How to Snag a Seat at Miami Formula 1’s Most Exclusive Dinner Party

Once Upon a Kitchen brings together acclaimed chefs like Massimo Bottura and top DJs for an epic party.

Massimo Bottura Once Upon a Kitchen
Courtesy of GR8 Experience
Courtesy of GR8 Experience

Fast cars, celebrity sightings, and ritzy parties are all hallmarks of Miami Formula 1 weekend. But one event that brings together three of the world’s best chefs, a master alchemist preparing beverages, and a famed DJ all under one roof is set to be the most exclusive event of the weekend.

That party is Once Upon a Kitchen, an over-the-top celebration of all things food and beverage, that will take place on Friday, May 5. The dinner party will feature lauded chef Massimo Bottura of the three-Michelin starred restaurant Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy and other talent behind some of the best restaurants in Miami.

It’s all hosted by Gr8 Experience, an agency that offers truly once-in-a-lifetime events, from private dinners at the Louvre in Paris to behind-the-scenes access to award shows, fashion week presentations, and more.

Woman taking a photo of a dish at Once Upon a Kitchen
Courtesy of GR8 Experience

To paint a picture of how this epic night will unfold, we’ll start at the beginning. The party will take place at The Deck at Island Gardens, an event space at a superyacht marina that offers panoramic views of both Downtown Miami and Biscayne Bay.

Dr. Alex Ott will kick off the night by creating a series of elixirs to greet guests during the cocktail hour portion of the evening. Ott is a trained molecular biologist and flavor scientist, and the cocktails he creates are designed to elicit a particular feeling from a calm, relaxed vibe to a drink that will make you feel like a social butterfly.

Three acclaimed chefs will come together for the main event: an epic six-course dinner held in a grand ballroom. Bottura will be joined by talented local chefs Juan Manuel Barrientos from the Michelin-starred restaurant El Cielo and Bernardo Paladini, the chef behind Dubai’s Torno Subito who will soon helm the restaurant’s new Miami outpost.

A few of the dishes come straight from Bottura’s hit list, including a pasta that evokes the crunchy edges of a family-style lasagna and a beef dish inspired by Damien Hirst’s iconic spinning splatter paintings.

Massimo Bottura at Once Upon a Kitchen
Courtesy of Gr8 Experience

“It's more of a show,” says Gr8 Experience CEO Barnabas Carrega. “Some of the dishes will be plated on stage and the chefs will be going table to table talking about how they came up with each dish. The idea behind Once Upon a Kitchen, at the end of the day, is to eliminate the barriers between guests and talent or celebrity, which doesn’t happen at most events.”

Another course, spearheaded by Barrientos, will bring together Colombian and Italian influences for a gnocchi-style dish made with yucca and topped with a sauce that combines Italian black truffle and pecorino.

At the end of the night DJ and producer Benny Benassi, known for hits like “Satisfaction” and “Beautiful People,” will keep the revelry going for an after-party that’ll run until 2 am.

“It’s going to be an exclusive, immersive experience in food, drink, and Miami nightlife which, to me, is some of the best nightlife in the world,” says Barrientos. “With so many Michelin-starred chefs and talented people coming together, it’s going to be great.”

The exclusive dinner event can accommodate up to 200 guests and tickets are going fast—so to get in on the action, secure your spot here.

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Liz Provencher is an editor at Thrillist. You can follow her on Twitter or see what she eats on Instagram.