March of Dimes Signature Chefs & Wine Extravaganza

Media Contact: Rochelle Darman at 954.772.0013

Liza Santana at 305.968.2384 or


MIAMI –Inarguably one of South Florida’s most popular annual food and wine charity events, the March of Dimes Signature Chefs & Wine Extravaganzawill return for its twelfth year at a new home – Jungle Island in Miami –on Thursday, October 22, 2009. “This is going to be an amazing year for Signature Chefs, with lots of new surprises,” promises event chair Maurice Zarmati of Costa Cruise Lines. “The event has a wonderful history but this year, we’re definitely taking it to the next level.” In addition to a roster of stellar, local celebrity chefs, amazing food, incredible wines, and an array of fabulous auction items, the event will feature some new and exciting entertainment elements and a who’s who of attendees, with all proceeds benefiting the March of Dimes.

Celebrity Honorary Chair Jackie Nespral of NBC 6 will emcee the event asJorge Gonzalez , President of City National Bank, will be honored for his tireless support of the March of Dimes. The event kicks off at 6:30 p.m. with an exclusive VIP Reception, followed by the Extravaganza at 7:30 p.m.Entertainment for VIP reception will include a violinist from the New World Symphony and for the main event, KCC Productions will provide live music by Mel Dancy & The Melting Pot with special guest artists, Lenard Rutledge, Randy Singer, Bobby Ramirez, Roberto Rodriguez, Felix Gomez, Federico Britos, Larry Karp, and Reyniel Rivero.

In addition to countless culinary delights, guests will enjoy wines and champagnes from the world’s finest vineyards and distilleries, courtesy of Southern Wine and Spirits, as well as live and silent auctions. Featured auction items include marvelous dining packages, fine wines and champagnes, travel and hotel stays in exotic locations, fine art pieces, and other specialty items. This year’s event image, “Chef, Vin et Magic Au Cirque” was created by renowned artist Carlos A. Navarro.

Chefs, confirmed to date, who will be joining Chair Chef Cindy Hutson of Ortanique on the Mile include:

  • Chef Tim Andriola of Timō Restaurant
  • Chef Dominique Beckers of We Take the Cake
  • Chef Brandon Benack of Emeril’s Miami Beach
  • Chef Sean Bernal of The Oceanaire Seafood Room
  • Chef Andre Bienvenu of Joe’s Stone Crab

March of Dimes Signature Chefs

  • Chef Sean Brasel of Meat Market Miami Beach
  • Chef Dana Brizee of Smith & Wollensky
  • Chef Christopher Chung of Red Koi Thai & Sushi Lounge
  • Chef Jean Paul Desmaison of La Cofradia
  • Chef Joao Euzebio of Grimpa Steakhouse
  • Chef James Figueroa of Ideas Restaurant
  • Chef Michael Gilligan of Solea at The W Hotel South Beach
  • Chef Sam Gorenstein of BLT Steak at The Betsy
  • Chef Didier Lailheugue of Au Pied de Cochon Miami Beach
  • Chef Edda Martinez of Edda’s Cake Designs
  • Chef Gordon Maybury of Sushi Sobe at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel
  • Chef Jonathon McCaan of Atrio Bar & Grill at Conrad Miami
  • Chef Jorge Montes of Chef George Catering
  • Chef Philippe Pinon of Biscaya at the Ritz Carlton, Coconut Grove
  • Chef Andrea Curto-Randazzo & Chef Frank Randazzo of Talula Restaurant
  • Chef Gerdy Rodriguez of Mia Restaurant & Lounge
  • Chef Paolo Simonetti of Fogo de Chão Churrascaria
  • Chef David Sloane of Rosa Mexicano
  • Chef Nikol Solares of Just Heavenly Cupcakes
  • Chef David Strickland of Jungle Island
  • Chef Marc Vidal of Por Fin
  • Chef Nick Wakeman of Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
  • Chef Kimesha Wing of Taylor Made Cookies.

To date, event sponsors of note include: Costa Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, City National Bank, Jungle Island, Wachovia, One Pointe Realty, Dr. Ino Halegua, M.D., Greenspoon Marder, Miami Children’s Hospital, Garrett Production Group, BNY Mellon, Suffolk Construction, The DYL Group, and Publix Super Markets. Media sponsors to date include WTVJ NBC6, WSCV Telemundo 51, WMXJ Majic 102.7, The Miami Herald,, and Dining Out magazine.

Tickets for the event are $150 per person in advance, $175 per person at the door. Limited tickets for both the Extravaganza and an exclusive VIP Reception immediately preceding the event are available at $250 per person. Jungle Island is located at 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail on Watson Island. For more information, call 305.477.1192 or visit

The March of Dimes is a national voluntary health agency whose mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. Founded in 1938, the March of Dimes funds programs of research, community services, education, and advocacy to save babies.