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Driven to Dine Cocktail Reception

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Recently, I attended the cocktail reception for the 5th Annual Driven to Dine, a fundraiser for the Florida Heart Research Institute.   I attended last year’s event, too!  This was one fantastic party!  I picked up my friend, Alice Fisher, and we headed down to one of the most exclusive communities in Coral Gables, The Islands of Coco Plum.  We had little trouble getting past the guards, but found it a bit odd when we gained entrance, but given directions to another guard house for a  gated community within the gated community, called Tahiti Beach. NICE!

There were far too many guests for the cars to be accomodated at the home, so we were allowed to park on the street, and then shuttled in cute little golf carts to the residence.  The party was in full swing when we arrived.  Light bites were being served by Le Cordon Bleu and they were YUMMO!!  There was also a huge display of Tiffany boxes, which of course, attraced me over.  There I met Richard Smith of Tiffany & Co, who explained that guests were given mystery gifts, as part of the festivities.  NICE TWICE!

There were also St John fashions being modeled informally, and art work being displayed everywhere.  These were auctioned off during the live auction.  The highlight of the entire evening, however, was the “mystery dinner” portion of the fundraiser.  Here’s how it worked–

  • Guests paid for the experience ($5000 for an entire limo or $625 per person)
  • They chose which limo they wanted to ride in
  • A representative from each limo then drew an envelope, but didn’t open it
  • The envelope was given to the limo driver, who then drove them to the selected restaurant
  • Once arrived, guests were served a special multi course meal, prepared especially for them by the restaurant’s chef

How cool is that??  And the restaurants were top notch–including Emeril’s Miami Beach, Gotham Steak at the Fontainebleau Hotel, The Capital Grille, and Gibraltar at Grove Isle Hotel and Spa.    The event was hosted by Remedios and Fausto Diaz-Oliver.  I spied notables like Bunny Bastian, Dorothy St Jean, and even my long lost bestie, Marilyn Cale.  LOVELY evening–check the slideshow!

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