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TOTT: Renowned Chef Serves Up Dishes At Historic House

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Among a South Florida oasis of time gone by is the treasured Vizcaya Café and Gift Shop in the historic Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.

The structure was built between 1914 and 1922 as the private home of businessman John Deering but inside Vizcaya, Miami's renowned caterer to the stars, Joy Wallace has been serving up her delicious dishes in her charming café since 2003.

"It's thrilling to be here at Vizcaya," said Joy. "People all over the world know Vizcaya , so to me, it's a huge honor to have the opportunity to be here and serve people from all over the world ."

In 2005, Hurricane Wilma almost destroyed the café with flooding. Due to tough restrictions, it took six years to rebuild it to what it is today. It's a casual, relaxed but fine dining spot that fits in with its treasured traditions.

"We want to make sure we honor this place and serve food that make our guests say 'wow' and they do," said Joy.

As a caterer for 25 years in South Florida, Joy's list of clients is quite impressive.

"I've catered for every President here at Vizcaya since Jimmy Carter," she said.

When asked who her favorite guest was she said, "Pope John Paul and Ronald Reagan. That was amazing. To see those two men together."

Back in the kitchen, Executive Chef Elgin Woodman prepared a days full of delicacies for guests eating inside or out.

CBS4's Lisa Petrillo's first dish to taste was Joy's favorite, a quiche topped with a fresh mixed salad.

"There is goat cheese in this quiche. It's light and fluffy and delicious," Petrillo said.

Next on the menu was the Prosciutto and fig salad.

"This salad is sweet and savory. The sweet is from the fig and the savory from the prosciutto and cheese and then a crunch with the salad. I'm in heaven," she raved.

For those who love fish, the Mahi Sandwich is crunchy light and flaky and then there's the famous side dish made with cranberries and nuts.

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