Even though the new year has begun, it’s difficult to come down from the high of Art Basel. The convergence of cuisine, art, culture, fashion, and more was celebrated during Miami Art Week by American Express in partnership with Resy Global Dining Access.
For(bes) The Culture was given access by Amex to take part in the week of activities, which included a four-day pop-up in the Design District with Michelin and James Beard Award–winning chefs and well-known artist Phillip K. Smith III. They also presented the Savor & Soul brunch, a special meal commemorating Black chefs and culture with a menu designed by Mashama Bailey, as well as special events at some of Miami’s most renowned restaurants.
As we embrace a time when young Black people enjoy the benefits of affluent living, the culture is constantly reminded of how we weren’t always welcomed in similar settings. Many individuals aspire to have access to these opulent events, and fortunately For(bes) The Culture was present to provide you with firsthand account of what the experience entailed.
In summary the trip was the ultimate luxury cultural experience with exclusive private dining through Resy Global Dining Access, special access to Fine Hotels + Resorts Collection, By Invitation Only® series with Prada, and more.
Global Dining Access
Launched in July 2021, Global Dining Access by Resy is a dining perk that grants qualified American Express Card Members exclusive access to some of the most coveted restaurants in the world, through Resy. By connecting a compatible American Express Card to their Resy account, Card Members can benefit from Global Dining Access.
The dining events in the series were nothing short of delicious and top quality. The occasion included:
- Tuesday, Nov. 29: Dinner with Massimo Bottura (Chef Patron of Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy) and Phillip K. Smith III’s Garden of Reflections.
- Wednesday, Nov. 30: Viewing of Phillip K. Smith III’s Garden of Reflections with food and drinks by Michael Solomonov (Chef and Owner of Zahav, Abe Fisher, Merkaz, Dizengoff, Goldie, Laser Wolf, Federal Donuts and K’Far in Philadelphia, PA and Laser Wolf in Brooklyn, NY).
- Thursday, Dec. 1: Dinner with Missy Robbins (Chef and Owner of Lilia, Misi and MISIPASTA in Brooklyn, NY) and Phillip K. Smith III’s Garden of Reflections.
- Friday, Dec. 2: Brunch with Mashama Bailey (Chef and Co-Owner of The Grey in Savannah, GA and Diner Bar in Austin, TX) and Phillip K. Smith III’s Garden of Reflections.
The Savor & Soul brunch, which satisfied the Black luxury aesthetic; offered guests the chance to eat, drink, and watch live panel discussions in celebration of culture, music, and style while enjoying a fine dining experience prepared by James Beard Award-winning Chef Mashama Bailey.
Bailey the executive chef of The Grey, learned to cook at the hands of the women in her family giving her the best kind of education – a real world one. The Bronx natives maternal roots hail from Waynesboro GA, were she spent many summers at her grandmother’s exploring the soul the southern cuisine.
Bailey believes collaborations in the food industry require more diversification, by bringing more groups of people together. With her start in the food festival sector, she believes in focusing on bigger events for people of color, like the Savor & Soul brunch.
“The cuisine of our heritage is starting to spread to other social groups. We see our food now in high demand. It’s important to have Black people on these platforms so that they can be seen, and so that we can begin to express ourselves and work outside the box,” says Bailey.
Bailey tells us she enjoys representing the Black culture in this space with Amex, despite the fact that her restaurant’s patrons come from a variety of cultures. The cultural validation she receives serves as a wonderful tool for her to enhance her cuisine.
“Creative people who travel and enjoy art are used to being out of their comfort zone. It’s wonderful to come here with our people and have something comforting; they know they can eat and make happy memories. What i love about our community is we will return to pay it forward, talk about it, and rally the community to support one another. I believe that the more we commune in this manner, the better it is for all of us,” expresses Bailey.
American Express By Invitation Only
In addition to the other benefits of the all-access week, platinum card members had exclusive access to the By Invitation Only® program, which provides access to a year-round schedule of unique, once-in-a-lifetime events in fields of interest to card members.
Setting the tone for opulence, American Express collaborated with Prada to provide a three-part series at Art Basel on Thursday, December 1, that included shopping and dining experiences, as well as a Prada Extensions celebration.
- Dining at Contessa Miami: Contessa, is the latest culinary destination from hospitality powerhouse, Major Food Group and acclaimed chef, Mario Carbone. Contessa Miami is also an American Express Global Dining Access restaurant.
- Celebrating at Prada Extends Miami: The event brought together a diverse selection of rising talent, honoring the creative cultures of Miami. It was an intimate invite-only event with a focus on music as a means of bringing people together. Prada Extends Miami is now part of a global live event series centered on local DJs and visual artists who are pushed to create physical intersections where people, ideas, and aesthetics interact, extending Prada’s identity into new regions.
Hawaiian Spa Preview
Tik-tok users would say that an experience isn’t opulent unless there is some sort of spa treatment included; fortunately, the stay at the 1 Hotel Miami through American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts (FH+R) program featured one to remember.
The Bamford Wellness Spa hosted a spa experience as a sample of the services to be provided by the 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay, Hawaii’s newest sustainable luxury resort, which will open in February 2023 as the flagship property of 1 Hotels & Resorts.
After a jam-packed week of activities, it’s essential to have a connection to nature and a balanced mind-body, which was ensured by the holistic treatments.
The experience incorporated intuitive healing techniques built on Hawaiian plant medicine, while utilizing herbs and honey gathered on Kauai’s north coast in hopes of strengthening one’s sense of connection to the world around them. The practices are offered with the help of the Bamford philosophy, a holistic approach based on a deep connection to nature.
- Intuitive Herbal Healing Massage (90 minutes):We started with a foot soak that was loaded with potent Kauai herbs to promote healing. My senses were roused by this, and then we moved on to a full-body massage using Kauai Farmacy’s Comfrey Noni Serum. Together, the plants helped to reawaken my worn-out cells. I was able to unwind completely as the insightful therapist applied warm noni leaves directly to painful regions in order to ease tension and lessen inflammation.
- Tulsi Honey Facial (60 minutes): This conditioning treatment, which combines the potent adaptogenic herb tulsi with the natural antibacterial properties of honey, will nurture smooth, supple, and luminous skin. The calming honey turmeric mask’s antioxidants reduce inflammation, remove pollutants, and revitalize your skin while nutrient-rich tulsi minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Black Artist Showcase
Amex collaborated with shopping platform NTWRK on Friday December 2 to promote and elevate Black Creators. The collaboration brought together three Black visual artists – Adrian Brandon, Sabrena Khadija and Gianni Lee– to give their experiences and work a platform while also shining a light on marginalized communities.
The three artists were challenged by Amex and NTWRK to create a piece using a format or media they had never tried before, resulting in a first-of-its-kind moment. images of the objects shown here.
All profits went to Good Black Art, an organization that mentors and supports the most promising young Black artists globally.
- Gianni Lee: “GIANNI LEE SKELETON CONCEPT DENIM” – $500: Gianni Lee is a multifaceted visual artist that works with a variety of mediums in music, fine art, and fashion. He created an original pair of jeans with his fully embroidered skeleton image for this cooperation. Lee draws inspiration from his street art, which can be found in Paris, London, Bulgaria, New York City, Cuba, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. He also created an aluminum card holder with a similar skeleton design.
- Sabrena Khadija: “DREAM GLOW” – $1,000: Sabrena Khadja, a Sierra-Leonean American illustrator who lives in Washington, D.C., takes satisfaction in making other people feel seen and inspired. The non-binary artist used mixed media on a huge canvas and added materials like paint, gold leaf, and more.The work of art is also available on glassware.
- Adrian Brandon: “COMING THROUGH” – $2,000: Adrian Brandon, a Brooklyn-based multimedia artist who deals with themes of pride, peace, and protest, wants to expand the narrative of the Black experience by sparking conversations that cut across cultural boundaries. On canvas, Brandon developed a sizable mixed-media piece that features his own photos, pastels, paint, ink, and graphite as well as a scarf made of the same poly-satin.