MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden has shifted its programming from what once was a two-day Mango Festival to a combination of virtual activities and safer, and socially distant, events at the garden.
It’s been happening all this month. It’s now called The Mango Days of Summer.
“This year to really ensure safety and still deliver the fun madness of the mango season, we’ve offered Mango Saturdays where people can come to the garden and experience mango smoothies and buy mangoes and see other local businesses,” said Nanette Zapata, Chief Operating Officer at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.
New this year are virtual cooking demonstrations featuring popular restaurants and acclaimed chefs who use mangoes in the recipes.
Celebrity Chef Michelle Bernstein and Chef Cesar Zapata, from Phuc Yea, both cooked up some great mango minded dishes last week online that are now on the website
“The whole idea is for it to be technically interactive, where you’re sitting there at home and you’re watching the chefs and you can go along and you can make what they’re making with mangoes,” Zapata said.
Michelle Bernstein was busy making her sautéed fish with brown butter and mango. CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo spoke with her from her kitchen just before her live segment.
“I’ve always been part of the Mango Festival so when they reached out asking if I would do a little demo for them because obviously everything is so virtual, I jumped in. I’m a daughter of the city and I’ve always done the Mango Festival so to keep my ties going and get some free mangoes I said yes,” Bernstein said with a laugh.
Food Influencer Gio Gutierrez, also known as Chat Chow TV on Instagram, offered up a mango inspired cocktail mixed with Havana Rum.
For Bernstein, who for safety reasons recently had to close her popular Little Havana restaurant Cafe La Trova, participating in a happy event like this is everything now.
“Thank goodness for things like this, it keeps me going. This isn’t work for me, this is fun. I do it because I love it. Fairchild has always been such a big part of my life, so to jump in and do something like this, I wanted to be part of something. I keep wanting to be part of things, anything, to keep myself involved,” she said.
For those who want to get outside, the 83-acre gardens are open with plenty of room to stay socially distant and enjoy the tropical paradise.
“Enjoy the beauty of the tropics, which in and of itself has a wonderful healing effect, and disconnect from the noise of the day to day,” Zapata said.
Mango Days of Summer is on through the end of the month. The cooking demonstrations will stay on the website.
Click Here for more information.