Just like the other big cultural festival in Miami, Art Basel, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival consists of a variety of different events simultaneously occurring over a period of several days. The main event every year at SOBEWFF occurs at the Grand Tasting Village right on the sands of Miami Beach with the rolling surf and hot bodies working on their tans only steps away. Hosted this year by Whole Foods Market, the Grand Tasting Village was a sensory overload for any lover of food, wine, and spirits. Besides sampling food from over 35 local restaurants, there were also representatives from vacation destinations, new food and cooking products to try out, cocktails made with some well-known and not-so-well-known liquors, and lot’s of wine. In between getting tipsy and nibbling on tasty morsels, attendees were able to watch cooking demonstrations from some of the most popular TV cooking personalities like Anne Burrell, Emeril Lagasse, Guy Fieri, Paula Deen, and many others. Occurring over a two day period, here are some highlights from the first day of the Grand Tasting Village on Saturday, February 23rd.
February is upon us, and it’s only a few weeks until the year’s most important food event, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, begins. Tickets to the nearly countless events have been on sale since before 2013 even started, and while some of the more coveted events are sold out, there are still tickets available to some very exciting dinners, tastings, and parties that are sure to be the highlight of your year. A list of all available events for this year’s Wine & Food Festival can be seen at www.sobefest.com, but here are some highlights that any foodie should definitely not miss:
If you have any doubts regarding Miami’s importance as a food city, pay a visit during the month of February to understand just how huge the 305 is to the culinary world. For the past eleven years, Miami has played host to Food Network’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival, which is one of the country’s most important gastronomic events of the year. Next year, from February 21st through the 24th, locals and visitors will be able to attend tastings, lectures, demonstrations, special dinners, and unforgettable parties featuring such personalities as Duff Goldman, Ming Tsai, Emeril Lagasse, Todd English, Anthony Bourdain, John Besh, and many others.
Barbecues are fun and a great way to enjoy the warm weather- and sometimes, with summer vacations and days off, they can be a last minute thing. That's why Guy Fieri's pre-made gourmet barbecue sauces are the way to go.
What a great weekend to have been in Miami! The South Beach Wine & Food Festival went on from Thursday, February 23rd, through Sunday, February 26th, with different events going on each day. I had the absolute fortune to attend the opening party, "The Q", hosted by celebrity chefs Emeril Lagasse and Guy Fieri.
Set up behind the Delano, right on the beach, the smells of barbecue and ocean water hit your nose as soon as you handed over your coveted ticket. That's right, folks! barbecue was the theme of the night! About a city block’s worth of beach space was transformed into a barbecue wonderland, with chefs having set up booths on the left and right and various bars set up right down the center. The very first thing we did was hit up the bar for a truly lovely little cocktail called a "Grand Berry". Consisting of Grand Marnier liqueur, cranberry juice, and fresh lime juice, it was a great sweet, crisp and light choice to get our mouths ready for the smokey, savory, deliciousness of the food we would soon glut ourselves on. And glut we did!
All said and done, we managed to hit up 10 chefs. Although everyone produced a great product, there were a few unquestionable stand outs in the crowd, the first being Guy Fieri. I'll admit to having a bit of a foodie crush on this man, but please believe me when I say that his food was hands down the best of the night. Everything about his "banh mi taco with BBQ chicken fried Rice" was great! The best word I can use to describe it would have be "dynamic", as it exploded in my mouth with flavor. While everyone else seemed to be pushing ribs and coleslaw here comes Guy Fieri with the last thing I would expect to find at a barbecue.
The very first thing we saw when we approached Guy's table was the man, himself, wearing his signature shades, laughing uproariously and popping a bottle of Moët, which he poured for his fellow chefs working the booth with him. A lot can be said for presentation, as well. Some of the dishes we tried were alright, they tasted just fine, we enjoyed them...but they were served to us on little paper plates. Not Guy! He served his in a corn husk boat with a generous pile of yummy rice, two light corn tortillas, and chopped scallions as garnish. Lovely.
Another stand out of the night for me was Nadia G of Bitchin' Kitchen fame. I got a chance to talk to her a little while in line for her yummy "slow smoked pork belly with balsamic BBQ sauce, green onion and cucumber on an open-faced challah bun sandwich". She couldn't have been nicer, and she told me she was having a great time in beautiful Miami and having great fun with the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Her food was excellent! The pork was super tender and had a nice smokey flavor to it, and the barbecue sauce added a certain sweetness and tang that really went well with the relative mildness of the bun. All in all I was very impressed by her dish.
The band was rocking, the cocktails were flowing, and I hit up the Godiva Chocolate bar more than once. To cleanse my palate, of course. I had a grand time.
Following a long line of sorta-celebs who sorta make something (yes, we're talking about your hair extensions Jessica Simpson), Guy Fieri has teamed up with Room 101 to design his own jewelry line for dudes.
The blonde bombshell is rolling out his choice creations- which include dogtags and star-etched cufflinks- just in time to satisfy the gag-stocking stuffer gift. Of course, if you're buying these accessories for realsies, um, we can't help you.
We'd been waiting patiently for the NYC Wine & Food festival to arrive, and finally it had. Thanks to an obsession with Gilt City and all that is nightlife related, we scored tickets to three incredible (and delicious) events hosted by an array of celebrity chefs, like Guy Fieri, and Food Network stars.
Day One: Godiva Presents SWEET with Sandra Lee
On Friday, September 30th, we arrived at 82 Mercer St., decked out in cocktail attire (Black mini with Chanel black leather and chain belt and black Louboutins) and were promptly ushered behind the velvet rope. We climbed the stairs toward music and as we neared the sound of Adele’s Someone Like You, we could see pink and purple mood lights, flashing in patterns along the three hallways (think Hogwarts Great Hall X 3). With over 40 dessert stations to test, we began at the Doughnut Plant- a succulent bite of Crème Brulee glazed doughnuts gave my taste buds a whole new standard of French patisserie expertise. Another, held the freshest Carrot cake macarons, you could taste the warmth inside.
It's the most wonderful time of the year.
Sorry Jewish Holidays, but this weekend's upcoming New York City Wine & Food Festival is really stealing your thunder. As we've been hyping for a while now, the Food & Wine Mag-sponsored event is going on this weekend, September 29- October 2, and promises to forge a complete foodie-overhaul on our town.
In addition to the undisputably fantastic eats, the weekend also promises to bring together some of the most exciting chefs and culinary personalities from around the country. A-list eaters such as Eric Ripert, Anne Burrell, Guy Fieri, Anito Lo, Alex Guarnaschelli, Bobby Flay, Michael White and Sandra Lee are among the headlines who will be in attendance during the three day ride. Oh yea, there's also a Times Talk with Ferran Adria hidden in the middle but, sadly, it's already completely booked.
Guy Fieri is that guy in the parking lot who pulls up with battery cables when you’re stuck and you can’t start your car. He’s the one taking “rare or well-done?” requests while flipping burgers on the grill at the annual block party. And while the adults at the party are sitting around drinking cocktails and gossiping, he’s the one playing last rounds of Duck Duck Goose with all of the kids in the pool. And then petting the dogs and feeding them scraps. But here’s the irony:
This is the very same Guy (pun intended) who is now larger than life on your TV screen, with his iconic, spiked Ziggy Stardust-esque hair (think a young David Bowie), tattoos and mega bling. And while he maintains the same non-pretentious vibe, he pulls off true blue stardom without a glitch, hosting a couple of very popular Food Network television shows (Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives; Guy's Big Bite) with yet another one on the way (the second season of Ultimate Recipe Showdown), has authored a bunch of cookbooks (including a new cookbook/memoir, Guy Fieri Food (William Morrow) and he even has his own popular game show (NBC’s Minute to Win It).