The Edit by Brett Graff
This week's snapshot of the city's social scene is all about Super Bowl LIV.
Super Bowl LIV is technically a sporting event but it’s largely social, with countless parties preceding the game. In Miami, the city’s soirees were headlined with celebrity stars in sports, screen and stage.
Official Miami Super Bowl Host Committee VIP Party
The week officially kicked off on Monday with openings Super Bowl LIVE in Bayfront Park and Super Bowl Experience at the Convention Center opening, but The Official Miami Super Bowl Host Committee VIP Party happened on Thursday and was hosted by Bal Harbour Shops. It seemed every notable name in the city was there including music royals Gloria and Emilio Estefan, to actor Tommy Lee Jones, polo player Ignacio “Nacho” Figueras, Miami Super Bowl Host Committee Chair Rodney Barreto, Bal Harbour Shops CEO, Chairman Matthew Whitman Lazenby and Kristi House CEO Amanda Altman. The schools of stylish people also included Rudy and Lydia Touzet, Barbara and Jose Hevia, Karen and Marc Edelstein, Lana and Michael Bernstein and Stephanie Sayfie-Aagaard with her entire, fabulous family.
The party consumed all three levels of the mall, which for the night was strewn with cocktail bars and culinary stations offering food from the likes of Makoto, Le Zoo, Carpaccio and Barton G., The Restaurant and Corsair. The musical entertainment was provided by the Pointer Sisters, while there was interactive entertainment from the Candy Factory, a Conga Lounge and LED Robot stilt walkers. With The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis as its charity partner, Bal Harbour Shops hosted the famous “Too Good to Keep Silent” Auction featuring donated items from its luxury stores.
Off the Field Players’ Wives Fashion Show
Friday was filled with occasions, starting in the Miami Design District, which partnered with Off The Field Players’ Wives Association for the organization’s 19th annual fashion show. The non-profit – made up of retired and current football spouses — has a mission of supporting philanthropic initiatives helping families and affecting change communities. This year, the fashion show’s proceeds went to Reach Higher, former First Lady Michelle Obama’s initiative to inspire U.S. students to complete their educations past high school.
The event began with mingling, munching and of course mojito-sipping in the VIP area sponsored by Estefan Kitchen, which served peppers stuffed with beans and hummus, colossal grilled shrimp topped with tomato and onion, flatbreads with melted cheese and thick Cuban sandwich squares. Afterward wives and significant others of current and former NFL players wallked the runway wearing Alice & Olivia, Boheme Boutique, Cuyana, Emilio Pucci, Frame, Hublot, Jhoanna Alba, Kiki de Montparnasse, Lanvin, Sevan Bıçakçı, Tighemi, Tod’s and Zadig et Voltaire. The list of legends in attendance is long, and includes Robbi Edwards with Ron Edwards (Carolina Panthers) Bryant McKinnie (Minnesota Vikings,) Eric Rowe (Miami Dolphins) Shannon Whitehead and Tahir Whitehead (Oakland Raiders) and Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, Dacra CEO Craig Robins, music producer, restaurateur Emilio Estefan, social star Ariel Penzer.
Taste of the NFL’s Party with a Purpose
Saturday night, The Taste of the NFL’s Party with a Purpose was held at the Diplomat Beach Resort. The wine and food event features a chef from each NFL city serving a signature dish alongside a current or alumni NFL player. This year’s funds will go to Feeding South Florida and to-date, Taste of the NFL’s programs and events have donated in excess of $26 million, resulting in more than 220 million meals for the Americans who need them. This year had culinary stars Andrew Zimmern, Allen Susser, John Offerdahl (Former Miami Dolphins linebacker and restaurateur,) Dick Anderson (Miami Dolphins) Alvin Jones (Baltimore Ravens linebacker) Suzy Kolber (American football sideline reporter, co-producer, and sportscaster for ESPN,) Damarious Randall (Cleveland Browns safety player who was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 2015)
Everyone enjoyed culinary specialties from around the country. From Fahrenheit in Cleveland, Chef Rocco Whalen prepared Braised Pork Belly Tacos with Watermelon, Jicama & roasted Jalepeno Salsa. From Dallas, Four-time Beard Award-nominated American chef and restaurateur and Iron Chef America star Kent Rathbun prepared Smoked Trout and Roasted Fingerling Potato Salad with Truffle Creme Fraiche. From New York, Nobu chef Taku Sato prepared the restaurants Tuna Sashimi with Cilantro Dressing and from Houston, from Davios in Boston, Chef Steve DiFillippo & Rodney Murillo served Handmade Cavatelli and Chicken Sausage with Truffle Butter while from Houston, chef Robert Del Grande and Elliot Kelly whipped up the The Texans’ End Zone Cone, which is Chocolate Mousse, Texas Pecan Butter and Double Fudge Sauce on a Sugar Cone.
Host Committee Tailgate Party
On Sunday, the Host Committee held its Official Tailgate Party at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. There, the ballroom was transformed into a football fiesta, with full bars and fan-like food, such as whiskey bourbon sliders with fried onions, sausages served with onions and peppers, chicken wings with three sauces and countless salads. There were family-friendly games, live entertainment and Super Bowl LIV souvenirs for everyone.
Brett Graff is SocialMiami.com’s managing editor and has been a journalist covering money, people and power for over 20 years. Graff contributes to national media outlets including Reuters, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, Maxim, and the PBS show, Nightly Business Report. A former U.S. government economist, her nationally syndicated column The Home Economist is first published in The Miami Herald and then on the Tribune Content Agency, where it’s available to over 400 publications nationwide. She is broadcast weekly on two iHeartRadio news shows and is the author of “Not Buying It: Stop Overspending & Start Raising Happier, Healthier, More Successful Kids,” a parenting guide for people who might be tempted to buy their children the very obstacles they’re trying to avoid.