Four Chefs for Success for Kids Benefit Night by Betty Alvarez

Chef Douglas Rodriguez Offered Guests a Preview of His Latest Restaurant, De Rodriguez Ocean, for Benefit Night

Last year, South Florida experienced some of the most extreme cases of bullying across the nation including two brutal attacks at Deerfield Beach Middle School. Looking ahead to a new school year and a clean slate, organizations like Success For Kids, a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization, are rallying to help to empower at-risk children and adolescents to become resilient, productive citizens with the hopes of reducing what has become an epidemic of cruel behavior among today’s youth. While SFK has been able to reach 1200 children and adolescents, there are still thousands in South Florida alone who could use the skills taught by this invaluable organization. In order to raise funds to increase their reach, SFK, together with Chef Douglas Rodriguez, hosted the Four Chefs for Success for Kids benefit night at Rodriguez’s brand new restaurant, De Rodriguez Ocean, on September 15th.

The Four Chefs for Success for Kids benefit featured some of Miami’s top chefs serving up their signature dishes. Miami’s elite were invited to take in the gorgeous ocean views at De Rodriguez Ocean, while sampling these chef’s exquisite dishes and learning about SFK through conversation and interactive demonstrations by SFK teachers. Guests also took part in Heart Art- an SFK activity done in the classroom with students that teaches the power of words, the importance of choosing the right words encouraging positive communication and relationships. One school where SFK has implemented their program is Auburndale Elementary, whose Principal Ms. L. Salazar was in attendance to share her experiences. This event was a kickoff of sorts, leading up for the SFK 5K Run for Success on December 5th, 2010 in Aventura Circle.

Alongside Chef Douglas Rodriguez, featured chefs included Andrea Curto Randazzo, recent contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef: Washington DC and owner of Talula and The Water Club, and Timon Balloo of Sugarcane and Tim Andriola of Timo Restaurant & Bar. Raffle tickets were sold for guest to have the chance to win a limited edition 2011 SmartCar. Guests also enjoyed signature drinks.

The event was a preview for a lucky few hundred of Chef Douglas’s new ceviche, raw bar and sustainable seafood restaurant, De Rodriguez Ocean, scheduled to open late September. Sourcing most of its seafood product from Florida’s Finest Seafood, De Rodriguez Ocean will support artesian farmers and local fisherman while providing diners with the highest quality organic and farm-raised seafood.

About Success For Kids, Inc.

Success for Kids is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization. The mission of SFK is to empower at-risk children and adolescents to become resilient, productive citizens by delivering innovative research based programs that enhance four personal strengths – interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, problem solving, and self-sufficiency, giving students a greater sense of purpose in their lives. To learn more go to www.sfk.org.

About DeRodriguez Group
The Godfather of Nuevo Latino Cuisine, Chef Douglas Rodriguez is a pioneer in the culinary world with a number of award-winning restaurants, best-selling cookbooks, and television appearances under his belt. With each of his eateries, Rodriguez incorporates his highly regarded Nuevo Latino cuisine, while giving it a new twist. At Alma de Cuba in Philadelphia Rodriguez offers pure Latin-fusion cuisine while at Ola in Miami Beach the cuisine is a combination of Pan Latin, Spanish and Caribbean flavors. Most recently, Rodriguez returned to his roots with De Rodriguez Cuba at The Hotel Astor offering an unparallel Cuban experience – combining elements of old school Havana with new age techniques. With De Rodriguez Ocean at The Hilton Bentley Chef Douglas will use his Nuevo Latino techniques and ingredients to highlight the freshest of seafood. For more information on Douglas Rodriguez Restaurants visit www.chefdouglasrodriguez.com.

Photographs by Betty Alvarez

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