Miami Beach

Beach Buzz: Up-and-coming local chef participates in South Beach Wine and Food Fest

Chef Jacquelyn Packar (right), shows off some of Tum Tum's offerings with partner Jill Schenker.
Chef Jacquelyn Packar (right), shows off some of Tum Tum's offerings with partner Jill Schenker.

Last Sunday was the last day of the South Beach Wine and Food Fest — and the best day by far — for local chef Jacquelyn Packar. It was her first time participating as a chef/owner rather than an attendee. Packar had a booth at the Sunday Grand Tasting Village (North Miami section) promoting her new food truck, Tum Tums, which features Asian street food.

One of the Fest’s goals this year was to highlight more local chefs, and Packar was thrilled to be part of it.

“It was terrifying and amazing all at the same time. We had to prepare food for 3,000 people,” said Packar, 29. “The place was packed, and there was a line of people waiting for food at our booth the entire time.”

Packar, a Bay Harbor Islands resident, said that once everything was prepped it was relatively easy, however, “it was more anxiety of being a past attendee and now getting to cook for everyone — shifting over to the other side — which was quite an honor.”

Tum Tums served Kalbi beef sliders, similar to a Korean slider, made using a rice paddy bun, pickled carrots and cilantro mint dressing.

After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 2007, Packar opened Pink’s Catering, which offers a wide array of cuisines to her clientele.

In 2013, she took some time off to travel and cook throughout Southeast Asia, where she fell in love with the street food.

After returning home, Packar decided to bring her style of food — combined with the traditional cuisine of Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia — to the streets of Miami. And so, about six months ago, Tum Tums was born.

Packar says that while she is still operating Pink’s Catering, she hopes to focus on her food truck full time in the near future.

“We hope to obtain a permanent spot in Wynwood soon so that people always know where to find us,” she said.

Currently the food truck makes appearances Monday nights at Young Circle in Hollywood — and clients can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to find out where the truck is (@tumtumsmiami).

To learn more, visit or call 305-521-8708.


More than 1,000 community leaders, corporate executives, elected officials and guests are expected to attend the 2015 Power of the Purse Luncheon hosted by The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade. The event takes place March 13 at the Hilton Miami downtown. Master of ceremonies for the annual signature luncheon will be entrepreneur and fashion icon Elle Macpherson.

“As a fierce advocate for women’s and children’s rights and a true role model, we are honored to have Ms. Macpherson as the Master of Ceremonies at this year’s luncheon,” said Marilyn March, executive director of The Women’s Fund.

Macpherson, who is married to real estate mogul Jeffrey Soffer, recently relocated with her two young sons to Miami after 17 years in London.

Event honorees will include Ruth Shack, who will receive the Marilynn Gladstone Lifetime Achievement Award; and Honor Roll recipients Saliha Nelson, Lisa Schejola Akin and Anne Helliwell.

Co-chairs for the luncheon are M. Victoria Cummock and Tiffany Zientz Heckler.

Tickets are $150 each; $200 VIP, which includes entrance to post VIP Reception, priority seating and complimentary valet.

For tickets and information, call 305-441-0506 or visit


CHARLEE, a nonprofit that provides services to abused, abandoned and neglected children and at-risk families in Miami-Dade County, will host a fundraiser on Thursday.

The event kicks off with a 6 p.m. showing of Skum Rocks at the Colony Theatre on Lincoln Road. Narrated by Alice Cooper, the “rockumentary” tells the story of the rise and fall of Skum, with cameos by Paul Stanley and Luke Campbell.

A concert/after-party will be held at Grand Central in downtown Miami featuring Skum, ’80s legend Quiet Riot, multi-platinum recording artist Eddie Money and special guest The Urge, whose members include Mark Meland, Fred Fein, Dean Crews and Frank Del Campillo.

Film tickets are $25 each; concert/after-party is $50 (including one hour open bar), with all net proceeds to benefit CHARLEE. For sponsorship information, contact Frances Bolaños at 305-779-9706 To purchase tickets, visit:


In honor of the Chinese New Year, Hakkasan at Fontainebleau Miami Beach offered a special four-course family style dinner Feb. 18-28 to ring in Lunar Year 4712 (Year of the Goat). A New Year’s celebration Feb. 20 featured a traditional Dragon Dance, believed to bring good tidings for the year. The parade began entertaining guests in the lobby’s Bleau Bar and ended by surprising diners in the fourth-floor eatery.

Beach Buzz, published every other Sunday, focuses on people and businesses throughout the Beaches, Aventura and Miami. To reach Debra K. Leibowitz, call 305-531-7887 or email, or become a fan of her Beach Buzz page on Facebook.