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Festival Dates: Feb 20-23, 2014

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Dena Marino

MC Kitchen

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A tavola non si invecchia the famous Italian saying translating as "you don't age while seated for a meal” could describe the vibrant and fresh approach that Dena Marino is brings to Miami's bustling dining scene. A bella in her own right, Marino's relocation from Colorado to Florida in 2010 was sparked by enthusiasm to get closer to the source of many of her ingredients. With culinary sophistication at the forefront, Marino's approach to food is centered on thoughtful presentation where each ingredient is plated with purpose. Marino hails from Aspen where she gained reputation as the chef of the much respected D19, Ellina and Ajax Tavern. Touted as a "hot young chef” (2001), the media circus surrounding her food has made her the star act. With Aspen Magazine setting the media standards high, Marino has continuously delivered with accolades from Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, La Cucina Italiana,Wine Spectator and the New York Post. She has appeared on several episodes of the Food Network's acclaimed series "Follow That Food with Gordon Elliott”; Tom Colicchio's "Eat Drink or Die” series and in January of 2010 she challenged Masaharu Morimoto to "Battle Fig” on "Iron Chef America”. While some might consider Marino the valedictorian of her "culinary class,” she stays humbled, attributing the foundation of her schooling to her Nonna's classroom where she sat front row on the kitchen counter. "Growing up, we were a big, food-oriented family," said Marino. "Pasta, sausage, cheese and sauces were always homemade.” Marino's refined taste comes from her three years spent under the tutelage of acclaimed chef and restaurateur, Michael Chiarello. It was at his celebrated Tra Vigne, Napa Valley, that she polished her family-style, Italian-American roots. In November of 2012, Marino opened MC Kitchen in Miami's Design District. The cuisine speaks to her rustic Italian approach and showcases modern techniques through the use of seasonal organic ingredients. Miami has welcomed this bella with headlines associated the restaurant with "Miami's New Heat” and rave reviews like "Chef Marino nails it” and Lee Schrager's "seal of approval,” who named it one of 2012's best new spots.

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