MIAMI – The Sea Delight Ocean Fund charity hosted its second annual “Taste of the Sea” Masquerade Ball to raise funds and awareness for ocean conservation and sustainable seafood in South Florida. Sponsored by Where South Florida Magazine, the event was held on Friday, Oct. 16th at Casablanca on the Bay in the Grand/Doubletree Hotel in Miami. This year’s festivities drew more than 300 ecologically conscious patrons who all had a fantastic evening and experienced delicious responsibly sourced seafood tasting.
This year, the all-star chefs participated in the “Fish-Off” Challenge where guests voted on their favorite seafood creation. Chef Michell Sanchez from Latin House Grill was the distinguished winner and took home the prize and bragging rights as the Big Fish of the night.
“It was an absolute pleasure and an honor to be involved with, compete in…and win the Taste of the Sea 2015 ‘Fish-off’ Challenge,” said Chef Sanchez. “We had a wonderful time sharing our passion for sustainable seafood with the guests and other participants. We look forward to next year’s event and promise to come up with something even better than what we did this year. #MadLove.”
Other participating restaurants and culinary organizations included The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Piccolo Ristorante, 180° @ the DRB, Casablanca on the Bay, Acentos & Paladares, Federación Latinoamericana de Gastronomía (USA and PR Chapter), The Fish House, The Art Culinary Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, and International Executive Guest Chef Yanick Comeau of Yuzu Sushi. Mimi’s Ravioli and Yayi’s participated in the dessert category.
Collaborating spirits included Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Wynwood Brewing Company, Zaya Rum, Casamigos Tequila and an array of wines from Alma Wines.
In addition to sampling some of the finest responsibly sourced seafood sponsored by Sea Delight and Pier 33 Gourmet and spirits, Sea Delight Ocean Fund brought together leaders in marine ocean conservation for an incredible interactive and educational Conservation area, including the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC), the Coastal Steward, Universo Marino, University of Miami Shark Research program, and Shark Team One.
“It was a fantastic event,” said Kerri Allen, Education Manager, Loggerhead Marinelife Center, “The best part was being able to speak to guests about threats facing sea turtles, such as by-catch and derelict fishing gear. It was great to be able to talk about sustainable fisheries and fishing practices in such a practical environment with guests enjoying sustainability-sourced seafood. This allowed them to realize how easy it is to make choices that can improve the health of our oceans, and that everyone has the power to make a difference.”
“We appreciated the opportunity to be involved with the 2nd annual Taste of the Sea event this year and to connect with other seafood chefs and organizations as we work together towards a more sustainable future,” said Sandra Cedrone, senior commercial manager – Americas, Marine Stewardship Council.
This year we were also honored to have the support of local artist and creator of Ofishulz Istvan “Steve” Diossy, who donated one of his limited edition prints to our silent auction. “I appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with the Sea Delight Ocean Fund,” Diossy said. “Through my work I am able to bring together ocean life represented through characters by my family and friends. And it is of course humorous, but more importantly, it is necessary for us to realize we are all connected, and making the oceans healthier will in turn create a better and more fulfilling life for us.”
Preferred Freezer Services also sponsored the event on its second year. According to Ryan D. Laurent, Atlantic Regional Director, “It was a pleasure to support Sea Delight and their Ocean Fund charity to raise awareness and support marine conservation. Casablanca on the Bay was a great venue. It had a great ambiance and fantastic food put out by all the local chefs. Preferred Freezer Services will continue to support the Sea Delight Ocean Fund. We look forward to attending another event in the future.”
“We were thrilled with the turnout for our second annual Taste of the Sea event,” said Adriana Sanchez-Lindsay, Sustainability Director of Sea Delight and President of the Sea Delight Ocean Fund. “It was incredible to have the support of these gifted culinary masters and these wonderful organizations dedicated to marine conservation. This year, we were also able to connect the work Sea Delight Ocean Fund does through fishery improvements projects and the overall goal of MSC certification for sustainable seafood.”