Signature food of Miami and how to integrate them into your event


As a Miami-based company, the VIBE agency loves to work with foods that are indigenous and local. As a matter of fact, we’ve been not only researching, but singing the praises to all of our in – and out-of-town clients about the sunshine states most famous foods and how to integrate them into events.

 We’ve come up with so many fun and useful ideas, that we thought sharing them would be helpful to you.

 Off the top, here’s what we recommend for Miami Signature foods:

Are  ceviche, Cuban sandwich (and cuisine) and stone crabs  the signature foods of Miami. Do you agree? I definitely agree.

Is there another Miami signature food (or foods) worth mentioning? Don’t forget drinks : Mojitos, Mango Martini, Cuba Libre, and Café con Leche

 Where can you find the best Cuban sandwich in Miami? Or the best Cuban food? I may never answer the question of where to find Miami’s best Cuban sandwich. After all, more than 700,000 Cuban Americans call Miami home. In a culture that prides itself on succulent home-style cooking, there’s a good chance you’ll find more than one winner. But we can offer few clear contenders:  David’s Cafe II. Open 24 hours a day, this South Beach staple has been serving classic Cuban cuisine since 1977. Looking for a bit of breakfast at four in the morning? Try a plate of scrambled eggs with diced ham and a cup of café con leche. Another south beach location is Puerto Sagua(7th and Collins), is ideal for the die-hard foodie. Its focus is not about ambience or service, just really good food like ropa vieja, picadillo with no raisins, black beans, maduros and more.

What makes for a great Cuban sandwich?A Cuban sandwich is a variation of a ham and cheese sandwich, originally created by Cuban workers either in Cuba or in the immigrant community of Ybor City in Tampa, Florida. Later, Cubans brought it to other communities in southern Florida, particularly Key West and Miami where it is very popular. The sandwich is made with ham, roasted pork, (Pork Mix, whichis a mix of roasted pork.  This is truly what makes the sandwich), Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, and sometimes salami on Cuban bread.

 How do you usually work Cuban cuisine into an event? It is easiest when the event is Cuban-themed, but when it is not, we take inspiration from the Best Cuban Cookbook: “Three Guys from Miami Celebrate Cuban.” There are classic Cuban recipes with an emphasis on dishes that are great for parties. Most of the recipes in the book are simple, easy to prepare, and classic that they make for great lunches and dinners for events. If it’s for a special barbecue or house party, it just works. For corporate events, I would serve mini Cuban sandwiches and perhaps deconstructed paella.

 Is it part of a tour (Little Havana, for example) or catering?  we do a tour in Miami, we always show the Latin aspect of Miami – and we always try to integrate one lunch or dinner with a Latin Flavor. We also stop in our favorite cigar factory in little Havana, which is an institution!

 Which Cuban restaurants do you prefer to use and why?  If you are looking for an upscale location, more ambiance and good food, we go to Versailles or La Careta in Little Havana.

 Do you ever work stone crabs into an event, perhaps through catering or another group excursion? It all depends on the date the event is happening. As you know, Stone Crabs seasonal. We always try to include key “Florida” foods and stone crabs are one. It depends also of the budget of the client. We also do stops during tours at Joe’s Stone Crab. Unfortunately, the “Stone Crab Bake” doesn’t exist yet, but if it did, we would host one right on the beach.

 Have you set up themed events in the past using Miami signature foods? If so, can you describe one to give the readers a sense of how you use them?

In a tour when visiting Miami: We take tour groups to various places to sample what you can find in Miami and what makes it special. Kind of like a mini dine around: Cuban food, key lime pie, Stone Crabs, Café con leche…

In a themed dinner:  We make sure that the theme is carried throughout the event. We bring it into the décor, the entertainment, the location, all based around the food. It’s important to offer our client something that’s more interesting (as opposed to a prepackaged menu), fun, and complimentary to the overall tone and tenor of the event.

In a teambuilding event: We bring all the groceries needed for a tasty team building event. Working in teams, participants turn all ingredients in one of the Miami Signature Foods. Forget about calories, fat and cholesterol! They’re creating works of art, attempting to bring rapture to the lips of each and every judge… This is, after all, a competition for them. We work also on a Cuisine team experience. It’s is a fun and effective way to bring diverse team members together, help them bond as a group, and learn more about each other through food preparation, cooking, and dining together. Naturally, Miami’s signature food are the focus.

By  Prevue  (August 19th, 2009)


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