FIU partners with Vida & Estilo, hospitality group behind some of Miami and Las Vegas’ most iconic brands, to educate future leaders in the industry

Funds to support FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management

Vida & Estilo, a national restaurant and hotel group based in Miami, is establishing two new funds to support student success and educational programming at the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University (FIU).

One of the largest privately owned restaurant groups in the state of Florida, Vida & Estilo is a culinary industry pioneer behind recognizable restaurant concepts such as News Café, Havana 1957, Café Americano, PaperFish, Barsecco, Oh! Mexico and Marabu.

The Vida & Estilo Hospitality Program Fund will help create and build out training and programming to elevate the skill level of both executive leadership teams and emerging leaders in the hospitality industry.

Complementing this fund, the Vida & Estilo Student Support Fund will foster student enrichment and experiences that include scholarships, stipends and student programming.

The Chaplin School, a top 10 ranked hospitality program, and Vida & Estilo also plan to hold branded days at the Biscayne Bay Campus, where Vida & Estilo senior leadership, general managers and directors can mentor students with real-life business applications and highlight career opportunities in fields that include real estate and venue development, marketing, public relations, culinary, beverage and design.

“These funds will undoubtedly bolster the work of the Chaplin School as we seek to continue to produce leaders in the hospitality industry,” said Michael Cheng, dean of the Chaplin School. “We are grateful to Vida & Estilo for its support.”

The company is led by CEO, owner and FIU alumnus Matias Pesce, who graduated from FIU in 2018. The two new funds are the latest initiatives to come from Vida & Estilo’s partnership with the Chaplin School. The company has supported the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One (SOBEWFF®️), of which the school is a beneficiary of, each of the past two years.

“Vida & Estilo is proud to continue its partnership with the Chaplin School by establishing the Vida & Estilo Hospitality Program Fund and the Vida & Estilo Student Support Fund,” Pesce said. “As an alumnus, I know firsthand about the excellent education FIU provides and the powerful community outreach that it has. It perfectly aligns with the mission of Vida & Estilo.”

“We believe that business success is not only about individual achievements as a person or as a company, but also about our ability to build strategic alliances, establish trusting relationships and foster a collaborative environment that will contribute to continue developing the next generation of business leaders for the hospitality industry and our communities.” Pesce said.

Both funds will be available starting in Fall 2023.


About V&E Group:
The hospitality group Vida & Estilo, which translates to Life and Style, has operated restaurants since 1996 with the goal of reflecting Miami Beach’s melting pot of cultures. Its restaurants offer a variety of cuisines, including Cuban, Mexican, Italian, Mexican, American and Japanese. One of the largest hospitality groups in South Florida, V&E operates 21 dining establishments in Miami and an additional three in Las Vegas, consisting of full-service restaurants and three Cuban Coffee Shops. V&E is a team of international industry professionals that successfully tie together traditional, lifestyle, and nightlife concepts into one vision. This talented group of creators are behind some of the most recognized and entertaining restaurants located in Miami and Las Vegas and have demonstrated proven expertise through its diverse portfolio in the US.

About FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management:
Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management is a Top 10 hospitality school among U.S. Public Universities and ranked 35th in the world. Nearly 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students from across the nation and around the globe choose FIU for its outstanding reputation, advantageous campus locations in Miami, expert faculty, rich curriculum and real career opportunities in the international hotel, foodservice, beverage and spirits management, travel, tourism, revenue management, entertainment, and mega and large-scale event industries. As the leading diverse hospitality program with over 70% women and students from 74 countries represented, Chaplin School graduates more undergraduate Black, Hispanic and International students than any other school. For more information about Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, visit

About the FIU Foundation:
Established in 1969, the Florida International University Foundation, Inc. (FIU Foundation) is registered by the State of Florida as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. As defined in Florida Statute section 1004.28, the FIU Foundation has also been certified as a Direct Support Organization (DSO) of Florida International University. Governed by a board of directors, the FIU Foundation serves to encourage, solicit, receive, and ethically administer gifts for scientific, educational, and charitable purposes for the advancement of FIU. Through philanthropy, the FIU Foundation provides the margin of excellence that makes FIU one of the nation’s leading public research universities. For more information, visit

About FIU:
Florida International University is a top public university that drives real talent and innovation in Miami and globally. Very high research (R1) activity and high social mobility come together at FIU to uplift and accelerate learner success in a global city by focusing in the areas of environment, health, innovation, and justice. Today, FIU has two campuses and multiple centers. FIU serves a diverse student body of more than 56,000 and 290,000 Panther alumni. U.S. News and World Report places dozens of FIU programs among the best in the nation, including international business at No. 2. Washington Monthly Magazine ranks FIU among the top 20 public universities contributing to the public good.