A big part of what it means to live in Miami is that home and homeland aren’t one and the same. We are a city of transplants acutely aware of the power of food culture to create a sense of belonging and serve as a conduit for understanding each other’s differences — a source of hope and connection. It is in this spirit at Amara at Paraiso where we celebrate the many flavors of Latin America that we enthusiastically join Andrew Zimmern’s Coalition of Culinary Thought Leaders and inaugural World Refugee Day restaurant fundraiser on Thursday, June 20… with Venezuela Arepas!
Andrew visited Amara last summer for an episode of the Zimmern List and enjoyed Chef’s fresh approach to many of the iconic Latin American dishes that have found their way to Miami thanks to refugees and immigrants alike. As the crisis in Venezuela hits particularly close to home, we felt it was high time to celebrate one of its delicious specialties on the menu. 100% of the proceeds of Amara’s arepa specials on June 20th during lunch AND dinner will go to International Rescue Committee’s efforts to respond to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster.
Unlike its neighbor Colombia, which incorporates mozzarella-style cheese directly into the masa or white cornmeal-based dough, Venezuela is known for splitting and stuffing its arepas with anything from simple ‘queso de mano’ or cheese of the hand, a fresh creamy-tasting mozzarella-like cheese, to the decadent avocado-chicken mixture called Reina Pepiada. Chef Paley will offer three varieties each for $10 and available as a sampler for $28 including, Guayanés Cheese with fried plantain and avocado, Grilled Queso Blanco with chorizo, jalapeño and salsa criolla, and Pulled Chicken with grilled scallion and avocado dressing.
On World Refugee Day, we will learn the official count of displaced people around the world from the United Nations. Says Andrew, “Sharing food is an incredibly unifying and intimate experience– it brings people together, inspires conversation and celebrates the diversity of all cultures– that makes the spaces we break bread in perfect for drawing attention to issues that often go unacknowledged. Refugees and immigrants have made the biggest impact on America through food. This day is about more than one heartbreaking statistic. It’s about the human stories and potential behind those numbers and spotlighting the contributions refugees can make when we embrace and welcome them into our communities.”