, a tricolor treat of "Drapeau Givré" (Curaçao, lemon and raspberry frozen parfait). The proceeds -- half of the price of each dish --will be donated to Best Buddies, a not-for-profit organization. 2415 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables, 305-461-1099.

WDNA FM 88.9, EFFETS SPECIAUX, THE FRENCH RADIO PROGRAM's
hosts, Robert and Margueritte Gil, will broadcast live from Les Halles on Saturday, July 10th, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. with interviews with Les Halles owner Philippe Lajaunie, the French consul and guests. The show is the longest French-American Radio Program in the U.S.A. and has been bringing French music, information, interviews to South Florida Francophiles for 18 years.

BRASSERIE LES HALLES annual outdoor Liberty Festival street party Saturday, July 10th, 12 to 9:00 p.m., on Ponce De Leon Blvd will feature music with a live DJ, a French can-can show and of course, food and the famous, while characters from French and American history mingle with the crowds. "Bastille Races" include the famous Waiter's/Waitress' Race (starting at 3:30 p.m.) during which restaurant wait-staff from all over the city speed-walk the racecourse balancing a tray with a bottle and a wine glass on one hand. "The Waiter's Race has been so popular, that we created more races so kids, chefs and even restaurant goers can participate," said owner Philippe Lajaunie. The Chefs Race (starting at 4:30 p.m.), the Les Hallers' Race or Guest's Race (starting at 1:30 p.m.) and a Les Halles Children's Race (starting at 1:00 p.m.), all take place on Ponce de Leon Ave., which will close for the day. A suggested entry fee for all races is $10 with all proceeds in benefit of Best Buddies. For more information on the Les Halles Liberty Festival, please call (212)- 571-2100 ext. 13, or visit www.leshalles.net. Brasserie Les Halles is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 12 a.m. midnight. 2415 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables, 305-461-1099.

2005 SOUTH BEACH WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL IS ALREADY IN THE MAKING
Preparations have already started for the 2005 South Beach Wine & Food Festival scheduled to take place February 25 - 27. Celebrity chefs like Nigela Lawson, Nobu Matsuhisa, Emeril Lagasse, Charlie Trotter and Claude Troisgros among many others have already committed to joining South Florida luminaries including Norman Van Aken, Mark Militello, Allen Susser, Michelle Bernstein, Robbin Haas, Frank Randazzo and Andrea Curto. In 2004, the three-day food and beverage pageantry hosted by Food & Wine magazine raised $1.2 million for the FIU School of Hospitality and tourism Management. Over 22,000 people drank 28,000 bottles of 3,000 varieties of wine and were fed by over 50 local restaurants with culinary demonstrations and wine dinners prepared by celebrity chefs. Newly appointed as Managing Director of the festival in 2005 is Devin Padgett, and Heidi Ladell is Director of Sponsor Relations and Special Projects. For more information call (305) FIU-WINE (348-9463) or visit www.sobewineandfoodfest.com.

To submit information and tips for this column, please e-mail to: editor@southfloridagourmet.com
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