Chef Reni Alves has always found herself amid the freshest foods. She grew up on a lush farm in Brazil before making her way to Johnson & Wales University to earn a culinary degree. Now, as head of Chef Reni Alves Catering, she puts her motto?"Make it happen"?into action by fusing fresh ingredients into multicultural spreads that feed parties big and small. At events, her food stations dish out everything from Moroccan tuna skewers to twice-baked truffle skin potatoes, and roving servers circulate trays of appetizers and general life advice.
In addition to her catering services, Chef Reni also shares her expertise during cooking classes, which mix a laid-back vibe with gourmet cuisine instruction. Participants learn to craft entrees and desserts in the style of Reni's cooking, producing family dinners that they can recreate at home.
The Hyatt Regency of Miami becomes a much more colorful place on the weekend of June 14, when talented tattoo artists and their fans swarm the hotel for TattooLaPalooza. Attendees can bob and weave through a plethora of booths to pick up samples and check out the vendors' various merchandise, such as Hush numbing gel and After Ink lotions. Meanwhile, to the delight of viewers, tattoo artists from across the country will proudly show off their talents on the bodies of eager fans, decorating them with everything from intricate portraits to simple mottos like, "You don't own me, Mom."
Though most visit the festival specifically to get inked by their favorite artist or an artist that impresses them on the spot, TattooLaPalooza offers a range of events for everyone in attendance, such as seminars, live art shows, and plenty of drinks and snacks. Each day of the convention will also feature contests in various categories, such as leg, sleeve, traditional, and even worst tattoo.
As they observe the vibrant exhibits of aquatic life inside the Miami Seaquarium, many guests don't realize that they are walking through a movie set and a hospital. In the onsite lagoon, bottlenose dolphins swim through waters once traversed by Flipper, who filmed several television episodes and films at the venue. The Seaquarium is also recognized as a manatee critical care facility. Its staff has accomplished several historic treatments, including monitoring the conception and arrival of the first manatee born under human care and conducting the first manatee neurological surgery.
These facets of the Seaquarium—along with its many conservation efforts, educational programs, and shows—underscore a united commitment to wildlife consciousness. The animal attractions enable visitors to witness the allure and fragility of oceanic fauna up close, whether they are petting the back of a stingray or washing a dress shirt on the rough back of an 8-foot nile crocodile. Special encounters decrease the distance even further, sending patrons on underwater Sea Treks through the reef display or helping them to lead marine-mammal training routines.
It's hard to pinpoint the biggest personality inside the Seaquarium tanks, but Lolita the killer whale—who performs daily alongside pacific white-sided dolphins—claims the title of heaviest, period. On the other end of the scale, macaws and cockatiels perch around the Tropical Wings section of the park, and endangered sea turtles lounge at Discovery Bay. Elsewhere, a watery playground and three-story ropes course keep legs from growing too wobbly after a trip to Shark Channel or a smooch from a sea lion.
The fifth annual King of Ribs BBQ Fest, held at the Eucalyptus Gardebs in Wilton Manors, promises live entertainment as well as an abundant selection of grilled meats and seafood. Part of the proceeds go towards The Beautiful Gate Cancer Support and Resource Center.
Cushy Cakes conjures up sweet sensations with the lighter-than-air lusciousness of the Andes' famed cotton-candy clouds. Using organic butter, milk, and eggs, Cushy Cakes commandant Melissa Jarquin will whip up a dozen cupcakes ($20) in flavors such as Bananarama, the key-lime-pie-tinged Southernmost Cupcake, and Betty's Carrot Cake, or in the customized flavor of your choosing. Sweet tooths seeking the cream of Cushy Cakes' crop should opt for the Cafe Con Leche, a flavor based on the beloved breakfast coffee, or the Stout Cupcake with Kahlua frosting, made with the beloved breakfast beer Guinness. Gluten-free and vegan cupcakes are also available.
White cabanas. Bamboo gazebos. Sparking waterfalls. At Solare Garden, guests enjoy tropical environs without boarding a commercial plane or commandeering a hovercraft caught in the trade winds. Each of its eight event spaces includes amenities for a large group and flaunts a slightly different tropical aesthetic. Solare Isle, an outdoor space, includes sanded areas and lush landscaping, whereas the covered Tiki Pavilion features an adjacent bar and light-up waterfall. But whether guests flock to the Isle's sandy stretches or the Coliseum's glowing nightclub dance floor, there's ample space for them to enjoy a party. Receptions, corporate gatherings, and weddings are all warmly welcomed by the Solare staff.