Tag Archive | "Rachel Galvin"

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Reflecting on Parkland tragedy Deerfield residents give back

Posted on 22 February 2018 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

On Feb. 14, 17 lives were lost in the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland. There are no words to really capture the heartbreak felt by the families and friends. Yet, our television sets are being bombarded by the graphic images captured that day, by the outpouring of grief and anger, and calls for action. We have heard the timeline of events. We have seen the disturbing social media messages from the shooter. We have seen the heroes who have died to save others. We know all this. But the question is what is being done today to stop this from happening again. Yes, there is talk of new gun regulation, talk about mental health. There are so many lessons to be learned, missed opportunities.

The incident led schools to scramble to take a look at their own security procedures.

Principal Baugh, from Deerfield Middle School, said, “We have drills a couple times a year – Code Black for a bomb threat, Code Red for a shooter or an unknown on campus. After [what happened in Parkland], we had an emergency facility meeting and reviewed procedures. We reiterated with students on the intercom… ‘Please do not open doors, make sure they are locked.’ We have students hide in the classroom during a lockdown with lights off. We had a meeting with the school resource officer Deputy Jimetta Williams that day and asked ‘What are the lessons learned?’ She felt very confident that our procedures are good.”

She added that grief counselors were made available for students and teachers and that many utilized them. They consisted of school counselors and social workers, who were set up in the media center.

Gordon Vatch experienced a lockdown at Deerfield Park Elementary recently when giving out dictionaries to 3rd graders on behalf of the Kiwanis Club.

Principal Reid said, ‘It’s a Code Red’ and took us into the cafeteria and we were in lockdown. We had many 15 to 20 of us in a closet. We were given the ok after 20 minutes. Someone had perpetrated the area. The way they did it was very professional and very quick. The kids listened and obeyed instruction,” he said.

This tragedy led the city to cancel their annual Pioneer Days activities, a controversial move, but one that Vatch said he agrees with.

I am glad they canceled,” he said. “They could have been our kids.”

Some shared his sentiments; many others shared their disappointment about the cancelation of events. But everyone felt this tragedy strongly and many have reached out to lend a helping hand.

Joan Gould said she waited three hours to give blood, something the city encouraged people to do.

I was there at 11:15 in the morning and people were already waiting. Deerfield Beach called for action. I was so proud to see one [Blood Mobile] bus after another. We all felt so helpless. What can you do? I gave blood so I could feel like I was doing something. “

Buddy Sparrow, who is known for spearheading the branding of Deerfield Beach Island (DBI), decided to lead a silent march where the parade would have been, from Pioneer Park to the beach. A few followed his lead.

We would just like the victims, families and all of Parkland to know we stand with them and that Deerfield Beach cares. They bleed — we bleed… One human family. We know it cannot assuage the incredible anguish of these families but it felt wrong to do nothing,” he said.

Deerfield Beach Elementary School (DBES) art teacher Suzanne Devine Clark created the idea of “Stones for Stoneman” and, as of press time, was rallying volunteers to paint rocks with hearts and such to be placed in their memorial garden at DBES.

Gabriele Schlicht, owner of CrossFit Deerfield Beach, offered CrossFit classes to anybody they could reach using the money to fundraise to help the Parkland community.

This was a very quick decision made on Thursday the day after the shooting and completed yesterday. We offered CrossFit classes to anybody we could reach in such a short time. We opened the doors at 5:30a.m. and offered 14 classes (hourly) to raise money. The news spread fast and we raised around $1500. (It is still coming in).

The most amazing thing is that other fitness facilities are copying our workout and using it as a way to fundraise for Parkland. This is so very heartwarming how we all come together for the same reasons,” she said.

Coastal Community Church asked member Ed Taber, of Pompano Beach, to make the crosses that were set up in the makeshift memorial for victims of the shooting in Parkland in time for the vigil that was held on Feb. 15. The church is open for anyone who needs a prayer or to help in any way they can. (www.coastalcommunity.tv).

These are just a few of the members of the community that felt the need to do something in wake of this incident, but there are surely so many more. Perhaps, the thing most needed following this tragedy is just more kindness. Nerves are raw, hearts are heavy; a kind word or hug can make all the difference. The Observer offers its condolences to all those affected.

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Heroes Memorial unveiled in Lighthouse Point

Posted on 22 February 2018 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

It is three years in the making — the Heroes Memorial Shrine now sitting in Frank McDonough Park in Lighthouse Point (LHP). It has benches for each branch of the military and an American flag in the middle with an Eagle flying north on top, and a city and state flag. This site features all the cardinal directions in a “compass rose” and has bricks that were purchased with names of veterans and first responders.

The inspiration for the memorial is to recognize United States Marine Dale Sloan Wilkinson, the only LHP resident ever to have been killed in combat, but it honors all who have made the ultimate sacrifice and those who continue to serve today.

This beautiful site is the brainchild of Ryan Kolb, brought about as his Eagle Scout project for Troop 238. His original sketch was taken and turned into a reality with help from William Gallo, of Gallo Herbert Architects, Chuck McLaughlin, the Exchange Club of Pompano Beach, the City of LHP and others. Even the Archdiocese of Miami was involved since the land it is on belongs to St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church and is leased by the city.

I started with the original hand sketches by Ryan. I invited Ryan to come in and participate with my design team. Chuck [McLaughlin] and I tried for 15 years [to get a memorial for vets]. We couldn’t get a location. I started doing a master plan for St. Paul’s,” said Gallo, who, like McLaughlin, has also been a “Keeper” of the City.

He said this location in the park was picked purposely.

He explained, “I used to go to a boot camp here in the morning at 6 a.m. When the sun rises, the whole place glows. We will always have the sun rise on the monument.”

He added, “I came up with the circular idea [for the area]. The different benches give people an opportunity to meditate. This is Frank Lloyd Wright style.”

He also installed seven Italian Cypress trees, which when grown, he said, will “kind of float on air.”

He said the site is not complete yet. They will be acid washing it and putting gunnite (sprayed concrete) on it, a spray that NASA uses, which will seal it for 10 years.

The site was made possible by the purchase of bricks and private donations. The budget was over $100,000. The back of the sign for the park nearby will be modified to thank contributors. Bricks are still available. 8 x 8 bricks are $200 and 4 x 8 bricks are $100. For more information, visit www.LHPHeroesMemorial.com. Money that comes in will also go toward maintenance.

I have a brick honoring my father, who was in Korea and my father-in-law, also in Korea. I have one for my grandfather, who lived in Lighthouse Point from 1963 until he died. He was in World War I and World War II in the Navy.

It’s very impressive site to see at night,” said LHP Mayor Troast, “The light [washes] the area in a soft light. The flag is illuminated at night. It has LED lights, low voltage and as green as possible. They come on at dusk. It is not just a dedication to those who came before us but to everyone who serves us now.”

The timing was right,” said McLaughlin about the site, as he walked around and pointed to bricks, knowing every veteran that was shown, many of whom, like he, served in Vietnam. He served from 1967 to 1968 in the Marine Corps and received a Meritorious Mast for his service during the Tet Offensive.

He pointed to the middle of the circle, saying, “This is the circle of protection… vets living and dead. On the outside are the first responders. The Eagle flies north, a great sign for America. There are five branches of the military [on the benches]. It goes around and ends with the first responders. It’s time to honor our own.”

Kolb was certainly thrilled with the result.

I think it came out amazing. I started it years ago. I met with Mr. Chuck and Mayor Troast. I didn’t know what it was going to look like, but we knew we wanted a monument for the heroes and first responders. It came out amazing. It’s incredible to see how much the project means to so many people,” said Kolb.

Only 32 or 33 badges are required to reach Eagle Scout, said Kolb, an 11th grader at Deerfield Beach High, but he has 36 and is working on four more. He has inspired his younger brother Mason, who is almost 13, to start working early on his Eagle Scout project.

His parents Angela and Chris proudly stood at the special soft opening of the site during Keeper Days activities in the park Saturday, Feb. 10.

We are proud of him. It is quite a learning experience. I am happy to see it finally came to fruition. He will be able to come here, to bring his kids and grandkids. It’s nice that he created something with a lasting impression in the city.”

Kolb said the event included the Pompano High School ROTC presenting colors, the saying of the Pledge of Allegiance and a speech by Mayor Troast and more. Many vets, DAV members and other community leaders came out for the occasion. There will be a more formal ceremony probably on Memorial Day.

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Boca Bacchanal Sip & Roll

Posted on 22 February 2018 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

Gearing up for the 16th Annual Boca Bacchanal beginning April 6, Mugsy PR gave media an outstanding sneak peek with a unique event. Media met up at Saks 5th Avenue in the Town Center at Boca Raton, received a branded wine glass, and then waited for our cars and drivers from Excell Auto Group to arrive, including Lamborghini, Ferrari and a Rolls Royce, as well as the Sprinter, a custom cargo van. We jumped in our individual cars and headed out to visit three of the Boca Raton restaurants who will be a part of the Boca Bacchanal. [I was in the Sprinter and we had champagne ready for us in the back!]

First stop was Louie Bossi, which opened last May in a prime location on Federal Hwy. in Boca Raton (100 E. Palmetto Park Rd.) We had a selection of cheese and meat selections and wine. After visiting there briefly, we switched up cars and headed to Seasons 52 (2300 NW Executive Center Dr.) where we were offered tender chicken skewers and pineapple with red pepper, a delicious flatbread and scrumptious scallops, and more wine. The last stop was Maggiano’s Little Italy (21090 St Andrews Blvd.) for more wine and a delicious meatball and pasta offering. We went back to Saks and received a collection of perfume samples as a parting gift.

This event was a perfect collaboration between the Boca Raton Historical Society, who puts on and benefits from the Boca Bacchanal; Saks 5th Avenue and Excell Auto Group.

This was just the first in a series of events leading up to the main event. Coming up are the following events (rates are per person):

Bacchus Beckons: Tuesday, Feb. 27, 6-8 p.m., at Saks Fifth Avenue. The chef and vintner pairings will be announced as well as the vintner dinner hosts. $50.

Bubbles & Brunch: Sunday, March 18, 10 a.m. to noon, at the brand new Robb & Stucky showroom in Boca Raton. Guests will enjoy live music while strolling the showroom sipping champagne that will be featured at Boca Bacchanal this year. Upstairs will be a designer work-shop by Robb & Stucky creative director on new trends and inspirations from the Highpoint Market. $30.

Boca Bacchanal

Vintner Dinners: Friday, April 6, 7 p.m. Guests go to different private residences (grand estates and historical sites, including The Boca Raton Resort & Club) to experience an intimate, dining experience. Each features a vintner and chef pairing their wine and cuisine together to create a magnificent five-course meal. Each dinner will also have a unique Saks Fifth Avenue silent auction item. $325 per person.

Bacchanalia 2018: Saturday, April 7, 7 to 11 p.m. Mizner Park Amphitheater. This is a more casual event, as guests experience incredible food from over 30 local restaurants with world-class vintners showcasing their wineries’ best – all for attendees to sample. DJ and electric violinist Timothy Lovelock will keep the party going until 11p.m. High-tech auction too. $100.

For more information and tickets, visit www.bocabacchanal.com.

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JA World Uncorked

Posted on 30 January 2018 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

This year’s, JA World Uncorked event at the Huizenga Center on Broward College’s North Campus on Saturday, Jan. 20, went above and beyond. Besides a long line of tables filled with delectable tidbits from restaurants, and plenty of spirit distributors ready to pour, there was a champagne room and a beer garden. Out front, there was a Plinko game. People paid $20 to play and everyone was a winner of a bag filled with items like wine and wallets. People could also get their photo taken with the fotoboyz and take it home to capture the event. Of course, there was a long line of silent auction items and a raffle. There were so many sponsors involved in making this event a reality, including Presenting Sponsor Breakthru Beverage.

We doubled the amount of food vendors, probably 40 percent more,” said Tim Hogans, who has been on the board for three years and is chair on the governance committee. He also works with Florida Power & Light, which he said has supported Junior Achievement for 25 years.

This Circle of Wise Women Signature Event is a fundraiser for Junior Achievement of South Florida’s educational programs like JA Biz Town, which teaches kids about the work world interactively, instructing them about everything from finances to career opportunities. (https://jasouthflorida.org).

At JA World Uncorked, the entertainment always gets a lot of attention. This year’s was more ambitious than ever. Sponsored by the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood (www.seminolehardrockhollywood.com), the event included a whole stage set up with lights, singers interacting with the crowd, a band and models dancing, and even twirling while suspended above, put together by Event Services Group (http://esgfla.com), said emcee and singer Eliot Valentin, who added that the performers were called Pulse Vibe. The “Pulse” part is the band and the DJ is Vibe, so when they come together, they combine their names. He said they recently performed at an industry holiday party and got asked to do this event by the Hard Rock.

Also, in an alcove nearby, was the very intimate and dimly lit bar by Kuro, which is located inside the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood.

It seemed like around every corner there was something new to see at the event.

This was the first year for Seasons 52.

They reached out to me to see if we wanted to participate,” said Tonya Prueter, sales manager, who was serving up pecan pie with a vanilla mousse on the bottom and also a red velvet dessert. (www.seasons52.com).

Nearby, Liquid Xcream served up ice cream with liquid nitrogen, made on-the-spot. For ice cream flavors, they had the ultra rich tequila strawberry cheesecake and honey cinnamon whiskey ice cream. They have over 70 flavors available, in addition to 20 popcorn flavors. They do not have a brick and mortar store, but just go to events like these. (www.liquidxcream.com).

The Temple Street Eatery (www.TempleStreetEatery.com) has been to the event before. This year, they served up Asian style roast pork sliders, with homemade pickled vegetables, and chocolate mousse with a chocolate cookie crumble.

We try to do a lot of events,” said the manager, B.J. Lee. “This is an amazing cause… to be able to present different career options to kids. Young kids don’t think about culinary as a career. It is nice when kids come into our restaurant and [they can experience flavors they may never have experienced]. They get excited about it.”

The General Manager of the 4 Rivers Smokehouse (www.4RSmokehouse.com), Will Davis, and his crew were very excited to be a part of the event. They opened up in Coral Springs a year and ½ ago.

This event is excellent. I love it!” exclaimed one of the carvers for the meat station they had set up. “I had a lot of fun… with the music playing, it is perfect,” added the caterer.

For more information on this event, visit www.jaworlduncorked.com.

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On the Move with Artist Laurence Gartel

Posted on 12 January 2018 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

Figuring out where local artist Laurence Gartel is right now is a little like “Where’s Waldo?” After all, he is not one to sit around Boca Raton; he is more likely jet setting half a world away. Recently, this “Father of Digital Art” was in Italy for an extended stint for his Hyp Pop show showcasing his work next to Andy Warhol’s. But he came back to SoFla with a vengeance.

Gartel explained, “Since my traveling exhibition in Europe, “Warhol vs. Gartel Hyp Pop,” which has gone to several Italian cities, as well as exclusive book signings in Switzerland, I have been working on a new book and preparing for this upcoming exhibition in Pompano. Additionally, I created three new ART CARS for Art Basel and will be displaying them at various venues throughout the New Year, like at Art Ft. Lauderdale (Jan. 24-28). SuperCar Week in West Palm (Jan. 6 –14), Foto Fusion (Jan. 23-27) and other locations. People will get to see one at the Pompano showcase.”

Yes, touring all around Art Basel showing off dynamic art cars and being on the scene wherever he could, Gartel garnered quite a lot of attention. Next, he will be speaking at Art Ft. Lauderdale. And, after that, he is bringing his artistic creations right back here to Pompano Beach for a special exhibition that is going to bring not only a lot of attention to the area and his art, but also will bring in dignitaries from all around. The show is slated to run Feb. 22 – March 8, 2018 (pending approval) at the new Pompano Beach Cultural Center, but the date has already changed once, so it could be shifted again (More details soon).

After visiting all these grand locales around the world, “Why Pompano?” I asked, to which he responded, “Pompano has committed itself to be a new arts region. There will be artist housing, artist studios, the cultural amphitheatre and the new cultural center. There will be an exhibition space, a lecture/multiple use environment (hopefully, having diverse programming and cross cultural events). Included there is going to be a Digital Media Center. This is, of course, my area of interest and I hope to have great input into the direction this area goes in. As a visionary and pioneer of this field, I have clear concepts which I hope to implement. The goal is to further enrich lives through the development of art and technology.”

He added, “When I started, Digital Media did not exist, so the world has come a very long way in 40 years. It has literally taken a lifetime but it is worth the effort to change the shape of our civilization.”

Back in the day, it was Gartel who introduced Andy Warhol to digital art, after meeting him at Studio 54. His work was the official artwork for the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, part of an Absolut Vodka campaign…He has created work for the likes of Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears… The list goes on and on of what he has accomplished through the years.

His upcoming Pompano exhibition, he said will “include a variety of images, as well as processes that have been explored over time. From electronic images that have been photographed off the video monitor screens with a still camera mounted on a tripod, to black and white orthographic prints, Iris prints, thermal graphic prints, large scale ink-jet prints, as well as 3D ‘sculptural’ works. There will also be works created with a 3D drawing pen, so there will be a variety of images. The other ‘surprise’ will be a wall of media created from the history of my career…This is most unique.”

The title of his exhibit is a name he used 30 years ago as the title of his first book, which was published in 1989: ‘Laurence Gartel: A Cybernetic Romance.

The ‘romance,’” he explained, “is between ‘Artist and Machine,” adding, “Early on, it was questionable how a creative person could use a computer to release aesthetic ideas and concepts, as Rembrandt, Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet, Manet and every other artist through the centuries did. This was a revolution to be sure which the entire world now embraces. It is mind blowing when you think of it — to change an entire culture through an artist’s vision.”

After this, what could be next for this artist who is always on-the-go?

What’s next,” he said, “is to work on several concepts of books. I have so much work. Meeting new people around the world helps stimulate the artistic mind. I have been most fortunate to travel to Australia, India, Spain, Russia, Austria, Japan, Switzerland and Norway, to name a few. Travel is definitely in my future and so are the ART CARS that I love so much.”

For more on the Laurence Gartel, visit https://gartelmuseum.weebly.com/commissions.html.

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Toasts, Tastes & Trolleys

Posted on 12 October 2017 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

On Oct. 6, 150 revelers got to see Boca Raton in a unique way during the Boca Raton Historical Society’s 6th Annual Toasts, Tastes & Trolleys event. The party began at the Boca Raton Resort & Club with cocktails and hors d’ oeuvres. Beloved philanthropist Madelyn Savarick, who also sponsored the event, received a cake and a Happy Birthday song as she turned 94 on this day.

Next, it was off to the trolleys. Everyone was assigned to a certain Molly’s Trolley; this reporter boarded the Saks Fifth Avenue one. They were another one of the sponsors, along with Joni & Al Goldberg.

Everyone stopped at a different location first and rotated through each. Yvette Drucker, president of the Boca Raton Historical Society Board of Trustees, told historical tidbits about Boca Raton on our trolley along the way while offering up wine, beer and Prosecco. Each location also offered up spirits. Our trolley’s line-up began with Mizner Park’s Truluck’s (351 Plaza Real) and we were presented with a beautiful plate filled with several tastes, including crispy shrimp with a spicy sauce, vegetarian crabcake and braised shortrib. General Manager Richard Grigelis and Special Events Coordinator Stacy Babb talked a bit about the restaurants, including their happy hour and live entertainment.

Also in Mizner Park, we went to Ouzo Bay (201 Plaza Real), which has been open for only six months and has undergone plenty of renovations. They served up items like lamb meatballs and spanakopita.

We stopped by 101 Via Mizner, new luxury apartments located on Federal Highway. The staff from Penn-Florida served up hors d’oeuvres and drinks while explaining more about their development, as well as their other exciting project — the build-out of the Residences at Mandarin Oriental, at 105 E. Camino Real, which will be linked to the hotel portion and will include plenty of luxury amenities and retail space. When we got back into the trolley, cookies were waiting for us, along with information on the 101 Via Mizner property to take home. More on the company and its projects at www.pennflorida.com.

We also went to Domus Italian Restaurant, in the Royal Palm Plaza (187 SE Mizner Blvd.), where we were given a drink called Paloma, which had ingredients like tequila, grapefruit juice and club soda. They also served up samples of items like calamari, bruschetta and “rice balls.”

Finally, the trolleys went back to the Boca Raton Resort & Club for a wide variety of desserts, dancing and a cash bar.

The event was a fundraiser for the Boca Raton Historical Society, which always has events and exhibits. Currently, they have on display memorabilia from IBM, which opened a plant in Boca in 1967, artifacts from architect Addison Mizner and landscape paintings by the artists of Plein Air Palm Beach.

They will be holding an event on Nov. 8 to recognize several people and organizations for their Walk of Recognition, which is located in Royal Palm Plaza and looks like Hollywood, California’s Walk of Fame. They recognize people who are still living who have made an impact on the community. They have recently added institutions to the list of honorees. They last honored the Boca Raton Regional Hospital. This year, they are honoring Lynn University, in addition to golfer Morgan Pressel Bush and Dr. Joseph “Jody” Forstot. James A. Rutherford, known for his contributions to the Parks & Recreation Dept., will also be added to Wall of Honor, which is for honorees who have passed away.

To find out more about the Boca Raton Historical Society, visit www.bocahistory.org or call 561-395-6766.

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Local chef went back to hell

Posted on 06 October 2017 by JLusk

Robyn speaks.

By Rachel Galvin

Local Florida chef Robyn Almodovar went back to hell… “Hell’s Kitchen,” that is. Known for her appearance as one of the contestants from Season 10, Robyn also has made a name for herself locally for her food truck Palate Party and her newer venture of becoming co-owner of a brick and mortar restaurant called Rumor’s Bar & Grill. Now, she is back in “Hell’s Kitchen” on TV every Friday on Fox to battle it out in Season 17’s All Star season with some of her old competitors and some new ones, all from previous seasons, as well as Gordon Ramsay, of course.

On the first night of the show, on Sept. 29, she held a special premier party in Rumors. Hosted by Seph Mason and with performances by drag queen Sasha Lords, the event featured plenty of appearances by Robyn, who thanked many in attendance and gave out raffle tickets and prizes. She danced with Sasha, paced and nervously watched the show on the big TVs all around the bar. This was the first time she had seen it, and seemed pleased with the way the producers featured her.

Media in attendance were treated with amazing selections, including her crabcake, nachos, meatballs and dates stuffed with goat cheese, and wrapped in bacon … all rich and delicious. Other guests also were served passed hors d’oeuvres.

The event was plenty of fun; Robyn was warm and welcoming to all inside and out of the locale who had stopped by, and feisty as ever. Break a leg, Chef Robyn! We will be watching…

Decadent dates stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in bacon was just one sumptuous selection presented at event.

Rumors Bar & Grill is located at 2426 Wilton Drive, in Wilton Manors. For more info., visit www.rumorsbarwiltonmanors.com.

Sasha Lords performs.


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Hell’s Kitchen Cocktail Party

Posted on 22 September 2017 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

Is it getting hot in here? It isn’t the SoFla sun. It’s the Hell’s Kitchen chefs, who were here in Boca Raton on the first weekend of September. On Sept. 1, five chefs who were on the FOX TV show Hell’s Kitchen came to The Loft in Boca Raton to be part of the first ever cocktail party of its kind hosted by Potions in Motion catering and promoted by LivingFLA.com.

The owner of the catering company Potions in Motion, Jason Savino, said the day after this event, the chefs would go on to create a five course, four hour dinner for over 500 guests at his restaurant, Prime 7 in Seven Bridges in Delray. The sold-out event would allow guests to vote on the courses and who made the best dish. Each chef, he said, would take on one course. [The winner, announced later, was Chef Sterling Wright].

But, before they could get cooking for that event, the chefs had to show their stuff at this cocktail soiree, handing out samples and spending quality time with the intimate crowd.

Season 14’s Chef Christine Hazel served up chicken and waffle sliders with chipotle aïoli and Maple slaw. She flew in from Philadelphia to attend. Since she was on the show, she has transformed from culinary student to private chef. She is influenced by the places she goes and enjoys contributing in any way she can.

I love giving back to the community,” she said, talking about how she just fed 120,000 people through United Way and will be helping the American Heart Association next.

Regarding the show, she laughed, saying, “We were an animated bunch. There were a lot of personalities and I have made a lot of friends.”

She added, “People look to you as an example [when you are on a show]. I realized ‘I want to do this career for the rest of my life [so I think before I act].’ Every day I want to get a little bit better.”

Barret Beyer, a Long Island, NY chef from Season 11, also enjoys helping others. He helped feed first responders during Hurricane Sandy.

Although he wasn’t sure what he was going to make this night until a few hours prior, he whipped together the perfect tasty bite involving brined salmon, cucumber and a lemon caper dill cream cheese.

About Hell’s Kitchen, he said, “The show gave me a platform to do what I do — make people happy and make sure they eat good food, and have a good time.”

When it comes to giving back, Nashville’s Sterling Wright (from Season 13) takes the cake. He beamed as he showed an online story on his phone about him donating his bone marrow to save someone’s life last year. He also enjoys being a role model for kids.

He said, “I wasn’t always this happy. I was a young man running around in a gang. I got shot. After being in the hospital and in jail, I said I am ready for you God … If I can do it, you can do it.”

Chef Bret Hauser, a Delray Beach chef from Season 14, described what it was like working with Chef Gordon Ramsey, saying, “Being able to stand next to him and watch him cook was an incredible opportunity of a lifetime … watching a true professional in his element. I was in awe.”

He added, “This event is a great time. I am looking forward to doing more. I think it is a great turnout.”

South Florida Chef Robyn Almodovar has been busy with her Palate Party food truck since her stint on the show back in Season 10. She also is co-owner of her own brick and mortar called Rumor’s Bar & Grill, located at 2426 Wilton Dr., she said as she handed out her crunchy melt-in-your-mouth mini ahi tuna tacos made with fresh smashed avocado, chile paste and sesame seeds with cilantro.

Robyn will be rejoining Hell’s Kitchen for Season 17 “All Stars.”

When asked what she will do differently this time around, she said, “Keep my mouth shut, head down and focus.”

She has an upcoming viewing party of her on Season 17 on Sept. 29 at Rumors Bar & Grill starting at 7 p.m.

Also at the event was Avi Zenatti and Ilana Brodt who brought their Karawan Tahini and Hummus. Ilana has been in the states for 30 years, but her husband Avi just moved here three years ago from Israel. He is a chef and wanted to cook with good tahini so had it shipped in.

The tahini here just didn’t taste right,” said Ilana, who now lives with her husband in Jupiter. “You look at it and see it separates. Ours doesn’t.”

They liked the product, which came from Israel’s West Bank, so much they started importing it into America and got global exclusivity to distribute it a little over a year ago.

Costco said ‘People like ready-made. Why not hummus?’ So we came up with four different types of hummus [a month ago]. Others have seven to 12 percent tahini. Ours has 25-30 percent. No cholesterol, no preservatives,” said Ilana of the tahini, which they call a “superfood.”

Potions in Motion/ Prime 7 Executive Chef “Sexz Chef,” as he is called, handed out samples and drinks as well, talking about the importance of presentation in addition to quality. See Potions in Motion upcoming events on their Facebook page.

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Film Carpet X showcases local talent

Posted on 26 July 2017 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

For the 10th time, local Alexandra Bello will be showcasing the work of local filmmakers at her event called Film Carpet. Film Carpet X is sure to be bigger than all of her events that have led up to it. At each event, she has shown short films and other types of videos and trailers. She has featured different types of entertainment as well, everything from an electronic saxophone player to a ballet piece accompanied by a violinist. You never know what to expect. In addition, she always gathers plenty of sponsors to be able to give out some great raffle prizes. The best part about one of her events is that people can strike a pose on the red carpet and be interviewed by the local paparazzi. It is a great chance to network with others in the biz and for budding filmmakers to have their work be seen.

Slated to be shown this night are the following short films: Meet My Mother by Alexandra Bello from ABPTV, directed by Stephano R. Schlanger, 8 Count by David Fumero, Prank from Vivian Orozco from Humaya Films, The Cell by Bryan Thompson from Imani Films, Americana by Jacob Allinson from Devil Cat Studios, written by Zach Quinones.

In addition, films that were shown in previous renditions of Film Carpet will be considered for awards to be given this night. There is even a $500 prize for Best Screenplay submitted to #Film Freeway’s Festival’s page on Facebook.

Film Carpet X will be on July 30 at 7 p.m. at the Classic Gateway Theater, at 1820 E. Sunrise Blvd. in Ft. Lauderdale. Red carpet starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $14; VIP is$24 and includes three raffle tickets, medium popcorn, medium soda, historic Film Carpet Magazine. Tickets can be purchased at www.eventbrite.com/e/film-carpet-x-the-awards-tickets-35905075046. Like the Film Carpet X Facebook page for any last minute updates and also to see the pictures from that night.

About Alexandra Bello

Born in the Dominican Republic, this go-getter has made a name for herself since moving to South Florida in 2008. She had already been a pageant queen, a ballerina a model and an actress, but, after coming here, she started her own production company to create films, videos, commercials and more after attending the Arts Institute. In addition, she started Film Carpet, ran several radio shows, WOW and Artistic Times Radio and produces Artistic Times TV. She has hosted fashion events down at Brickell recently and is often behind the scenes either helping or filming. Find her on Facebook as well. Any questions about Film Carpet X, including sponsorships and media passes, can be emailed to her at filmcarpet@gmail.com. Type Sponsorship or Media Passes in the subject line.

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3rd Annual Lace Up Shoelace Foundation’s Football & Fun Day

Posted on 12 July 2017 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

Only lightning could stop little feet from rushing down the field on Saturday following a series of “fastest man” races. This was just one of the many activities kids participated in, which included agility drills, tube tug o’ war and more, for the Shoelace Foundation’s 3rd Annual Football & Fun Day at Deerfield Beach High School (DBHS). The kids only stopped activities when the storm began brewing overhead.

Run by former DBHS student and current wide receiver/ running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Denard “Shoelace” Robinson, this event brings kids together to not only have fun, but to learn the sport of football, as well receive inspirational messages from someone who understands where they have been and can motivate them to go as far as he has gone, and beyond.

No matter where you come from you can always come home. It’s a blessing where I’m at now so I want to show them,” said Robinson.

We did different drills than last year. We have to switch it up,” said Tevin Allen, who runs local camps of his own, which Robinson has attended, so he wanted to help him out with his as well. “The kids are training, but they are having fun at the same time. It is more exciting than regular camps.”

We have had way more kids this year than last year, about 100 more. This year, we have had 340,” said Kurt Haralson, who also helped out at the event. “We had eight stations for the kids, 15 to 20 minutes each. Last night, we had basketball in the gym.”

(The 2nd annual Ball for a Cause charity basketball game brought in NBA players and other well known athletes to participate).

DBHS Head Coach Jevon Glenn was impressed with the people Robinson was able to get involved. He said he comes out yearly to be a part of Robinson’s event.

You can see how highly regarded he is,” said Glenn. “I am honored and proud …to see Denard go from being a student to seeing the things he does for the community… Not many guys give back as much as he gives.”

Many DBHS players helped out at the event, including Rosendo Louis, a linebacker, who says he is No. 6 in the country right now.

I helped kids with the drills. I love being here and working with the kids. I grew up in the same neighborhood as them. I think it is great giving back to the community,” he said.

Jakari Norwood, who is a DBHS running back, added, “It is a good experience. It’s my second year here. I like to be around Shoelace. Maybe, someday, I will come back and do the same thing.”

Whidlyne St. Simon brought out her two boys, age 7 and 11, to the event.

I have come the past three years. It is awesome and amazing. I think it gives kids something to look forward to. For the older ones, it is inspirational … someone who comes from here coming back…”

After a day of sports in the hot sun on Saturday, kids came inside to eat lunch provided by the Shoelace Foundation. They also had breakfast provided by Kellogg’s. In addition, kids got to take home a T-shirt.

For more on the Shoelace Foundation, visit www.theshoelacefoundation.org.

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