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Press Release: Miami Broward One Carnival Host Committee Set To Host “Miami Carnival in the Gardens”

Thousands of Carnival Revelers and Masqueraders Set To Transform Miami Gardens into a Potent Mixture of Caribbean Culture  

Miami, Fl – The Miami Broward One Carnival Host Committee (MBOCHC) is pleased to announce one of  South Florida’s signature events, Miami Carnival in the Gardens will be held on Sunday, October 9, 2011, in Miami Gardens, FL. This year’s parade will move this colorful and rhythmic Caribbean party along the streets of Miami Gardens to the festival area at Sun Life Stadium(( 2269 Dan Marino Boulevard, Miami Gardens, FL 33056). Miami Carnival has been an important ingredient within the culture and fabric of the South Florida community. It has been enthusiastically celebrated for the past 26 years on Columbus Day weekend.

The colorful parade of bands will once again feature a kaleidoscope of incredible costumes that are a delicious cocktail of colors and pageantry. With “Generation X” holding the title of “Band of the Year” from 2010, this year’s competition is set to bring on a sea of enchanting costumes designed to represent all the islands of the Caribbean. An early buzz has already been created by a new band called Ascension. They will be portraying “Eau De Vie [Water of Life). Also intensifying the fervor is China Mas Group. With their portrayal of “What Lies Beneath”, depicting some resemblance of what lies deep beneath the water, they have set the tone for some fierce competition this year.

“ Home to a vast Caribbean population, Miami Gardens is proud to be the home of the Miami Carnival is the Gardens for the second consecutive year. The history of Carnival began is the City of Miami Gardens and we are happy to have it come home.  The event is truly the best celebration and representation of Caribbean culture and pride. We look forward to the people from around the world, who will be visiting the City, to participate in this extravagant and exciting affair. The residents and the businesses are equally as enthusiastic and look forward to welcoming and hosting visitors to our City”, says Shirley Gibson, Mayor of the City of Miami Gardens.

“ Miami Carnival in the Gardens” is a unique opportunity for sponsors to reach a global audience of Caribbean Americans who travel annually to South Florida to participate in this one-of-a-kind experience.  There are Carnivals in various cities throughout the year, but Miami Carnival is unique as evidenced by the sold-out airlines, hotels, rental cars and other business establishments throughout the tri-county area in previous years.  With our Caribbean creativity and hospitality in full view, we anticipate that in 2011, we will be breaking records and welcoming even more visitors to the City of Miami Gardens than we have in the past” states Ruthven Williams, Executive Director of MBOCHC.

“One cannot afford to miss this premier Caribbean family-friendly event.  You will be mesmerized by the spectacular display of pageantry and color as the various mas bands showcase their magnificent costumes to the pulsating beats of Caribbean music,” All under one place, Sun Life Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins in the beautiful City of Miami Gardens,” states Rafiek Mohammed, Director of Broward Caribbean Carnival, and Miami Broward One Carnival Host Committee, Inc.

This evocative Caribbean charged event also features some of the most infectious sounds of the Caribbean by a top all-star royalty artist line up which will be announced at the end of August. Attendees will enjoy a tantalizing selection of Caribbean cuisine provided by local vendors and Caribbean restaurants. Patrons will also enjoy a Caribbean Village sponsored by the Caribbean Consulates General and Tourist Boards.

In true Carnival fashion, this year’s  Miami Carnival in the Gardens will categorically celebrate the spirit and captivating culture and heritage of the Caribbean and its roots.

Media Credentials: Yvette N. Harris, Public Relations Manager at 786.897.8854 or .

Early bird tickets are $15 (Purchase by August 31) at The tickets are $20 on line after August 31. Tickets at the gate are $25. For information about vending and sponsorship, please call 305.653.1877.

V.I. Culinary Team: Set for Its Big Competition

Team members Al Boston, Negust Kaza and Dennis Vanterpool share a moment Monday.

This is the first year since 2006 that the event will take place in Miami. In recent years, it was held in Puerto Rico. Chefs and spectators are excited about competing in Miami, hoping the neutral ground will calm nerves.

Lisa Hamilton, president of the organization, expects that having the competition in Miami will bring stateside exposure and help the chefs to network and learn from a larger group.

The 2011 VI Culinary Team consists of Captain Ashley Allen, senior chef Dennis Vanterpool, seafood competitor David Benjamin, chef Joshua Vilain, beef competitor Negust Kaza, pastry chef Kunal Chakrabarti, bartender Al Boston, and junior chefs Afiya Agustus, Myan Esprit, and Kwanzaa Francis.

The team offers two students the opportunity to join them each year. Typically, the team invites one student from Charlotte Amalie High School in St. Thomas and another from Educational Complex High School in St. Croix. Thank to sponsors, the 2011 team will be accompanied by a record 13 students from St. Croix Central High School and Educational Complex High School.

Team members said they are confident they will bring home the gold. The team pulled together to focus on weaknesses from previous years. Instead of again trying to improve taste, they’re working on technique and attention to detail.

“This time we’ll have a better understanding of what we’re being judged on and held accountable for,” says chef Dennis Vanterpool.

The VI Culinary Team and about a dozen supporters joined Monday evening at the Morning Star Resort for the culinary group’s final food presentation before participating in the Taste of the Caribbean competition in Miami on June 22.

The small group shared well-wishes as they nibbled on sample appetizers and desserts, washing them down with custom-made drinks.

2011 will mark the USVI’s eighth year in the competition, where they will compete against 11 countries. Only those organizations within the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) can participate.

During each stage of the competition, participants will have four hours to conceive and materialize their creations. The first half hour is devoted to creating a menu, pulling food and measuring it. In the next half hour, judges take away the remaining ingredients. This is a critical point in the competition because after the first hour, chefs will only have access to the items they originally pick. The next three hours is dedicated to cooking and preparing the dishes. At the end of the four hours, chefs must plate 40 appetizers, break them down, and then repeat the process with entrées and desserts.

Each group begins with a perfect score and points are deducted throughout the competition as judges assess presentation, flavor, use of time, and much more.

Bartenders will compete in making a rum drink, a vodka drink, and a non-alcoholic beverage. Participants are judged on their shake, strain, muddle, style, and more.

One of the most interesting aspects of the competition is the mystery basket. Each category of chefs and bartenders will receive a basket. Chefs face the difficult task of using all 20 items and three proteins in the basket, while bartenders must gain inspiration from the items in the basket.

Competitors practice throughout the year to prepare for the competition in June. The chefs work together on technique and breaking down dishes, while board members and sponsors act as taste testers. Bartender Boston and pastry chef Chakrabarti practice together, mixing fruits and other concoctions to inspire one another.

Kaza, who has been part of the VI Culinary Team for more than two years, is cooking in the beef category.

“Beef is new for me,” Kaza says. “I’m not 100 percent in my element. But I’ll only feel like a failure if I go and don’t give 110 percent to make-up for it.”

The chefs say they’re looking forward to the event.

“This is the pinnacle of competitions for us,” says Hamilton. “When we bring home the gold, we have bragging rights for a year. We get to say that the best chefs in the Caribbean are here in the VI.”

More information is available on the CHTA website at


Author: Laurel Kaufmann

Best of the Best Concert Sunday Lineup

FREE Miami Reggae Festival Seeks to Bring Back the ‘Essence of Reggae’

Nearly 10,000 fans will pack Peacock Park in Coconut Grove to witness the Essence of Reggae Music. Organized by Alfonso D’ Nicsio Brooks and the ROCKAZ MVMT, the free Miami reggae festival seeks to spread peace, love and unity in the Miami community on Saturday, April 30. –a.r.

How did the festival come about?

It started in November of last year. We did the Reggae Woodstock at Bayside. It paid homage to vintage reggae. We had such a tremendous turnout, so we wanted to give back by doing a free concert. During the process, we reached out to the Curley’s House charity. So, we want all fans to bring a can good when they come.

Why is it important to keep the culture alive?

We pay homage to the foundation of reggae. With it becoming commercial, they left behind the true foundation of the music. We did research and decided to reintroduce Bob Marley’s “One Love” movement. Some people can’t travel to the Caribbean, so we want to bring the Caribbean to Miami.

What advice would you give to others who are thinking of going into the entertainment business?

You have to believe anything is possible. Believe in the work, and it will come to fruition. There’s no such thing as “I can’t do.” Challenges will arrive, but you use those challenges to make you stronger.


Written by: Amir Shaw

Memorial Day Weekend in Miami Will be the “Best of the Best”

Wondering what to do over Memorial Day Weekend 2011 in Miami to kick off your summer right? XO Management and Rockers Island are presenting an event-filled, star-studded urban weekend that you will not want to miss. Not only is the Best of the Best concert returning to Miami’s Bicentennial Park with an expanded two-day show, but there are a number of other major parties planned to keep you entertained all Memorial Day weekend long.

Prime Time Thursdays Miami Edition: Thursday May 26th

DJ Young Chow and Correy Kaiten present the Miami Edition of Prime Time Thursdays at Cameo nightclub on South Beach (1445 Washington Ave Miami Beach, FL 33139). This amazing party will feature appearances by DJ Khaled and Miami recording artist Ace Hood. The party is hosted by Chris Findley and Chinee and features music by DJ Young Chow, Massive B, DJ Starks, and DJs Springer and Fergie.

Official Miami Memorial Day Weekend Kick-Off Party: Friday May 27th

Friday night will be the official kick-off party for Best of the Best Memorial Weekend at Mansion nightclub on South Beach (1235 Washington Ave Miami Beach, FL 33139).

Spring Fest/Best of the Best Concert Day One: Saturday May 28th

What has historically been a daylong concert on Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend has expanded into a two-day concert series at Miami’s Bicentennial Park (1075 Biscayne Blvd Miami, FL 33130). This year, Saturday’s concert will showcase some of the hottest R&B artists out right now, including Chris Brown, Keri Hilson, Jeremih, Lloyd, Miguel, Marsha Ambrosius, and more to be added in the coming weeks. Saturday’s concert is hosted by Rickey Smiley (of the Rickey Smiley Morning Show) and Jabba (of Hot 97).Gates open at 5pm sharp.

Official Afterparty for Spring Fest/Best of the Best Concert Day One: Saturday May 28th

The party continues after day one’s Spring Fest concert with the official afterparty at Cameo nightclub on South Beach (1445 Washington Ave Miami Beach, FL 33139).

Best of the Best Concert Day Two: Sunday May 29th

The second day of the Best of the Best concert will feature some of the biggest names in Reggae, Dancehall, Soca, Caribbean, and Hip Hop music. Acts include Stephen Marley, Damian Marley, DJ Khaled, Vybz Kartel (performing live via satellite from Jamaica), Assassin, I-Octane, Alison Hinds, Sanchez, Etana, Ace Hood, Trina, Demarco, Richie Loop, Gappy Ranks, Chino, Romain Virgo, ZJ Liquid, Bruck-Up, Honorebel, Tifa, Zeke Don, Supa Twitch, Karim Hype, and more still to be added. Day two will also be held at Bicentennial Park, with gates opening at 3pm.

NYC vs. MIA: Monday May 30th

Tony Smalls and Best of the Best present the Memorial Day NYC vs. MIA party at Mansion nightclub on South Beach (1235 Washington Ave Miami Beach, FL 33139). The party will be hosted by DJ Stringer, DJ Fergie, and DJ Young Chow. Appearing and representing NYC are Steelie, Massive B, and Platinum Kidz; representing MIA are Black Chiney, Poison Dart, and Innocent Sound. Doors will open at 11pm and the dress code is strictly enforced. As a bonus, all ladies have free admission before midnight!

With great concerts, huge celebrities, and hot parties, there’s nothing more you need for the best Memorial Day Weekend you’ve ever had!

For more information and to purchase tickets for Spring Fest/Best of the Best Concert, visit or

For $20 advance tickets for Prime Time Thursdays Miami Edition, contact Young Chow at 631-839-1104 or Correy at 347-435-8978

To RSVP for NYC vs. MIA, call 786-319-1477