Bernardo Fort-Brescia: Architect, Tangerine Farmer, Tavern Tastemaker

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If there is one person who has their finger on the pulse of this city, this magic, ever-changing city, it is an architect. Better yet, a founding principal of Arquitectonica, the international architecture and urban planning firm founded in 1977 in one of the least developed, original villages in this parts – Coconut Grove.  It has grown to over 500 employees in 11 offices worldwide since then, and Bernardo Fort-Brescia’s awards and accolades have kept rolling in.  Still, he will be the first one to tell you that it is with each new project he faces that his career is rebuilt, just as each new project changes the face of that city.

As our final Tavern Tastemaker, it was fitting that Bernardo was full of surprises. It wasn’t until after their lunch of various fruits de mer that we learned Bernardo knows a thing or two about fruits himself. He is a tangerine farmer in South America and as we discussed the ways that the United States prefers perfectly shaped fruit while Europe prefers blemished, we sipped on the “Sunshine State.” Named for its main squeeze, the sumo tangerine, and rosemary cordial, with sake and Plymouth Gin.   “I like this cocktail because you feel the fruit, but also the pure,” Bernardo added.

We hope you have enjoyed these brunches and lunches with Ocean Drive Magazine Editor in Chief Jared Shapiro, and each of our Tavern Tastemakers. Just as Bernardo’s projects shape his career and a cityscape, we like to think our cocktail hours are an opportunity for people to come together with friends and family for a taste of the tavern and maybe the start of something special. One thing is certain, there is a place at our table for artists, producers, chefs, models, architects, television stars, and you.

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Model Behavior with Some Lobster and a Cherry on Top

Kasey Ashcraft is living the dream. The one on the postcard of Miami Beach. Or maybe she’s on the post card of Miami Beach.  She is nothing short of picture perfect and has had her picture taken on a whole lot of beaches, but still calls ours home. This sun kissed Wilhelmina model turned Miami local is a Tavern Tastemaker and sat down with her friend, Ocean Drive Magazine Editor in Chief Jared Shapiro, and a tasty table of Cypress Tavern brunch dishes to talk about why we all want to live in Miami and how exactly she made that dream come true.  There was lobster, of course, because Kasey is from Maryland and “seafood is a big deal.” We know a thing or two about that!  Watch here.

They toasted with a scotch and prosecco cocktail that Cypress Tavern lead bartender David Ferree created. The “Take Me Out” is Chivas Regal 12 Year with sparkling wine and house brandied cherries. An unlikely combo even for Kasey, she said, “I didn’t think I was going to like it because I don’t like cherries or either of those things. But I love it. I never stay and finish drinks, but I’m finishing it.” Come taste for yourself tonight at our Cypress Tavern cocktail hour from 6-8pm with Amanda Fraga, the Genuine Hospitality Group Beverage Manager and Sommelier as we toast Kasey Ashcraft at the end of another day in the sun.

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Emilio Estefan, Cypress Tavern Brunch, and the American Dream

Emilio Estefan will be the first to tell you he is living the American dream, and loving it. He made a name for himself with Miami Sound Machine as a musician, and he has since become a producer shaping the sound of a vast amount of the Latin American music here in America. He came to this country as a teenager from Cuba and has a unique passion to define what the new Latino is in this changing country of ours, and he has proved that he has what it takes to do so. With 19 Grammy’s, TV, Film, a best-selling author credit and his latest venture, the Broadway musical On Your Feet!, all under his belt Emilio has earned his place at our table as a Tavern Tastemaker.

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Toast Emilio tonight, with his cocktail at a special price of $10.

In today’s Tavern Tastemakers episodeOcean Drive Magazine Editor in Chief Jared Shapiro learns just why Emilio loves Miami so much, hint: it’s not just the sports teams. And we learn why it is that Miami loves the Estefans so much, and it’s not just his sense of humor, though it was all smiles as they sat down to brunch at Cypress Tavern. “Remember,” he says, “the more you drink the better you sound.”

Emilio is as much an ambassador of music as he is of Latin America. He is a renaissance man of the entertainment world, and with each piece of work that he puts his stamp upon he is trying to distinguish each unique culture from one another and blend them together at the same time. It is no easy task but as he puts it, “I can say, very respectfully, that I understand both the Latino and Anglo cultures. I know how they feel and what moves them and it is working in that gap that has enabled me to create my body of work.” No where is that job more important than in Miami. But like all things, Miami needs love too, and Emilio has that to provide as well. He speaks kindly of Michael Schwartz and the restaurants saying that “people who love Miami always support people doing things in Miami.” On the brunch food he adds, “the taste is amazing.” He should know, a tried and true Miami restaurant owner himself. Speaking of Miami now he says, “I’m so proud.” And we are too.

Cypress Tavern’s Tastemaker Cocktail Hour Begins Tuesday March 1

IMG_1129 (2)To celebrate tomorrow’s launch of Tavern Tastemakers with Michael’s episode, Setting the Schwartz Table at oceandrive.com/taverntastemakersCypress Tavern begins a Tastemaker Cocktail Hour where for the first two hours of service weekdays ~ 6-8PM Tuesday-Friday ~ cocktails featured in our new video interview series are available for $10.  On Tuesdays when new episodes debut, we’ll have a host join us from Miami’s food and beverage community, a tastemaker in their own right.  For tomorrow’s first TCH, Pernod Ricard’s Nelson Giacometti toasts the Tavern with Michael’s Irish Whiskey Sour featuring Yellow Spot Whiskey, lemon, Trockenbeerenauslese and egg white.

Live at cypresstavern.com/tastemakers tomorrow.

Live at cypresstavern.com/tastemakers tomorrow.

Of what you could categorize as a sommelier’s twist on this classic cocktail, The Genuine Hospitality Group beverage mentor Eric Larkee says, “It works because we add a balanced sweetness not just sugary sweetness from a simple syrup.  We use a sweet wine, with notes of caramely richness and spice that add another layer of complexity to the cocktail.”  Trockenbeerenauslese refers to the sweetness level, which is probably most familiar to us as a Riesling index, but this wine is a blend of Welschreisling and Chardonnay grapes from a producer Larkee frequents, Kracher.  So like making muffins with apple juice or beet instead of granulated sugar, this cocktail has just something a little extra special to take it to Tastemaker status.  It is for Chef, after all! Cheers.

Cheers to a First Season | Introducing Tavern Tastemakers with Ocean Drive

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The Schwartz table, set last night for the Tavern Tastemakers launch party.

The tavern has long played that important role in a community, a welcoming place known to stir a good chat and bring people together over a meal.   One of the things we’re most proud of here in Miami is the electricity of our lifestyle. That can’t stop, won’t stop attitude is contagious, inspiring new ideas and creating opportunities for change.  This is where culture lives.  In The Genuine Hospitality Group‘s home base of the Design District, this unstoppable collaborative spirit surrounds us, and a passion for craft, not just in Michael’s kitchens or behind the bar, is alive and percolating in our dining rooms.  It’s time to participate through a new lens and explore the vibrant narrative of our city through conversations with good company — our guests.

In an innovative new media partnership with Ocean Drive Magazine, we are excited to announce Tavern Tastemakers, an online video series featuring one-on-one interviews with the people at the forefront of Miami’s popular culture.  Hosted by Editor in Chief Jared Shapiro at Cypress Tavern, webisodes roll out on Tuesdays beginning March 1 at oceandrive.com/taverntastemakers.

Ocean Drive is thrilled to partner with Michael Schwartz to intertwine his vision for groundbreaking culinary experiences with the tastemakers of Miami to continue to innovate Miami’s foothold as a global city for art, fashion, design and media.” says Shapiro.

In the premiere episode, Setting the Schwartz Table, the Chef talks staying power in the competitive restaurant business, how Miami’s food scene has evolved and what’s new in the Design District.  Forthcoming episodes feature Andrea Minski, Telemundo host, mother, and creator of the digital platform Mujer Balance, Bernardo Fort-Brescia, a founding principal of Arquitectonica, Style maven and Wilhelmina model Kasey Ashcraft, music mogul Emilio Estefan and world-renowned visual artist and Miami Beach native Michele Oka Doner.

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Andrea Minski and Jared having a good laugh over Yellowfin Tuna Nicoise and Skuna Bay Salmon.

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Series sponsor Cadillac at last night’s reception at Cypress Tavern’s 195 underpass lot.

“Pulling the series together has been a great experience, especially collaborating with Jared and the team at Ocean Drive on shoots. It’s always a fun surprise seeing what made the final product – and knowing what hit the cutting room floor,” says Schwartz.

The 3-month series runs from March 1 until May 31 and is underwritten by Cadillac, the official vehicle of The Genuine Hospitality Group, and Pernod Ricard. Ocean Drive and Chef hosted a private dinner party at Cypress Tavern last night to celebrate the series kickoff with its collaborators.  As part of the program, each Tastemaker will have a special cocktail crafted in their honor and rolled out as a special in the restaurant to mark the airing of new episodes. For content including behind the scenes footage, what Tastemakers enjoyed at the table, and special events and offers related to the series, please visit oceandrive.com/taverntastemakers and follow #taverntastemakers on social media.

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