If You Can’t Take the Heat…
For the past dozen years, the Coral Gables Community Foundation has held an annual Tour of Kitchens to raise money for student scholarships. Charitable homeowners volunteer their homes for these tours, open to the ticket-purchasing public.
This year was a little different. Due to Covid-19 concerns, “Outdoor Living” was the theme, focusing on al fresco living, luxury pools, outdoor furniture, and outdoor cooking. Each home offered bites from local chefs, and all participants – more than 600 this year, a record – could start the tour with pastries, coffee, and mimosas in the courtyard of Shops at Merrick Park, and end the day with a beer at Bay 13 Brewery.
Eleven homes participated. They ranged from the landmark residence of Weston Lyons and Dr. Raul Vasquez-Castellanos (Villa Palmarito) built in the Italian Village in 1927, to the Deco home of John and Patricia Wish on North Greenway Drive, featuring a mosaic pool created by Mosaicist, Inc. founder Ray Coral. Another Mosaicist designed pool was featured at the home of foundation board member Matthew Meehan, where guests were treated to a live trumpet performance of “New York, New York,” courtesy of Gramercy restaurant.
“We are thrilled with the positive feedback from the Tour of Kitchens outdoor edition. After such a challenging year, the enthusiasm and community support has been overwhelming,” said Mary Snow, President, and CEO of the Coral Gables Community Foundation. And, as a foundation board member and event chair Venny Torre noted, “events such as the Tour of Kitchens make it possible for our community’s best and brightest students to reach their goals.”
For lead sponsor and Mosaicist CEO Ray Corral, this year marked the first time he could see other homes; usually, he stays at home, in the indoor kitchen he volunteers for the tour. “I had a chance to visit other homes, mingle with the other sponsors and have some fun,” said Corral. “It’s been a very hard and trying time for all of us. This was an opportunity to help the community – and to showcase some of my work.”