World renowned Japanese Chef, Makoto Okuwa, kicked off South Beach Food & Wine Festival in style with an exclusive, invite-only dinner at The Mansions at Acqualina. The guest list included Miami’s top brokers and was hosted by one of the owners of the Acqualina Brand, Jules Trump.
As guests of this private affair sipped champagne and sake under the sparkling twin Swarovski crystal chandeliers, Chef Makoto mingled amongst the crowd, rousing and tantalizing their palates with details of the ensuing dinner, stopping to take “selfies” with everyone who asked.
Cocktail hour came to a close as Chef Makoto carefully crafted his first course in a live demonstration, displaying his impressive knife and plating skills while remaining perfectly at ease in the Japanese-inspired setting, which infused the charm of a Japanese Garden with Japanese details including bamboo, Phalaenopsis orchids, and Galax leaves.
Chef Makoto plated a seven course menu which included Toro tartare, Kobe beef carpaccio dusted with gold leaf, sashimi salad, an intermezzo sorbet, and sushi presented in bamboo leaf boats. The gastronomical journey ended with a traditional Japanese dessert Mochi, a Japanese rice cake filled with ice cream, which left the audience speechless.
The exceptionally talented, yet incredibly humble Chef ended the evening by thanking Jules Trump while expressing his excitement for Acqualina’s latest real estate project, The Estates at Acqualina. He informed the crowd that he ventured to America from Japan five years ago and attested his success to a few instrumental people along with hard work and dedication to his craft. He then raised his glass of sake, toasting with Kanpai, meaning cheers in Japanese, and personally thanked everyone for attending one of Miami’s most sought after dining events.