Some of you may know that I run a group called the Miami Foodies & Fashionistas and if you are one of my followers, you have probably figured out that I love food. Well guess what? I love food so much, I now work as a Marketing Coordinator for Mei Kitchens. In my new position, I have some really cool food-related events lined up to both participate in and also host.  One of these events is the Tour of Kitchens. We sponsored an ad in the program and I will be attending on Mei’s behalf.

This Saturday, January 26th, 2013, the Coral Gables Community Foundation will be hosting its 4th annual TOUR of KITCHENS. This event will showcase eight of Coral Gables’ finest private home kitchens, as well as opening and closing locations. TOK will also offer food tastings, table setting displays, and the sale of home-related merchandise.  Featured restaurants/food purveyors include:  Cibo Wine Bar, Christy’s, Zak the Baker, Giardino’s Gourmet Salads, Sweet Art by Lucila, Rock Star Pastries, Lasso the Moon (catering), the Culinary Arts Program of Coral Gables Senior High School, Roc Kat Ice Cream Co., JoAnna’s Marketplace, Seasons 52, Xixon, and Ready, Set, Cupcake!  Featured vendors are: Pottery Barn, Deco Candles, Williams-Sonoma, Aragon 101, and Coco Bella.

The tour begins at 10:00 AM with breakfast bites, coffee and mimosas at Snaidero kitchens + design showroom (4110 Ponce de Leon Boulevard). At check in, Tour participants will be given a program booklet containing the Tour map. Homes on this self-guided Tour will be open until 2:00 P.M., and participants may visit the homes in the order they choose. Last entry to the Tour homes will be 1:45 PM.

The tour finishes with a Closing Event in the Books & Books outdoor courtyard (265 Aragon Avenue) from 12:30 P.M. to 2:00 P.M. featuring champagne, a wide array of desserts, a display on Kitchen Trends by kitchen design consultant Julia Johnston, and cookbook authors who will be on hand to mingle and to sign books. This is all included in the ticket. Honorary Chair and Coral Gables’ First Lady Carmen Cason will also be on hand at the closing event to meet and greet participants. Featured cookbook authors are:  Bernie Matz, Linda Gassenheimer, and Raquel Roque.

TOUR TICKETS are $50 per person and all-inclusive of food and beverages, and may be easily purchased through the website, at the starting point (Snaidero, 4110 Ponce de Leon Boulevard) on the day of the Tour, or at the Giant Gables Gourmet Garage Sale (1217 Granada Boulevard). Participants may also call to buy tickets: 305-446-9670. Tickets will be mailed to you (or can be available at will call).

Proceeds benefit the Foundation and the Coral Gables Senior High School Culinary Arts Program. Apollo Bank is the Presenting Sponsor.  Others include:  Harborfront Landing, Snaidero kitchens + design, Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables, and the Alma Jennings Foundation.

Giant Gourmet Garage Sale

One of the eight homes features the GIANT GOURMET GARAGE SALE:  a partnership with Les Dames d’Escoffier Miami. his everything-but-the-kitchen-sink Garage Sale offers new and gently used aprons, art, bakeware, baskets, bric-a-brac, candles, ceramics, china, collectibles, cookbooks, crystal, dish towels, flatware, gadgets, linens, napkins, pots & pans, small appliances, stemware, tins, Tupperware, vases, and much more.   The Giant Gourmet Garage Sale will be held at 1217 Granada Boulevard from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM. This is the home of local celebrity dessert chef Lucila Venet-Jimenez, whose business “Sweet Art by Lucila” is very popular for specialty cakes for weddings and other special occasions.

Admission to the Giant Gourmet Garage Sale is free, however, to gain admission to Lucila’s kitchen (featured on the Tour) you must have a Tour of Kitchens ticket (wristband) to enter her home (the garage sale takes place in the side yard. Tickets to the Tour of Kitchens will be sold from this location.  (The Tour is from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.) Upon purchase of a Tour of Kitchens ticket, you will receive a program booklet with the location of the other Tour stops (and a map). [Please Note: Tour stops are not disclosed until the day of the Tour for the protection of the homeowners.]  Garage Sale patrons who purchase a Tour of Kitchens ticket must still wait until 10:00 AM to enter Lucilas’ home.  The GGGS also features the bountiful Dames Marketplace offering locally grown fruit and vegetables, potted herbs, vegetable “starts,” prepared foods and baked goods-all homemade or homegrown by our chapter’s chef, caterer, and farmer members.

About Les Dames d’Escoffier Miami

Les Dames d’Escoffier Miami is comprised of female food, farming, hospitality, and wine professionals dedicated to: funding annual culinary and/or agriculture scholarships for exceptional young South Florida women; supporting and fostering regional agriculture; and funding organic school vegetable gardens, nutrition, and cooking education for area youth and for our region’s farm labor force. Garage Sale proceeds will help underwrite these projects.

About the Coral Gables Community Foundation

The Coral Gables Community Foundation is a §501(c)(3) nonprofit whose  mission is to improve the quality of life for all of those who live, work, study and/or play in the City Beautiful. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed nearly $4 million to worthy causes.

To view a virtual copy of last year’s Tour of Kitchens program booklet, click here. Addresses of the homes are not disclosed until the day of the Tour to protect the homeowners.

Like  TOUR of KITCHENS on Facebook for more fun, creative inspiration on kitchen design, and other fun foodie-related news.  Follow @TOURofKITCHENS on twitter.