South Florida's Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry
Join Us to End Childhood Hunger in America
Friday, April 27, 2018
Ice Palace Studios
VIP Plus: $250 | 6:00pm-10:00pm | Includes Chef Party Admission & Hour Early Access
VIP Admission: $200 | 7:00pm-10:00 | Includes Chef Party Admission
General Admission: $150 | 7:00pm-10:00pm
Chef Party Only Admission: $95 | 10:00pm-12:00am
Hashtags: #NoKidHungry #TOTNSFla
Twitter and Instagram: @TOTNSFla
Sugarcane raw bar grill, Executive Chef and Partner
Chef Timon Balloo was born to Chinese and Trinidadian parents. His scrapbook of memories leads with days on the farm, ethnic recipes, and a favorite pastime of watching the PBS show Yan Can Cook. Little did he know then that he would soon be on the fast track to a James Beard Foundation “Best New Restaurant” nomination. This and a host of other accolades continue to reflect his dedication to the seasonal, local ingredients that fuel his daily inspirations taken from the market’s freshest offerings.
In 1998, Balloo began his official journey toward a stellar culinary career. Through the international program of extended studies at Johnson & Wales, Balloo traveled to Belgium to work at Hotel Métropole under the French Master, Chef Dominique Michou. Balloo honed his classical culinary training skills by working his way up from entremetier comis (hot line) to patisserie comis. Of that time, Balloo recalls: “The vegetables and animals would often come straight from the farm. It wasn’t unusual for us to have to skin and pluck the next dish… now that was farm-to-table cooking!”
Balloo considers his first real professional lesson – on humility in the kitchen – to have been taught by “Professor” Allen Susser, one of Miami’s most influential chefs. “In Chef Susser’s kitchen, you were broken down and then built back up,” Balloo explains. “My time cooking at Chef Susser’s gave me a new respect for food.”
Balloo went on to become Junior Sous Chef at the five-star AZUL in Miami’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel under the leadership of Michelle Bernstein, Balloo’s greatest mentor. “Michelle taught me to cook from my heart and, as such, I started to craft my own approach to food, infusing it with what I like to call ‘Asian-Caribbean soul.’”
From La Broche in Miami to SUSHISAMBA in New York City, Balloo eventually earned Executive Chef status. Among his favorite dishes at SUGARCANE raw bar grill’s sister restaurant, SUSHISAMBA, was the Moqueca Mista: “It touches a depth of flavors, it is simply prepared – void of ‘fancy’ techniques – and it has personality when it enters the dining room. Food is about life and excitement, but it’s also very much about integrity.”
Through the use of simple ingredients to create great food, Balloo started to form his signature style: the juxtaposition of bold flavors made for sharing, prepared on small plates. He partnered with Amir Ben-Zion to launch Domo Japones in Miami’s Design District; the Japanese concept highlighted one-of-a-kind ingredients in a former post-office-turned-restaurant. Balloo’s menu was awarded three stars by The Miami Herald and voted “Best Japanese 2008” by Miami New Times.
An opportunity to reconnect with Samba Brands Management in 2009 brought Balloo back to the growing restaurant group as Executive Chef and Partner of SUGARCANE raw bar grill, which opened in 2010. Shortly after the restaurant’s debut, SUGARCANE raw bar grill took “Best New Restaurant” and Balloo was dubbed “Best Up-and-Coming Chef” by Miami New Times. He was also named “Chef of the Year” by Eater, and the accolades have never stopped.
“SUGARCANE raw bar grill has played a major role in Miami’s food scene since opening. We’re committed to pushing the culinary envelope every day,” he says. “However, our warm, casual vibe will never change – that’s a mainstay of the brand in which we all take a lot of pride.”
Who We Help
Florida Impact Since 1979, Florida Impact has been dedicated to reducing hunger and poverty in Florida. Our mission is to inspire and enlist the people of Florida to secure justice for and with those whose economic rights have not been realized. We also work to increase access to food programs by conducting aggressive outreach strategies and public policy advocacy.
Feeding South Florida Feeding South Florida is the sole Feeding America food bank serving Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties. Through direct-service programs and a network of nonprofit partner agencies, including soup kitchens, food pantries, homeless shelters, and group homes, Feeding South Florida rescues and distributes more than 40 million pounds of food per year, as well as leads hunger and poverty advocacy efforts and provides innovative programming and education.
FLIPANY Florida introduces Physical Activity and Nutrition to Youth (FLIPANY)'s mission to empower youth and their families through physical activity and nutrition education programs while raising awareness and creating policies for a healthier community.
Honorary Founding Chair
Chef Allen Susser