Tsar Nicoulai Goes To A Ball

by Olga Schafranek |

(photo from

On November 11th, 2016, the first annual Russian Charitable Gala Ball in Miami, Florida, took place at the Ritz Carlton, South Beach. The Ball was a showcase of Russian culture and a way to bring people together in celebration of it. There was delicious food, exciting entertainment, and all around merriment.

Of course, what would a Russian event without caviar be? A total bust. Ok, I wouldn't go that far. But it certainly would be missed. Tsar Nicoulai was the proud Diamond level sponsor for the important delicacy at this inaugural event. 

Guests from across the globe came in support of two non-profit organizations - the Patriarch Tikhon Russian American Music Institute (PaTRAM) and the Prince Vladimir Youth Association (PVYA). The proceeds of the Ball were split among these two groups. 

Russian Orthodox Archpriest Andrei Sommer started the PVYA to bring youth together through cultural and religious events and community service activities. The active non-profit group has organized food drives, concerts and other social events. Father Andrei has also organized many conferences for Orthodox Christian youths to get together and celebrate their heritage and faith. He also happens to be married to my cousin and is a pretty cool guy! 

PaTRAM is a non-conventional Institute of Orthodox music offering lessons through video-conference and seasonal master classes. Their program is made available for people with busy schedules all across the world. Music is a large part of the Orthodox liturgy and the church is always in need of conductors and singers to beautify the service. 

(Photo from Ball attendee Natasha Zaharov)

Guests consisted of Russian-American youth, generous patrons, oligarchs, and many others. The VIP Cocktail Hour guests sampled Tsar Nicoulai Reserve Caviar and Triple-Smoked Sturgeon, while other guests were able to enjoy our Gold Pearl Salmon Roe and Paddlefish.

Sashkie Baranoff sampling Tsar Nicoulai (photo from Ball attendee Natasha Zaharov)

Russians take pride in their products (as does any culture), but Tsar Nicoulai's American-made caviar stands up to their biased palate. A friend of mine, Natasha Zaharov, who attended the ball, described a man at her table - shaved head, with a heavy Russian accent and velvet tuxedo jacket - who parked himself at the caviar station. He said it was the best caviar he ever tasted and returned several times for more samplings. He was impressed by the fact that it was made in America. Natasha says she heard many people share his sentiments. 

Xenia Maximow describing Tsar Nicoulai Caviar and all its wonderfulness (Photo from

We were happy to take part in this event.

To read more details and see additional photographs from the Miami Russian Charitable Gala, click here

I hope everyone is having a great 2017 so far! 

Na Zdorovye,