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(MIAMI, FL) August 18, 2009 – Inarguably one of South Florida’s most popular annual food and wine charity events, the March of Dimes Signature Chefs & Wine Extravaganza will return for its twelfth year at a new home – Jungle Island in Miami – on Thursday, October 22, 2009. “This is going to be an amazing year for Signature Chefs, with lots of new surprises,” promises event chair Maurice Zarmati of Costa Cruise Lines. “The event has a wonderful history but this year, we’re definitely taking it to the next level.” In addition to a roster of stellar, local celebrity chefs, amazing food, incredible wines, and an array of fabulous auction items, the event will feature some new and exciting entertainment elements, still in development, and a who’s who of attendees, with all proceeds benefiting the March of Dimes.

Celebrity Honorary Chair Jackie Nespral of NBC 6 will emcee the event as Jorge Gonzalez, President of City National Bank, will be honored for his tireless support of the March of Dimes. The event commences at 6:30 p.m. with an exclusive VIP Reception, followed by the Extravaganza at 7:30 p.m. In addition to countless culinary delights, guests will enjoy wines and champagnes from the world's finest vineyards and distilleries, courtesy of Southern Wine and Spirits, as well as live and silent auctions. Featured auction items include marvelous dining packages, fine wines and champagnes, travel and hotel stays in exotic locations, fine art pieces, and other luxe specialty items. This year's event image, “Chef, Vin et Magic Au Cirque” was created by renowned artist Carlos A. Navarro.

Chefs, confirmed to date, joining Chair Chef Cindy Hutson of Ortanique on the Mile include:

Chef Tim Andriola of Timō Restaurant
Chef Hiro Asano of Abokado
Chef Dominique Beckers of We Take the Cake
Chef Brandon Benack of Emeril’s Miami Beach
Chef Andre Bienvenu of Joe's Stone Crab
Chef Dana Brizee of Smith & Wollensky
Chef Ricardo Cardona of Mamajuana Café
Chef Michael Castino of Coopers Resto Bar
Chef Reginald Collier of Doraku
Chef Mario Da Como of Badrutt’s Place
Chef Jean Paul Desmaison of La Cofradia
Chef Joao Euzebio of Grimpa Steakhouse
Chef Alexander Feher of Intercontinental Miami
Chef James Figueroa of Ideas Restaurant
Chef Michael Gilligan of Solea at The W Hotel South Beach
Chef Romeo Majano of Romeo's Café
Chef Edda Martinez of Edda's Cake Designs
Chef Gordon Maybury of Sushi Sobe at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel
Chef Jonathon McCaan of Atrio Bar & Grill at Conrad Miami
Chef Jorge Montes of Chef George Catering
Chef Philippe Pinon of Biscaya at the Ritz Carlton, Coconut Grove
Chef Andrea Curto-Randazzo & Chef Frank Randazzo of Talula Restaurant
Chef Gerdy Rodriguez of Mia Restaurant & Lounge
Chef Paolo Simonetti of Fogo de Chão Churrascaria
Chef David Sloane of Rosa Mexicano
Chef Nikol Solares of Just Heavenly Cupcakes
Chef Marc Vidal of Por Fin
Chef Joshua Wahler of 5300 Chop House, The Blue Hotel & Spa Resort
Chef Chris Wakeman of Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
Chef Kimesha Wing of Taylor Made Cookies.

To date, event sponsors of note include: Costa Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, City National Bank, BNY Mellon, Greenspoon Marder, DYL Group, Western Union, and Publix Super Markets. Media sponsors to date include WTVJ NBC6, WSCV Telemundo 51, WMXJ Majic 102.7, The Miami Herald, and Dining Out magazine.

Tickets for the event are $150 per person in advance, $175 per person at the door. Limited tickets for both the Extravaganza and an exclusive VIP Reception immediately preceding the event are available at $250 per person. Jungle Island is located at 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail on Watson Island. For more information, call 305.477.1192 or visit

The March of Dimes is a national voluntary health agency whose mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. Founded in 1938, the March of Dimes funds programs of research, community services, education, and advocacy to save babies.

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