Pictures of the VH1 Scope Party

VH1 + SCOPE collaborated for the third time this year to once again present its fused platform of art and music. The VIP only private event featured live performances by platinum, award-winning, Danish singer-songwriter NABIHA and American hip-hop recording artist and producer, Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean.

Guests also experienced an immersive art installation by the artist and calligrapher, Aerosyn-Lex Mestrovic. Mestrovic exhibited his hand-painted art work onto hundreds of feet of Japanese synthetic paper, which positioned the installation as the longest continuous painting shown at this year’s Art Basel event.

 

 

 

 

Pictures of Hardwell Concert in Miami

Photo credit: Pedro Alvarez

The most popular DJ in the world tore up the stage in Miami in front of thousands of screaming and fawning fans.  Hardwell has been the world’s #1 DJ according to DJ Magazine‘s Top 100 DJs poll in both 2014 and 2013 and he proved it on stage. He was at Bayfront Park for his I am Hardwell Tour and put on a phenomenal show with enchanting and hypnotic lights and a sound system that blew people away. Beautiful people in amazing costumes were on full display dancing all night.Enjoy the pictures of the Hardwell concert and the attendees below.

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Grovetoberfest 2014 Photographs and Recap

The epic Grovetoberfest, the “most scenic beer festival in the world”, returned for the fourth time to Coconut Grove and served over 300 great beers from across the world.  Over 7,000 beer enthusiasts showed up to pound some brewskis, eat some food, dance, smile and laugh. Grovetoberfest is all about the craft beer and has a strong focus on the local craft beer scene. Some of Miami’s top chefs like Chef Todd Haven and Chef Giorgio Rapacavoli rocked the Kitchen Lab, where they demonstrated gourmet cooking with craft beer. Beer Tasting 101 was hosted by FIU’s Beer Academy and taught newbies the basics of craft beer tasting. People were also dancing to the live music all day long. Grovetoberfest is always a blast and if you missed it we feel sorry for you. Fear not though, because Sprung Beer Festival  is right around the corner in March!

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Seed Wine and Food Festival Photographs and Recap

Miami pushed aside its addiction to Cuban food to exuberantly welcome the first annual Seed Food & Wine Festival.  It was a five day Vegan immersion focusing on healthy and delicious plant-based foods. The festival itself was held for one day in a giant tent, normally reserved for Art Basel shows. The tent was packed with vendors and attendees. The fest was glorious with scrumptious food, sweets, ice cream, juices, sauces, books, education, celebrities and beautiful people. The energy at the event was so amazing and we were thrilled to be a part of it. We can not wait for the second annual Seed Fest.

Australian Lamb Immersion with Miami’s Top Chefs

I always thought I adequately appreciated the craft of a chef. That was until I was invited to cook with Miami’s top chefs for a day at an Australian Lamb Immersion. After spending a whopping four hours drinking, laughing and cooking with these titans, I could barely stand up straight.  #Cheflife is ridiculously arduous, but these Miami chefs are rowdy, alcohol-guzzling warriors who dazzle us with their deft skills and magnificent plates.

The Australian Lamb & Beef Immersion was hosted by Meat & Livestock Australia to extol the benefits of meat from the Land Down Under. The continent that has become well known for its delicious wine is about to become just as famous for its succulent cuts of meat. Aussie meat is natural and untainted by chemicals. Their country is about as big as the US, but they have a population of only 23 million, compared with our 317 million. That means, as stated on the Meat & Livestock Australia website: they have an “abundance of pasture land and mild climate, which allow (their) livestock to be entirely grass-fed in a healthy and natural environment. All livestock are free of artificial additives and hormone growth promotant. (They are) pure products of a pure environment.” To put it in relatable US terms: Australian Lamb & Meat = Scarlett Johansson and American Lamb & Meat = Jasmine Tridevil! 

The day started in my hood, with a trip to the kitchen at the Miami Marriott in Edgewater (a 10 block “neighborhood” next to the Miami Heat’s arena). Upon entering the banquet kitchen floor, I found Master Butcher Doug Piper carving up an entire lamb to the delightful attention of 15 of South Florida’s top chefs.

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By top chefs, we’re are talking about talented culinary experts like (listed in alphabetical order, by restaurant):

The beloved Aussie, Chef Aaron Brooks and his loco tequila-swigging Sous Chef Jose Gomez were right next to the carcass carving station whipping up seemingly endless and sensational lamb dishes for us all to try, while we watched Doug continue to tear apart the lamb, limb from freaking limb. The lamb was tender, juicy and oozing with flavor. I believe we tasted virtually every part from tongue to tail.

After being more stuffed than a Turducken, they decided to feed us lunch!? Most of the chefs found this to be an opportune time to start drinking instead. There was some great convos marinating around the table about restaurant working conditions, depraved contests in Thailand and the smallest kitchen in Miami, which we believe is Harry’s Pizzeria.

After our primarily liquid lunch, we picked numbers out of a hat and were divvied up into teams. I was fortunate enough to be teamed up with the extraordinary talented Chef Thomas Griese of Michael Mina 74 and Chef Joshua Wahler of Estiatorio Milos by Costas Spiliadis. They were surprisingly chill with having me, a kitchen gimp who can not even julienne vegetables properly, as part of their team.

Chef/Consultant Adam Moore was our freaking awesome host. He was so funny and chill and curated a diverse and notable collection of beers for us to pound in the kitchen. He even set up little coolers underneath our tables to keep ‘em cold while we were slaving away.

There were a total of five teams and each were given a basket of diverse ingredients along with different cuts of scrumptious Australian lamb. Below is a photo of my team’s instructions and ingredient list.

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This is where the real fun began for me, because although I do not know how to cook, borrowed an apron (Thank you, Chef Adam) strapped it on and dove right in. Cooking is intense and grueling manual labor. The kitchen is hot, you are on your feet, running around and working incessantly — not at all like the nonchalant freelance journalist lifestyle I am accustomed to. I was slicing, dicing, sprinting to grab ingredients, saucing, plating, gulping beers and grilling lamb. It was a unique and extraordinary experience.

My team ended up making an incredible Molasses Glazed Carpaccio, Fennel Salad, Orange Marmalade.

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We also served a Molasses Glazed Leg of Lamb, Orange Marmalade, Bourbon and Cous Cous as well as Purple grits with Pimento.

16-Team 3- Mollasses glazed leg of lamb and purple grits 2- Thomas

After we were done in the kitchen, the finished plates were presented al fresco. The chefs and I celebrated our conquest of Aussie lamb by drinking tequila straight from the bottle. The dishes were gorgeous as you can see from the album below. The chefs were able to embrace the versatility of Australian lamb by preparing it in new and interesting ways. There were Asian, Southern, Italian, French and Latin influenced lamb dishes. I unfortunately, did not have enough room to sample everything, but the handful I tried were sensational.

chefs chillin

The experience felt like a once-in-a-lifetime blessed event. The opportunity to feel like a real chef and be surrounded by such profoundly talented and fun culinary masters was humbling. It really cultivated a deeper sense of appreciation for the life of a chef, as well as the beauty of Australian lamb.

 

 

Final Days to Book Your Ticket Aventura Dance Cruise!

If you love Latin dancing, its music or its culture, this is the weekend cruise for you!  Back for its second year as a full ship charter and seventh time cruising the high seas, Aventura Dance Cruise (ADC), the world’s largest floating Latin dance cruise, will be setting sail out of the Port of Miami on board the Carnival Ecstasy from November 7-10, 2014. Attendees will be treated to an amazing musical  lineup including some of Latin music’s most celebrated, award-winning artists, like Chino y Nacho, the Latin GRAMMY-winning and Billboard Latin chart-topping Venezuelan reggaeton duo with a romantic, tropical style; Leslie Grace, Latin GRAMMY-nominated artist for Best Contemporary Tropical Album 2013, as well as one of Latin music’s most influential vocalists and living legend José “El Canario” Alberto.

The Carnival Ecstasy boasts 1,028 cabins, with lodging for up to 4 of your best friends, accommodating 2,400 on board. Included onboard are mini-golf, a full jogging track, a swimming pool, two main dining rooms and the lido buffet restaurant. Service is one of the bright spots on Ecstasy; so don’t be surprised if your waiters or waitresses remember your name or even your meal preferences.

 Aventura Dance Cruise Official Video Trailer: http://vimeo.com/aventuradancecruise

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Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy world-class dance performances, take any of the 60+ dance workshops, two private island Bahamas beach parties, 70+ hours of social dancing with several interactive performances.  There’s even a workshop especially for beginners or novices that may need to brush up on their Latin dancing skills. It really is a pretty sick deal!

adc ticket includes

Additionally, the Aventura Dance Cruise is hosting several day and night parties with various themes such as ‘represent’, superheroes, whatever floats your boat, pirates of the Caribbean, white hot and the red carpet start.  Check out the website for the event schedule.

ADC2014 Theme parties

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One of last year’s themed parties

Last year, our friends who took the cruise said it was one of the most amazing and most fun experiences they ever had! We are booked any ready to go, so come salsa and party with us. You don’t want to miss it!  Hurry because booking ends November 1st.

For bookings and payment information on the  Aventura Dance Cruise, please visit: http://aventuradancecruise.com/prices-registration/

Lenny Kravitz Rocked Miami to Celebrate his New Album “Strut”

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His musical talents and sexy persona inspire adulation, lust, love and respect across music fans of both sexes. Yes, Lenny Kravitz is quite a beloved man in Miami. Our hometown rockstar just released his new album “Strut” and came home to Miami to celebrate it with a very intimate performance. We were blessed to be invited and were absolutely blown away. We have been to many concerts, but being so close to a rockstar like Lenny, to feel his intense energy in a room with less than 100 fans in it, was simply amazeballs.  He absolutely killed it, playing his famous hits as well as songs from his new album. Even when he was playing with over 12 band members, one could really feel the depth of his sound. It was a unique and unforgettable experience.

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We know you are craving to get your hands on that new Lenny album. If you purchase Strut from Walmart (Only $10) you will also receive an exclusive digital copy of the Lenny Kravitz Live in Miami 6-song soundcheck performance as well as the full digital album download. You can view the Lenny Kravtiz interview and music videos from the Miami performance here. 

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Thank you for rocking out Miami, Lenny!

Keep up with new artists being featured by follow Walmart Soundcheck on Facebook:@WMSoundcheck :: Twitter: @WMSoundcheck :: Instagram: @WMSoundcheck

Win A Guitar Autographed By Lenny Kravitz