Florida Heart Research Institute’s Driven to Dine, Was a Delicious Experience!

Standing: Dania Rodriguez, Marilyn Cale, Chef Odel Arencibia of The Capital Grille, Jennifer Boin, Julio Lopez-Brito; Seated: Berta Guilarte, Olga Guilarte, Barclay Cale, Ileana Moleiro

Guests gathered at Bunny Bastian’s fabulous Gables Estates home for a reception before being whisked away by limo for a mystery dinner.

It was like the Academy Awards. Limos everywhere as Driven to Dine got underway, providing guests with a one-of-a-kind culinary experience. Florida Heart Research Institute’s annual fundraiser combines, glamour, fun, great food—and mystery. The adventure began at the beautiful home of philanthropist Bunny Bastian with a reception where 150 guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres crafted by Le Cordon Bleu and cocktails courtesy of Pernod Ricard. An intimate band provided the background music, and the magical setting of Bunny’s home on the water provided spectacular views and ambiance.

Before departing in limos to first-class restaurants, Jim Angleton, chairman of the event, greeted the guests and introduced Dr. Dick Elias Chairman of the Board of Florida Heart Research Institute. Guests bid on auction items that offered unusual trips, such as a 4-Star San Francisco Wine Country Escape – 3 nights at the exclusive Fairmont Hotel, Napa Valley tour, sunset cruise on San Francisco Bay and one night in Carmel at Clint Eastwood’s ranch; Dinner for 8 in your own home created by Executive Chef Sean Bernal of The Oceanaire Seafood Room; 5-star Escape to Ireland – for a 7-day 6-night vacation, with castle accommodations; and Cooking School in Tuscany for 7-days and 6-nights.

Standing: Jodi & Bob Dickinson, Helen Sheehy, Gene Sevilla-Sacasa; Seated: Jim Murphy, Bunny Bastian, Vincent Sheehy, Frances Sevilla-Sacasa

Selected by the luck of the draw, guests didn’t know their destination until they arrived. But they had nothing to worry about – all the options were wonderful. Restaurants participating included: Acqualina-Chef Marc Debas, Atrio Restaurant and Wine Room at the Conrad Miami-Chef Jonathan McCann, Creek 28-Chef Kira Volz, EOS at the Viceroy Miami-Chef Michael Psilakis, Escopazzo-Chef Giancarla Bodoni, Gaetano Ristorante-Chef Gaetano Ascione, Gibraltar at Grove Isle-Chef Jeff O’Neill, La Marea at the Tides-Chef Gonzalo Rivera, Jr., Oceanaire-Chef Sean Bernal, Ortanique on the Mile-Chef Cindy Hutson, The Capital Grille-Chef Odel Arencibia, The Grill at the Setai-Chef Jonathan Wright, and Timo Restaurant & Bar-Chef Tim Andriola. As favors guests received insulated ecologically friendly bags from Whole Foods filled with all kinds of goodies.

FHRI was founded more than 65 years ago as Miami Heart Research Institute, an international leader with a mission to Stop Heart Disease through cardiovascular research, education, and prevention programs.

Standing: Mario Fauret, Carol Pawley, Dorothy St.Jean, Mike Murray; Seated: Joyce Hinds, Carol Adams, Connie Russell, and Marguerite Hark at Oceanaire with Executive Chef Sean Bernal

For more information regarding this and other exciting projects at Florida Heart Research Institute, please contact Sallie Byrd at 305-674-3020 Ext 5823 or visit at www.floridaheart.org.