Catering The 8th Annual Vizcaya Preservation Luncheon (2016) / by Eric Monteiro

Thierry Isambert Culinary and Event Design produced and catered the 8th annual Vizcaya Preservation Luncheon on Tuesday, March 1st, 2016. 

Mingling in the shade of majestic live oaks, three hundred of Miami's most stylish denizens enjoyed a pre-lunch cocktail reception. Prosecco was in abundance, provided by sponsor, Dall’Armellina Vineyard. Throughout the cocktail and luncheon, models showcased stylish fashions from sponsor, Neiman Marcus, and a silent auction was held following the three-course seated luncheon on the east terrace, overlooking tranquil Biscayne Bay.

This event is sometimes called “The Hat Luncheon” because guests are encouraged to wear elegant headware; in fact, this year, the hats were particularly creative, and prizes were awarded for Best Hat, Most Elegant Ensemble and Most Avant Garde Look in the first ever hat contest held at this event.

Photos: Time Again Photography - and World Redeye

A Brief History Of Vizcaya

The extraordinary beauty of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens makes it one of South Florida’s premier venues for weddings and other upscale events. Catering Vizcaya is always a pleasure and we are fortunate to produce and cater so many spectacular events at this stunning venue!  

Built by businessman and retired millionaire, James Deering, between 1914 and 1922, the estate served as his winter residence from 1916 until his death in 1925. A graduate of Northwestern and MIT, James Deering was a renowned businessman who kept homes in New York City, Chicago and Paris; he was even the recipient of the prestigious French Legion of Honor in 1906 for his contribution to agriculture technology.

James Deering (1859-1925)  - Photo from

His nieces inherited the property, but due to rising maintenance costs, partly caused by hurricane damage, they sold surrounding land and the outer gardens. Today, the remaining 50 acres of gardens and native forest belongs to Miami Dade County, and in 1994, it was designated a National Historic Landmark. Various fundraising events, such as the luncheon, raise funds to preserve this unique property.

Postcard, ca. 1935 -

Interesting Facts

  1. It would have been easier and cheaper to build the villa on the elevated ridge inland, but Deering, a conservationist, wanted to preserve the native forest. As a result, the villa is visible from the water and has become an integral part of the Biscayne Bay landscape.
  2. Deering dredged a channel to allow supplies, passengers, furnishings and art to be delivered by boat. He also built a railroad connecting Vizcaya with the Florida East Coast Railway, to transport building supplies.
  3. The coral stone, seen in the building's details, was sourced from quarries opened locally by Deering.
  4. Vizcaya was inspired by 18th century Italian villas from the Veneto region of Northern Italy; however it was very modern house, built of reinforced concrete, and included a generator, a water filtration system, heating, ventilation, elevators and a central vacuum system.
  5. The estate houses one of the most important collections of Italian furniture in the USA. Each room was built around architectural elements and furniture imported from Italy. It is a whimsical yet much admired work by artist and interior decorator, Paul Chalfin, who was adept at combining his own design with historic artifacts for an eclectic result.

8th Annual Vizcaya Preservation Luncheon Sponsors: DiMare Fresh; Azamari Club Crusies; AAA Travel; YVEL; Neiman Marcus; The USA Bouquet; Dall'Armelina Vineyards and Deering Wine.