With Miami being such a melting pot of culture, style and food, it is only right that we get to experience the diversity of our city.
The Magic City Wine & Food Festival’s Taste of Liberty City on Saturday will showcase and pay homage to independently owned African-American soul food, Caribbean and ethnic inspired restaurants; and chefs within the Liberty City neighborhood and neighboring communities: Overtown, Allapattah, Wynwood and North Miami.
The Taste of Liberty City begins 7 p.m. Saturday at Sandrell Rivers Theater, 6100 NW Seventh Ave., Suite 79.
One participant is Rolanda Benjamin, owner of Lovely’s in the City at 1622 NW 62nd St.
“My mom, actually, her nickname is Lovely,” Benjamin said. “She has been cooking for years, since I was born. She actually started a restaurant with catering and things like that. I was just used to it [the restaurant industry]. I was not used to the cooking part; I was used to the business part. I took what she did and revamped it with my business.”
Gwen Winn-Dixin, an Overtown native, describes herself as “a big, big foodie” and says she cannot wait to experience Taste of Liberty City.
“I go to many food festivals across the nation and even some out of the state, but I feel like this one is a true celebration of me and my heritage.
“My dad is Haitian and my mom is from the South — Alabama. I grew up with food recipes from both the Caribbean and African Americans. I know that I will be able to walk away from the festival feeling satisfied, for one, but also able to better appreciate the complexities of our relationships with food in the African diaspora.”
In addition to great food, entertainment is also on the menu. Miss Robbie Montgomery, owner of Sweetie Pies, a soul food restaurant in St. Louis and star of the hit reality show on OWN, will be in attendance.
In addition, the festival will also feature wine tastings, chef competitions, music and most importantly, food samplings.
“This is a really, really important event for me to be involved with, this is the one time where I am not doing the cooking,” said Chef Chad Cherry, who operates a culinary program in South Florida and is taking two of his students to the event.
“Our students are running the show,” he said. “Each of the student chefs that are coming will have another professional chef that is going to be their coach, on their team. Then they will have a team of students to help to execute. So this is literally their show. I am very excited about that. I get to see them do their thing.”
About the festival
Ticket prices are $55 for general admission and $75 for VIP, which includes an additional buffet and open bar. Tickets can be purchased online at www.magiccitywineandfoodfestival.com.