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POLLO TROPICAL® Partners with World Central Kitchen to Supply Free Meals for Victims in the Bahamas

September 16, 2019

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Today, Pollo Tropical® launched a partnership with Chef José Andres’ charitable organization, World Central Kitchen, to benefit the organization’s hurricane relief efforts in the Bahamas. Pollo Tropical is pledging a dollar donation for every Pollo Tropical Original Family Meal purchased at any of the brand’s 140 company-owned locations from September 15 through October 6 to the recovery effort

“Florida was spared from the devastation of Hurricane Dorian, but our friends in the Bahamas were not. Our Pollo Tropical family is committed to helping those affected by providing Chef José Andres with funds needed to help feed the families affected by the storm,” said Richard Stockinger, Chief Executive Officer and President of Fiesta Restaurant Group, the parent company of Pollo Tropical. 

World Central Kitchen (WCK) is a not-for-profit non-governmental organization devoted to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters. Founded in 2010 by chef José Andrés, the organization’s method of operations is to be a first responder and then to collaborate and galvanize solutions with local chefs to solve the problem of hunger, immediately following a disaster.

Arts & Entertainment

Tanqueray Sevilla Orange Launches in Miami with a Colorful Mural

August 27, 2019

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Tanqueray, widely-known as the world’s most celebrated gin, has released Tanqueray Sevilla Orange. Launching in select Florida markets this summer, the new flavor epitomizes sunshine in a glass with its bittersweet orange taste and warm hints of spice.

Tanqueray Sevilla Orange is created by infusing the brand’s four-times distilled classic London Dry gin with the essence of orange. Tanqueray has been making a world-class gin for over 185 years. Founder Charles Tanqueray had a pioneering spirit and an obsession with creating the world’s finest gin. In this pursuit, he sourced botanicals from all around the world and created over 300 recipes. Charles Tanqueray once captured the sun-soaked taste of Seville orange groves in a recipe during the nineteenth century. His archival recipe inspired the creation of this new liquid. Tanqueray Sevilla Orange is an ideal complement for bright, fresh cocktails like Negronis, Sevilla Orange Spritz, Sevilla Orange & Tonic and more.

“We are thrilled to introduce Tanqueray Sevilla Orange into the U.S. market just in time for summer. This vibrant flavor innovation is perfectly crafted for bartenders and consumers to enjoy at sundown and anytime in between,” said Christina Choi, Senior Vice President of Gin at DIAGEO North America.  “We encourage them to enjoy and serve Sevilla Orange responsibly as we remind spirits drinkers that gin is officially in.”

To celebrate the launch and bring Tanqueray Sevilla Orange to life, the brand has unveiled a mural in Miami’s Wynwood art district located at the corner of NW 5th Ave + NW 27th (2701 NW 5th Ave), encouraging consumers to take snapshots of the artwork and try Florida’s new orange. If you’re planning to check out Wynwood’s latest exhibit, Tanqueray invites you to stop by the local restaurants currently serving Tanqueray Sevilla Orange in the Wynwood neighborhood: Beaker & Gray and ThreeTanqueray Sevilla Orange can also be enjoyed in Orlando at local bars Celine and Mathers.

Mural artist and Miami local Nicole Salgar said, “Working with Tanqueray Sevilla Orange was an exciting experience. Their team did a great job of capturing the Miami feel with this mural, and it was a very fun challenge for me to execute. The Wynwood Arts District is a perfect setting for this mural, as it is a Miami landmark of public art and culture!”

First introduced in Europe on September 2018Tanqueray Sevilla Orange is now available in one Liter bottles at select accounts in Orlando and Miami. 750ml bottles will also be available this October 2019.

To learn more about Tanqueray Sevilla Orange, please visit www.tanqueray.com and follow @TanquerayUSA on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter as well as the hashtag #GINISIN.

Arts & Entertainment

Exclusive Q & A with Stephanie Hernandez

August 25, 2019

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Stephanie Hernandez is part of a new supernatural horror film based on a group of science students who have discovered how to explain the paranormal and prove the existence scientifically. We asked Stephanie questions surrounding her latest role in Investigation 13. Here’s what she had to say.

What made you pursue acting?

One day, my modeling agency urged me to go to a casting for a TV pilot. I arrived at the casting without knowing anything about the acting industry or the process and man did I fail in that experience. I remember being so nervous that my voice was unsteady, hands were shaking, and I don’t believe that I looked up once from my script throughout the audition. I walked away from that experience knowing that I wanted to take on the challenge and hone the craft of acting. I’ve been in love with the art ever since.

What can you tell us about your latest involvement with this movie?

Just when we thought that we would never enter the asylum again, we were called in for reshoots about a year or two after our original shoot. I put my goth pants back on, suited up, and back in we all went to finish the film we dedicated our sweat, fake blood, and real tears into. It was really good to be back with the cast and crew.

You play the character Melanie Gates…do you see yourself in her at all?

Melanie Gates, what a character to embody. Bringing her to life was about curiously tapping into her characteristics that already existed deep within my own self. We all have the potential to be whomever we wish to be, it’s just about bringing it to the surface.

I remember the moment that I viewed the casting notice sent from my agency which read, “Melanie Gates: Caucasian; Gothic; Short dyed hair (preferably purple); Fair-skinned.” I laughed to myself and thought, “I’m Hispanic, long-haired brunette, tan skin, far from gothic. There’s no way I’ll get this role.” The casting alone was over an hour and a half away from where I lived at the time and I didn’t want to waste my own time either. Somehow, I woke up the very next day and thought, “Well, let’s go out there and change their minds on this character.” I dressed the part to help my case as much as possible opting for fishnet black tights, shorts, black combat boots, a black top, threw a hoop nose ring on, threw my hair into high two buns, heavy eyeliner, dark nail polish, prepared lines, and I was out the door. During the drive down, I knew that I had to own it and that’s exactly what I did. I remained authentic in my performance and allowed my inner goth chick to reign. I was later called in for a callback audition and a week later during a camping trip, I received an email that I booked the role.

What advice would you give your younger self to prepare you for the acting world?

Hands down, I would tell myself to look at acting as a business and a brand. Yes, one could whole-heartedly love the craft, but it will remain a hobby if it isn’t treated as a profitable business.

What do you love about this character?

I was initially intrigued by the challenge of such a contrasting personality, style, and lifestyle altogether. I was curious and excited to dive into a character so vastly different than the person that I was at the time.

We’ve only seen a few clips but since this was filmed in South Florida what was your favorite location?

My favorite location was where we shot the ADR footage after we wrapped on location. It was the home of a team member, Chris, and it was completely spirit-free. (laughing) Otherwise, we were filming in a real, abandoned insane asylum. It was the least favorite place that I have ever endured to this day. It was brutally hot, filled with intensely low energies, and a lot of strange occurrences happened during and after filming. We were all relieved the moment we knew we never had to enter that place again.

Anything you want the viewers to take away from this movie?

That spirits are real.

Favorite food spot in Miami?

Versailles.

Investigation 13 is available September 10th on iTunes and Amazon.

Arts & Entertainmentfeatured

All Aboard THE POLAR EXPRESS!

August 22, 2019

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Brightline, soon to be Virgin Trains, and Rail Events Productions is announcing that tickets to THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride are now on sale. Based on popular demand, Brightline has opened a second departure location to the North Pole from South Florida with train offerings from Virgin MiamiCentral in Downtown Miami on select weekdays beginning Nov. 19. Departures from the Fort Lauderdale Brightline Station will return weekends and select holiday dates beginning Nov. 16. Tickets are on sale now and available at www.miamithepolarexpressride.com and www.ftlthepolarexpresride.com. Guests are encouraged to book early as popular dates and times will sell out!

In partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, the magical story comes to life when the train departs South Florida for a round-trip journey led by a cast of professional actors.

Photo by Guy Rhodes
Photo by Guy Rhodes

Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, passengers will relive the magic of the classic story as they are whisked away on THE POLAR EXPRESS™ for a magical one-hour trip to meet Santa. Once onboard, car hosts will work their way through the coach and punch golden tickets before hot chocolate and a delicious cookie are served by dancing chefs. Passengers then read along with the classic children’s book, The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg. Santa and his helpers board the train to greet passengers and each guest is given the first gift of Christmas. During the trip, characters on each car lead fantastic onboard entertainment – just like in the film! Each guest will take home a keepsake sleigh bell and souvenir golden ticket in addition to the wonderful memories made on this magical trip. Families are encouraged to wear their pajamas for the ride!

The journey begins Nov. 16 and runs through Dec. 29, on select dates from Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Exact dates, fares, and times are available by visiting www.miamithepolarexpressride.com and www.ftlthepolarexpressride.com. Ticket prices range from $50 to $75, depending on the date, time, and location.

Arts & Entertainment

Exclusive Q & A with Aries Spears

July 5, 2019

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Aries Spears will be at the Miami Improv Comedy Theater through Sunday. Spears, a regular on Fox’s Mad TV, is known for his impersonations that include Jay-Z, DMX, Denzel Washington, James Brown, Al Pacino, and his childhood idol Eddie Murphy. We asked Spears how he got started, about his favorite character, and what his next project will be. Here’s what he had to say:

How did you get started, what prompted you to say “Hey, I am going to pursue a career in comedy?” 

I got started in New York and New Jersey working a lot of the Chitlin Circuit (black rooms) peppermint lounge in East Orange, New Jersey, Trivecka in Long Island and terminal D in Newark. Eddie Murphy was my biggest influence.

Do you change your topics based on the city you will be showcasing at? 

It’s like sports, I always take what the defense gives me.

You get to make several crowds in different cities laugh, which one would you say you most enjoyed performing for? 

I love anywhere in Southern Florida. The women dress like they don’t like their fathers. Jacksonville is the city I don’t visit too often. It’s the mistress city of the State of Florida.

Have you been to Miami before? 

Yes, I’ve been to ME-MOMMY Florida. I call it that cause of my deep love for Spanish women.

What are you most looking forward to when being in Miami, Florida? 

Check my last answer.

Which of your many characters would you say is your favorite? 

I have a great character called Me-mommy, a Spanish woman character. I also have a great Nigerian accent to play for a character.

Are there any new projects you’re working on? 

Yes, I have my podcast Spears & Steinberg aka the Jew and the jerk available on iTunes, Spotify and Google Play.

Any inspiring words to those who want to pursue a career in comedy? What advice can you give to those who have tried their first amateur night and maybe didn’t get that many laughs out of the audience? 

Drink plenty of vodka.

Aries Spears has five shows through Sunday. Purchase tickets at miamiimprov.com.

 

Arts & EntertainmentMusic

Pandora LIVE El Pulso Heats Up Miami with an Exclusive Free Event Featuring Natti Natasha and Dalex

May 28, 2019

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Miami’s Ice Palace will heat up on June 19th when Pandora, the leader of Latin music streaming, presents Pandora LIVE El Pulso.  Headlining the show will be Natti Natasha, the reigning queen of Latin/Reggaeton music and recent Billboard Latin Music Award winner for Hot Latin Songs Artist of the Year – Female, with Latin Urban artist Dalex slated to open the show. El Pulso, Pandora’s destination station for Latin music, features the most exciting and impactful contemporary artists who are breaking through genre barriers.  Any Pandora listener (21+) can RSVP now HERE for free admission.

Natti, known as the “Queen of Views” for being the most-watched woman globally in any genre on YouTube for 2 consecutive years (surpassing Ariana, Cardi, Taylor, and Beyoncé), released her highly anticipated debut album, ilumiNATTI this February.  It debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart and scored the largest week for a Latin album by a solo woman in more than a year and a half. Her collaborations with some of today’s biggest Latin artists, including Daddy Yankee, Bad Bunny, Ozuna, Thalia, and Becky G, have earned her over 160 million lifetime streams and 690 thousand listeners on Pandora.

Moving up on the Pandora Predictions chart is Dalex who will be opening the show.  His singles rooted in the fusion of the Latin Urban, Reggaeton, Trap and R&B genres include his “Pa Mi” Remix ft. Sech, Rafa Pabón, Cazzu, Feid, Khea & Lenny Tavarez, which has helped the rising young star become a global success with over 4.9 million Pandora streams.

“Having Natti, one of Latin’s biggest stars, headline El Pulso guarantees we’ll have another unforgettable night connecting artists directly to their fans,” says Jeff Zuchowski, Vice President of Label Relations at Pandora. “We’ve also been watching Dalex earn millions of streams on Pandora and are excited to help introduce him to new followers in Miami.”

Teaming up with America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, Clamato®, McDonald’s®, and Nissan®, Pandora will create an interactive mixture of activations throughout the celebration.

Image via pandoraliveelpulso

Arts & Entertainmentfeatured

Pepsi Launches Six Story Pink Flamingo Floatie onto Biscayne Bay as Part of Their Summer Campaign

May 21, 2019

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Pepsi launched their new summer campaign today by launching giant, six-story Pepsi #Summergram inflatables in cities from coast-to-coast – Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles and Miami along with celebrations for fans.

Pepsi hosted a pop-up celebration on the sand, complete with Pepsi beverages, games, live music and fun installations. In attendance were Miami HEAT player, Justise Winslow, DJ Irie, and Billy the Marlin. the official mascot for the Miami Marlins.

Pepsi #Summergram collection is now available across Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Pepsi Zero Sugar 20 oz., 16 oz. and 16.9 oz. bottles for 12 weeks at national retailers across the country. With hundreds of unique statement and icon pairings, the collection highlights universal summer moments like BBQing, hiking, swimming and more, as well as regional-specific sayings unique to various parts of the country, and labels featuring iconic summer statements in Spanish and English. To share your Pepsi #Summergram moments, simply:

  1. Scan the QR code on any Pepsi #Summergram bottle using your camera phone to automatically open Instagram Stories and unlock a unique AR filter and statement
  2. Apply the Pepsi #Summergram AR filter directly to your video
  3. Share directly with friends on social media or add to your Instagram Story

Throughout the campaign duration, Pepsi will celebrate by releasing twenty-five 15-second television commercials that showcase the AR effects and iconic summer moments. Join the #Pepsi #Summergram conversation across social on Twitter (@Pepsi) and Facebook, and visit YouTube.com/Pepsi.

Beautyfeatured

Last Minute Beauty Must Haves for Mother’s Day

May 9, 2019

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Finding the right gift for mom can be a daunting task. We’ve rounded up options to help you add on to your primary gift or restock her with new shiny items. Here are some last minute gift ideas.

Clarin’s SOS primer – $39

Image Credit // Clarins
Image Credit // Clarins

Clarin’s SOS primer addresses six different skin concerns including lack of radiance, fatigue, imperfections, dark spots, sallowness, and redness. The primer serves as a makeup base over moisturizer, alone or with your foundation. Mom will also fall in the love with Clarin’s bestseller Double Serum ($124) for all skin types. The serum comes equipped with 21 plant extracts and helps the skin with hydration, nutrition, oxygenation, regeneration, and protection.

Lune + Aster Fabulous in Five! Makeup Set – $98

Image Credit // Blue Mercury
Image Credit // Blue Mercury

Help mom get ready in a flash with the Lune + Aster Fabulous in five! Makeup set. The set includes RealGlow Primer, Dawn to Dusk Gel Eyeliner in Black + Sharpener, Formidable Lengthening Mascara, RealGlow Under Eye Brightener Deluxe Sample in Original, Daybreak Bronzer, Illuminator & Setting Powder Palette, Bronzer + Blush Brush, Dawn To Dusk Brow Pencil, PowerLips QuickStick in Double Booked and Vitamin C+E Gloss deluxe sample in Vlogger. It’s also vegan and gluten-free. Items come in a navy blue double pocket nylon makeup case.

Road Trip with Bite Miami – $26

Image // Bite Beauty
Image // Bite Beauty

The new launch by Bite Beauty features creamy lipstick featuring eight different shades inspired by the company’s favorite cities. Cities include Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Toronto, Los Angeles, Dallas, San Francisco, and of course Miami!

FACE atelier Travel Brush Set – $89

Image // FACE atelier
Image // FACE atelier

For the mom-on-the-go FACE atelier’s travel brush set includes contour, powder, small shadow, large shadow and a retractable lip brush that doubles as a spot concealer. The shadow brush is great for concealer application and emollient products, while the large shadow brush can be utilized for pigments.

Revlon’s PhotoReady Candid™Natural Finish Anti-Pollution Foundation – $10.99

Image // Revlon
Image // Revlon

Foundations are always welcomed! Revlon’s PhotoReady CandidNatural Finish Anti-Pollution Foundation comes in 31 shades with anti-pollution, antioxidant, and anti-blue-light ingredients to protect the skin.

Prada Candy Night – $125, 80 ml

Image // Macy's
Image // Macy’s

With the essence of tropical heat, Prada Candy Night inhibits notes of Neroli, Iris, Bitter Orange, Tonka bean, Vanilla, Chocolate, and Patchouli. Parfum comes in a gradient midnight blue with a brilliant pink base. Sizes includes 80 ml ($124), 50 ml ($94), and 30 ml ($74).

Tea Tree Trio – $29

Image // Biossance
Image // Biossance

Biossance creates clean and non-toxic products with sustainable eco-friendly formulas and packaging. The Tea Tree Trio includes Balancing Oil to clear, calm, and hydrate, a Detox Mask to purify and soften, and Cleansing Gel to cleanse and reduce excess oil.

Arts & Entertainmentfeatured

Exclusive Q & A with Chef Mia Castro

April 5, 2019

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Mia Castro grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico and was raised partly by her grandparents who gave her a deep appreciation for fresh and wholesome food. Growing up she helped her grandmother cook delicious meals every day with ingredients they harvested themselves. Today, the rising culinary star has graced local staples such as The Bazaar at SLS Hotel and The James at the Royal Palm. We caught up with Mia to ask her about her experience on Hell’s Kitchen.

What made you enter Hell’s Kitchen?

When I first learned about the opportunity, I thought it was something I had never done before and could only be something that would help propel me in my career. I decided I had absolutely nothing to lose so I went into it head first. I’m very glad I did.

What insight do you feel you gained from the show that you didn’t previously have?

Most insight I gained was about myself. I’m a lot more talented than I would give myself credit for. Having the freedom to have unlimited creativity inspired me to cook from my heart and to put more than 10 years of experience and education in the field into my food. I surprised my rivals, the judges, and most importantly myself. Due to being underestimated throughout most of my career, I think I had started to do it to myself. Being on the show and a top contender from the first episode gave me a lot of confidence in myself. Because of that, I will forever be grateful for the opportunity.

What’s next?

I will be heading to Puerto Rico in the next week, where I’ll participating as a guest chef from April 4-7 at Saborea food & wine festival and culinary extravaganza.  I’m also working on developing some content for a cookbook & cooking show. I’ll be making announcements through my IG: @chefmiacastro.

When in Miami, what’s your go to dine spot? The place you can’t live without.

It’s hard to stick to just one. Immediately I can think of Macchialina, by Chef Michael Pirolo. I love their simple, but perfectly executed take on fresh, handmade pasta. The mushroom tagliolini is my favorite and a MUST HAVE every single time. Also (and I have to admit I’m a bit biased), Chef Jose Mendin’s, La Placita, has become one of my spots. It captures the soul and flavor of Puerto Rican cuisine and one of the best spots to hang out in San Juan: La Plaza de Santurce. The “Cuchifritos” section of the menu is my favorite, especially since it’s hard to find this type of “street food” outside of Puerto Rico.

Any favorite breakfast stops?

I love the playful food they serve up for brunch at Beaker & Gray. Their “Chilaquiles” and their “Waffle Panini” are perfectly called for after a long night out of good, innocent fun!

For a fun night out with friends, you would visit?

I love the casual atmosphere of Wynwood. El Patio is my favorite. I LOVE dancing (to Latin music), so it’s a great place to get it out of my system.

When not out on the town, what’s your stay-at-home cheat dish?

Spaghetti cacio e pepe. I always have dry spaghetti, fresh black pepper, and parmigiano or pecorino cheese on hand. It’s filling, decadent, and SO easy to make.

Any words of wisdom for aspiring chefs?

The industry isn’t as glamorous as it seems. It requires a lot of self-sacrifice, physical & mental exertion, and time in less than desirable, low-paying positions. But if you’re NOT afraid of hard work, the payoff is extremely rewarding: discipline, travel, endless learning & creativity, mentoring from some of the best in the industry…only to name a few. My advice: in the beginning, put your head down, and watch, listen, ask questions, take notes…learn as much as you can, be a sponge. Be open to constructive criticism (learn, learn, learn) and don’t pay attention to negative comments.  Define a goal and focus on it, take side-steps if you need to (don’t go back), but keep going because if you’re willing to put in the work and not give up, you will achieve whatever you set your mind to.

featured

The Hot Rod Legends Tour is Here This Weekend

March 16, 2019

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Hot Rod Legends Tour is kicking off in Pembroke Pines this Saturday, March 16, from 8 a.m. to noon at the Walmart in Pembroke Pines at 151 S.W. 184th Avenue. The event is open to the public. You will be able to see some of the area’s coolest and wildest custom cars. The cars will be competing to become an actual Hot Wheels model.

The winner from each stop on the nationwide traveling car show will win a trip to the world-renowned 2019 SEMA Show to compete side-by-side to have his or her car inducted to the Garage of Legends. Their car will then be turned into a real Hot Wheels die-cast toy car that will be sold in 2020.

The event is sponsored by Dickies, the world’s leading performance workwear brand, which is bringing a celebrity guest judge: Discovery Channel’s Fast N’ Loud superstar Richard Rawlings. Rawlings and the “monkeys” from his legendary auto shop, Gas Monkey Garage, will be present and decked out in Dickies gear. Dickies will be giving away free Hot Wheels Patches, which can be applied onsite to Dickies Work Shirts. You can stop by the DJ Booth where Dickies will provide you with the specialty patch.

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