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In our mention last issue that the Mezzanotte Group was purchasing Il Fico on Biscayne Blvd., and The Sanctuary Hotel on James Avenue in South Beach, there was an error in the names and the number of people involved. Mr. Thomas Billante corrected us saying that he and Mr. Manuel Pucar are the only people involved in the purchase of the two properties. "He and I will be working on making Il Fico into a new concept of Carpaccio Ristorante, and The Sanctuary will become an upscale Italian Restaurant based on a new concept of Mezzanotte," explained Mr. Billante insisting that Mr. Sindoni and Mr. Filpi had no part in the new projects.

CREPES AND COMPANY OPENS IN THE GABLES Crêpes and Company has replaced Il Giramondo. It is a joint venture by Colombian and Venezuelan investors. The chef, Argentine-born Andreina Proti, serves sandwiches, salads, crepes and other light fare for lunch. 276 Alhambra Circle, Coral Gables. 305-446-4545

Following up the "Taste of Down Under" culinary contest held at the North Miami Campus of Johnson & Wales University, jointly sponsored by the Government of the Northern Territory of Australia, the Australian Trade Commission, and Abel Gower Enterprises, and made famous by the presence of "Joe Millionnaire" Butler, Mr. Paul Hogan, Mr. David Doepel of Abel Gower Enterprises invited Adrianne Calvo, the first runner up of the competition for the second year in a row, to prepare a five-course, Australian-themed meal for 16 food mavens hosted by Mr. Ken Allen, Australia's Consul General, at his home in New York City.

A recent graduate from Johnson and Wales, Ms. Calvo, 20, has interned with Chef Michelle Berstein at Azul and is now working in the pastry-baking dept at the Mandarin Oriental. She will be travelling to New York with a five-course menu starting with passed hors d'oeuvres of tropical crab salad quesadillas, island jerk chicken spring rolls, followed by pan roasted prawn with a malanga root dumpling in fiery tomato remoulade; guava glazed barramundi served over wok fired bok choy and asian slaw; salad; citrus marinated lamb with macadamia nut green banana smash, and turrón breton with shiraz roasted apricots.

Mr. Doepel, an Australian now living in the United States, began importing Australian Seafood into the U.S. in 2001 through Abel Gower Enterprises and has developed the "Taste of Down Under" competition as a way of promoting New Australian Cuisine within the American culinary community.

The winning student, Ms. Adriel Martinetti, of Sarasota, FL, was awarded a four-week food and wine tour of Australia.
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