On the eve of the Miami Gala, the honoree David Hertz gave a talk at the home of Maria Carolina Tavares de Melo. He told the story of how he founded Gastromotiva, a culinary school for underprivileged young adults. After spending more than seven years travelling the world, David returned to São Paulo to start Gastromotiva, which uses the theory and practice of gastronomy to achieve the social integration of ordinarily disenfranchised individuals. The pioneering pedagogy used by the institution has led 93% of students to find jobs upon graduation.

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Forty guests attended the event—including Carla Amorim (the event sponsor) and Pedro Andrade (the MC of the Gala)—who wanted to learn more about this fascinating organization, which was supported by BrazilFoundation in 2012 with the funds raised at the first Gala Miami. A dynamic debate followed David’s talk, during which all of those in attendance exchanged ideas on the relationship between gastronomy and social action.