A Kick-off to SOBEWFF hosted by Lee Schrager at the Continuum

Lee Schrager SOBEWFF Kick-off Dinner

Continuum, South Florida’s premier resort-style oceanfront condominium residences, gave its residents and invited guests an early taste of the highly anticipated 18th annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival, at the renowned South of Fifth luxury property on Saturday, February 16th, with an extravagant evening under the stars, hosted by the culinary maestro himself.

As a countdown to this year’s week-long series of events, Continuum presented an invitation-only cocktail reception for its residents and an elaborate Italian-themed private dinner for the invited guests of South Beach Wine & Food Festival founder and director, Lee Schrager, hosted by The Patio restaurant and its husband and wife proprietors, Michele Merlo and Tullia Gasparotto.  Residents enjoyed signature cocktails, champagne and passed hors d’oeuvres served on the grounds of the Continuum, with a chance to meet the festival’s founder, who then hosted an elaborate table of 38 esteemed guests, who continued to celebrate the countdown to this year’s gastronomic extravaganza, while toasting the forthcoming weddings of FOX Miami television personality Belkys Nerey and Telemundo’s Ana Navarro. An assortment of Mediterranean-style canapés were enjoyed by all attendees, followed by a family style four-course menu of sumptuous creations developed by The Patio’s Executive Chef Fabio Vaccarella for the intimate dinner.

Ana Navarro, Lee Schrager & Belkys Nerey

“Saturday’s highly successful event was a wonderful way to commemorate what we anticipate will be a long-term alliance with the South Beach Wine & Food Festival,” says Rishi Idnani, Managing Director of Continuum. “While our residents have always been avid food enthusiasts and highly engaged attendees of the festival’s week-long series of events over the years, this was an excellent way to introduce the owners to its founder and one of today’s most influential culinary leaders for the very first time. The extravagant private dinner at The Patio for our 38 distinguished guests showcased the restaurant’s cuisine by Chef Fabio in a truly spectacular style, and marks the beginning of future culinary events planned for the Continuum in 2019.”

Athya Idnani, Rishi Idnani, Lee Schrager, Michele Merlo

Attendees at the sunset evening cocktail reception with Lee Schrager, included Keith Marks, President of the Continuum, The North Tower Association and Master Association, Rishi Idnani, Managing Director of Continuum, and wife Athya Idnani, Alex Verona, Resort Manager of Continuum, Antoine Alsayah, Jocelyn Druzak, Daisy Olivera, Laine Doss, Pedro Maal, Leonardo Davalos, Nick and Lauren Madigan, Minerva and Silvio Sulichin, Rafa Caravajal, Mark and Claudia Zborovsky, Sonia Toth, William and Elizabeth Sopko, Isabel Olmos Comes, Sabrina Boasman, Joe and Gayle Tenebrie and Yuly Hernandez, among others.  DJ Diego Harispe provided the evening’s musical beats.

Minerva & Silvio Sulichin

The Patio’s Executive Chef Fabio Vaccarella treated 38 invited guests with an especially created set menu that included an array of Italian specialties, served family style, such as Il Tagliere Dop, Asparagus Flan, Burrata Cheese and Frittura Di Pesce as the appetizers, followed by pasta dishes Paccheri Ai Frutti Di Mare, Spaghetti Al Pomodoro and Spaghettoni Cacio E Pepe. Entrées included Branzino Al Sale, Filetto Di Vitello Al Forno and Rosmery Amish Chicken.  For a sweet ending, Panna Cotta Di Burrata Al Peperoncino, Meringue Nutella Rasberry and Tiramisu Alla Veneziana were also served family style for dessert.

Egidio Guerreri, Nikos Nanou, & Larry Rivero

Distinguished dinner guests included Ricardo Restrepo, Stephanie Sayfie, Lara Shriftman, Rita Schrager, Mario and Martine Virgil, Michael Atisha, Jose Solar, Ana Navaro, Belkys Nerey, Demetri Mouratis, Egidio Guerreri, Nikos Nanou, Steven Neckman, Larry Rivero, Armando Olivera, Robert Coleman, Martha and Leslie Pantin, George Andrews, Lisa and Caron Cole, Diego and Matilde Jaramillo, Enrique Santos, Rani Gereige, Sandra Muss, Corina Biton, Lesley Abravanel, Mags Andersson, Al Cardenas, Ken Goran, Fabio Nunez and Ingrid Hoffman.

Cynthia Stemler, Laurie Zuccarini, & Vera Shepard

photos (Credit: World Red Eye