America’s Best Breakfasts by Lee Brian Schrager
Brunch Bash Benefits FIU's Chaplin School of Hospitality
Lee Schrager’s new book, “America’s Best Breakfasts: Favorite Local Recipes from Coast to Coast,” launched with a bash at the Magic City Casino. More than 400 passionate gourmands gathered for a benefit brunch to celebrate cookbook number three from Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival founder and director Lee Brian Schrager.
South Florida is well represented in America’a Best Breakfasts with several local recipes, and they were all on-hand to help mark the occasion. The event, presented by Friends of the South Beach Wine & Food FestivalⓇ, raised funds for the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at FIU.
Like Schrager’s Festival events, there was plenty of food and libations to keep the Magic City guests satiated. More than 35 chefs dished out their most whimsical breakfast creations, with Jeff O’Neill of Barton G. The Restaurant earning the People’s Choice Award for his lobster pop-tarts served with choice of Tabasco hollandaise or tarragon verjus.
Miami New Times’ Laine Doss lead an esteemed panel of judges, including culinary personality Ingrid Hoffmann, WSVN’s Belkys Nerey, and City of Miami Beach firefighters Michael Viera and Michelle Viera, to select Chef Odell Torres’ lechon brioche bun from Estefan Kitchen Larios On The Beach as the Judge’s Choice Award-winner.
Guests noshed and danced the afternoon away, fueled by Bloody Marys from Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Mimosas and Bellinis from Cavicchioli 1928 and caffeine fixes from Panther Coffee and 3:05 Cafecito, enjoying tunes from “Miami Live! Band” featuring award-winning vocalists: Wendy Pedersen, Nikki Kidd, and Goro Castillo, each performing music celebrating Miami’s rich cultural diversity.
Widely recognized as the leader in breakfasts, McDonald’s also brought the comfort of All Day Breakfast to the event, capturing the crowd’s Sunday brunch happiness while also encouraging event goers to get back in bed with an experiential photo booth activation. The serene All Day Breakfast Lounge served up McCafé and guava pies for the crowd.
From the book, attendees sampled Buena Vista Deli’s quiche and an array of goodies, the Cuban bread torrejas from Eating House, the PACO from FOAR Food Truck, morning glory muffins from Cindy Lou’s with Panther Coffee, and the Malawach from Restaurant 27.