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Messi Makes a Menu Impression

The international soccer star recently debuted his chicken sandwich to great fanfare at Hard Rock Cafe.

The soccer spell under which Lionel Messi has South Florida reached frenzied proportions Saturday night when the World Cup champion scored the game-winning goal in his debut with Inter Miami—coming off the bench to drive one of his trademark free kicks into the upper corner of the net during stoppage time for a 2-1 win over Cruz Azul in the Leagues Cup opener.

But as evidenced a few days prior to his Inter Miami premiere, Messi Fever extends beyond the pitch and into the kitchen—whether he’s in the room or not.

As part of the next chapter in its collaboration with the soccer legend, Hard Rock International introduced a new menu item at a recent event at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood. The launch of the Messi Chicken Sandwich, with a crispy Milanese-style concoction that speaks to the soccer legend’s home country of Argentina, drew a room full of influencers and media for a presentation that included the worldwide debut of a commercial promoting the sandwich. Though the build-up brought expectations that Messi himself might make an appearance at Hard Rock Cafe that wasn’t the case.

Still, attendees enjoyed morning festivities and samples of the chicken sandwich, which is topped with melted Provolone cheese and herbed aioli to go with tomatoes and arugula—all of which is served on a toasted artisan bun. It’s the second menu collaboration between Hard Rock Café and Messi; the first, introduced last year, is Messi in name and messy in general, dripping with 10 ingredients (to match his uniform number).

“I’m thrilled to bring the flavors of my home country to the world with the launch of my very own Chicken Sandwich, inspired by one of my favorite dishes, the Milanesa,” said Messi in a statement. “There has been no better partner than Hard Rock International in bringing this to life. Like any great teammate, Hard Rock has been with me through historic milestones, and I can’t wait for my fans all over the world to get a taste of one of my childhood favorites that still makes me feel at home, wherever in the world I am.”

Need more evidence that Messi is having a global moment beyond compare? The 12 hours after the initial rollout for the Messi Chicken Sandwich—according to Elena Alvarez, vice president of sales and marketing for Hard Rock International’s cafes—drew some 2.3 billion digital impressions. (hardrockcafe.com)

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.