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Celebrity Chefs Take Over the Museum

March 27, 2018 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

At the top of the marquee for the social calendar this year,Tasteful Traditions 2018 was a sold-out success. The highly anticipated annual fundraiser for the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIUfeatured some of the nation’s most beloved celebrity chefs. The event was directed by nationally renown Chef Allen Susser and co-hosted by culinary journalist Linda Gassenheimer.

Known for their spots on national network television and their trend-setting restaurants, this year’s celebrity chefs were: Ingrid Hoffmann, Soraya Kilgore, Todd Erickson and Timon Balloowho are pictured below alongside their special “sous chefs” for the evening (major philanthropists and donors from the audience, having fun onstage with these star chefs). This is what makes the event so special every year – watching these famous chefs interact on stage with socialites as they co-create their signature recipes for the audience of food lovers.


Throughout the evening, each celebrity chef created an original recipe for one course of an amazing four-course meal. Top donors were selected to act as sous chefs onstage as the celebrity chefs prepared their dishes. Guests were then treated to these gastronomical delights, recreated and served by a kosher caterer.

A carefully curated Kosher wine, selected by local wine merchant Mike Bittel of Sunset Corners, was paired with each course.

Celebrated as one of the hottest tickets in town and one of Miami Beach’s most popular annual gatherings, this event always sells out and took place on Wednesday, March 21 at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, located at 301 Washington Avenue in the heart of South Beach’s historic Art Deco District.

More about this year’s Tasteful Traditions:

Susan Gladstone
Executive Director
Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU

“Our museum is grateful that our community is so supportive of this spectacular culinary event every year, benefiting the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU,” said Susan Gladstone, the Executive Director of the Museum.

“This year’s gala was held at the museum, a true homecoming to kick off the countdown to our 25th anniversary in 2020. As we continue to redefine the vision of the new model for museums of the 21st century, we are proud to celebrate our leadership position as one of Miami’s top cultural destinations,” adds Susan Gladstone.

Ingrid Hoffmann
Host of Top Chef Estrellas (Telemundo, NBC), Simply Delicioso (The Cooking Channel)
and Delicioso (Univision)

Ingrid Hoffmann is passionate about food and entertaining and spends each day sharing her enthusiasm and talent with an international audience.

Her goal is to spread the joy of cooking to her many followers via her own cookware line, cookbooks and the media. In 2015, Ingrid launched her own food brand, Cocina by Ingrid Hoffmann, which focuses on easy, delicious and healthy meal solutions for the family. For 2018, Ingrid is working on the launch of a new book and a digital lifestyle brand and website targeting the modern woman with easy recipes, health, travel, entertaining tips and highlighting Ingrid’s favorites all around.

Raised in Colombia and Curaçao, Ingrid moved to Miami where she once owned a high fashion luxury boutique as well as the restaurant Rocca. She writes a monthly column in Delta Sky Magazine and is a frequent guest of shows like Un Nuevo Día, The Talk, Oprah, Martha Stewart, The View, The Today Show, The Early Show, and Wendy Williams Show. Ingrid’s success has afforded her the opportunity to give back to the community as a board member of New York City’s Food and Education Fund and Miami’s Amigos for Kids, as well as an active supporter of Manhattan’s Food and Finance High School and Believe for Colombia Foundation, and more.

Timon Balloo
Executive Chef of Sugarcane Raw Bar & Grill

Chef Timon Balloo was born to Chinese and Trinidadian parents. His scrapbook of memories leads with days on the farm, ethnic recipes, and a favorite pastime of watching the PBS show Yan Can Cook. Little did he know then that he would soon be on the fast track to a James Beard Foundation “Best New Restaurant” nomination for SUGARCANE raw bar grill.

This and a host of other accolades continue to reflect his dedication to the seasonal, local ingredients that fuel his daily inspirations taken from the market’s freshest offerings. Shortly after the restaurant’s debut in 2010, SUGARCANE raw bar grill took “Best New Restaurant” and Balloo was dubbed “Best Up-and-Coming Chef” by Miami New Times.

He was also named “Chef of the Year” by Eater, and the accolades have never stopped.

Chef Timon Balloo’s Accolades & Publications
James Beard Foundation – Best New Restaurant semifinalist (2011)
FOOD & WINE – The People’s Best New Chef nominee (2012) – Restaurant of the Year Miami (2015), Best Chef Miami (2015)
Johnson & Wales University – ZEST Awards Culinary Innovator (2014)
Miami New Times Short Order Awards – Best Restaurant, 5 Best Reviewed Restaurants, Best Up-and-Coming Chef, 5 Best Chefs (2010)

Todd Erickson
Executive Chef/Partner of Glam Vegan Miami, Society Fort Myers, and Huahua’s Taqueria South Beach

Todd Erickson is a critically acclaimed culinary professional with lauded experience garnered at esteemed restaurants around the United States. Erickson’s approach reflects his passion for travel and regional cuisines, and has earned him a following with respected critics and food novices alike.

His unique perspective and creative flair displayed in each dish make him the natural choice to spearhead multiple culinary venues showcasing the depth and breadth of his body of work.

Hailing from Scottsdale, Arizona, Erickson’s fascination with the senses are utilized in the preparation of each meal. In mid 2013, he opened Huahua’s Taqueria, a fast casual concept quickly embraced by tourists and locals alike. Huahua’s has been featured on the Cooking Channel series “Taco Trip” with Chef Aaron Sanchez as well as making several appearances on national “Best Of” lists including, Gayot, Zagat, Miami New Times, Miami Herald and Food Network Magazine. His most recent ventures include GLAM (Green Living Animals Matter) in the Shops of Midtown Miami. Partnering with long-time vegan and animal advocate, Janette Miller, Erickson has designed a chic, organic, plant-based menu with appeal in and out of vegan circles. Chef Todd’s Society Fort Myers is a large-scale modern American steakhouse with focus on re-imagined gulf coast favorites as well as his flair for global cuisine.

Soraya Kilgore
Pastry Chef/Owner of MadLab Creamery

Born in Honduras, Soraya Caraccioli-Kilgore moved to Denver to attend culinary School at Johnson and Wales University and then moved on to receive a second degree in Liberal Arts with a minor in Hospitality Management from UMKC in Kansas.

Shortly after, Kilgore moved to Chicago where her culinary journey began. Thoroughly immersed in Chicago’s culinary scene, Kilgore decided to take one final step in her education so she enrolled at Kendall College where she studied to become a pastry chef. It was here she realized that her heart belonged to one specific part of the kitchen – pastries – and she has never looked back.

After receiving her degree in Pastry, Soraya moved to Miami where she worked at the Betsy Hotel in the Laurent Tourondale Restaurant BLT, and after that at the Setai. As her career in Miami flourished, Soraya’s experience and knowledge obtained from the restaurant and hospitality industry (along with her natural affinity for creating delectable pastries) landed her the position of Head Pastry Chef at the newly opened 1826 Restaurant and Lounge headed by two-star Michelin Chef Danny Grant and received praise from guests and food critics alike. She later went to work with her husband at their restaurant Alter which was named one of the 300 best restaurants in the world by Condé Nast and a James Beard nod as Best New Restaurant. Soraya is also the Pastry Chef at Brava by Brad Kilgore inside the beautiful Adrienne Arsht Center, her husband’s new venture. The pair also has two other projects coming for 2018, two new restaurants in the Design District.

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