Chef Samantha Planting 02 23 2023

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MIAMI BEACH, FL (March 23, 2023) – Sodexo Live! and the soon-to-open Rum Room
restaurant and Venu event space at the Miami Beach Convention center (MBCC) have
announced the launch of a new Sustainability Project – Herb & Vegetable Garden, organized
in partnership with Compost for Life Miami. The composting community initiative takes leftover
organics from the conventions and events that take place at the Miami Beach Convention
Center and turns them into compost. This compost is then used at the herb and vegetable
garden, creating a sustainable food system that reduces waste and provides a real
garden-to-table dining for Rum Room patrons.
The herb and vegetable garden is located just outside Rum Room and Venu on the Miami
Beach Convention Center campus. In February 2023, Chef Samantha Cruz and the team from
Sodexo Live! worked together to build the garden. The goal was to create a calm environment
for the cooks and team to tend to and nurture, while also educating the staff on gardening and
sustainable practices.
The garden consists of 192 square feet of herb and vegetable beds and features organic soil
mixed with compost from the convention center’s composting program. The vegetables currently
planted in the garden include carrots, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, and peppers which are
expected to be in full harvest by late July or early August. The vegetables will be used on the
Rum Room, Venu menus for guests to enjoy, and foliage will be added to table garnishes
and decorations.
The Sustainability Project – Herb & Vegetable Garden also involved sourcing wood pallets from
food shipments and recycling them into the garden structure. It took approximately 10 days to
clear, level, and build the garden from plywood. Solar-powered lights were installed on the
wooden fence surrounding the garden.
Chef Samantha Cruz, who has 12 years of experience in fine dining and sports entertainment
hospitality is the new Executive Chef for the Rum Room and Venu event space. Rum Room is
an indoor and outdoor 80-seat restaurant with Old World and tropical 1920s Florida decor and

an upscale menu that draws on both Florida’s history and Miami’s Haitian and Latin and Central
American influences.
This latest project from Sodexo Live! and Rum Room and Venu event space is part of a larger
sustainability initiative aimed at reducing the environmental impact of the Convention Center.
For more information on this project, please visit

The MBCC is located at 1901 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139. Rum Room is
on the northeast corner of the MBCC Campus Center, where Washington Avenue meets Dade
Boulevard. Venu is located in the 1916-built former Miami Beach Municipal Golf Course
Clubhouse at 2100 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139.


About Miami Beach Convention Center
Re-imagined following a $620-million-dollar renovation, the expanded MBCC includes a new
60,000 square-foot Grand Ballroom, four junior ballrooms, almost 500,000 sq. ft. of exhibition
space, an expanded Grand Lobby, pre-function areas that are bathed in natural light, up to 84
breakout rooms, approximately 800 roof deck parking spaces, and almost 2,100 miles of cabling to
support all IT communications, 7.1 million dollars worth of art curated by the City of Miami
Beach Art in Public Places program and a six-acre (Pride Park) and three-acre (Collins Canal
Park) public green spaces that can serve as incremental event space. The MBCC Campus
includes two new event spaces: Venu, a space for elegant private events and upscale meetings,
and Rum Room, a 1920s restaurant with an enticing tapas-style menu and local South Florida
rums. The MBCC is proud to have earned Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STARTM
Facility Accreditation and LEED® Silver Certification as part of the venue’s $620-million-dollar
expansion project, which includes many environmentally friendly features.
About OVG360
OVG360, a division of Oak View Group, is a full-service venue management and hospitality
company that helps client partners reimagine sports, live entertainment, and convention
industries to better the venue, employees, artists, athletes, and surrounding communities. With
a portfolio of more than 200 client partners spanning arenas, stadiums, convention centers,
performing arts centers, cultural institutions, and state fairs around the globe, OVG360 provides
services, resources, and expertise designed to elevate every aspect of business that matters to
venue operators. Service-oriented and driven by social responsibility, OVG360 helps facilities
drive value through excellence and innovation in food services, booking, and content
development, sustainable operations, public health, public safety, and more.
About Sodexo Live!
Sodexo Live! manages prestigious conference, cultural, and sporting venues, and major events
all over the world. With 40,000 employees and 500 sites, Sodexo Live! offers clients a range of
bespoke catering, sales, and event management services, helping to transform the consumer
experience into unforgettable memories. Sodexo Live! commits to unlocking customers’ full
potential while favoring local communities. Sodexo Live! contributes to the success of
prestigious events such as Royal Ascot, the Tour de France, the Rugby World Cup, and soon

the Paris 2024 Games, and showcases exceptional venues such as the Eiffel Tower
Restaurants, Bateaux Parisiens, Yachts de Paris, the Royal Academy of Arts in London, the
Museo del Prado in Madrid, the Hard Rock Stadium, the Scottish National Gallery, and the
Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

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