Ethical Eating

Sublime's Nanci Alexander Presents PETA Activist Award to Jane Velez-Mitchell

For Sublime's Nanci Alexander, saving animals is all in a day's work.

The restaurateur founded the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida (ARFF), then created Sublime to show the world that a plant-based restaurant can be both delicious and sophisticated. In addition to serving tasty vegan dishes that satisfy both carnivores and vegheads alike, 100 percent of Sublime's profits go to organizations that promote animal welfare and vegan lifestyles.

That stance has made Sublime one of the most popular restaurants South Florida, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recently named it the number-one celebrity vegan dining spot in the United States. In the past, the likes of Paul McCartney, Tommy Lee, Iggy Pop, Joan Jett, Alec Baldwin, Mickey Rourke, Alicia Silverstone, and Kevin Nealon have all dined at the Fort Lauderdale eatery. According to PETA President Ingrid Newkirk, television journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell "practically has a private room there. She basically lives at Sublime."

So it's no surprise that Alexander was ecstatic when she presented her eponymous Nanci Alexander Activist Award to Mitchell at PETA"s 35th-anniversary gala and humanitarian awards ceremony. The award, considered one of PETA's highest honors for animal rights advocates, was presented to Velez-Mitchell for her efforts to free Miami Seaquarium's Lolita, as well as her ongoing struggle to get wild animals out of circuses. Alexander was among the first activists to spark debate over SeaWorld's treatment of orcas and played an instrumental role in Florida's pig gestation-crate ban.

The Sublime founder just arrived home in Fort Lauderdale on the redeye today, called the evening sublime. "PETA does amazing work to help stop animal suffering. It is heartwarming to know so many celebrities know and appreciate their work. I presented the 2015 Nanci Alexander Activist Award to Jane Velez-Mitchell. There is not an animal-abusing industry that Jane hasn't gone after. She rallied support against Primate Products, a horrendous primate breeding place in Hendry County. After PETA's undercover investigation revealed mistreatment and vile conditions, the Animal Rights foundation of Florida's advisory Board member U.S. Congressman's Ted Deutch sent a letter to USDA to review their $13 million contract. USDA suspended Primate Products' contract while there exists the ongoing investigation."

The event, held last evening in Los Angeles, was hosted by Anjelica Huston and Pamela Anderson, with a star-studded roster of attendees including Dancing With the Stars' Carrie Ann Inaba, Real Time host Bill Maher, actor Joaquín Phoenix, and musician Tommy Lee.

South Florida was represented well. Model/Real Housewife of Miami's Joanna Krupa appeared on the red carpet.

Miami frequenter Lady Bunny was a sparkling sensation. 

The highlight of the evening was a live performance by Paul McCartney and Beck. Our Nanci Alexander did not say whether she got to party with Sir Paul, but she did say she sat with Moby and several other celebs. Sounds like a great evening.
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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times, covering the restaurant and bar scene in South Florida. She has been featured on Cooking Channel’s Eat Street and Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. Doss won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature on what it’s like to wait tables. In a previous life, she appeared off-Broadway and shook many a cocktail as a bartender at venues in South Florida and New York City. When she’s not writing, you can find Doss running some marathon then celebrating at the nearest watering hole.
Contact: Laine Doss