Chefs gone wild…kind of
So, to recap: While the Northeast was being swallowed up in one of the most major blizzards of recent memory, a gaggle of intrepid foodies and food pin-up idols were battling their way down south to Miami for the annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival. If you’re reading this, you likely already know that this is a three-day gathering of uber chefs and those who dote on them, dedicated to eating, drinking, and behaving in a somewhat Vegas-esque fashion.
During the day, there are a few relatively dignified seminars and events (though the crowds clutching their complimentary Waterford wine glasses at the gates of the Whole Foods Tasting Village on Saturday and Sunday afternoon resembled nothing so much as being outside a Wal-Mart at midnight before Black Friday). At night was when the whole strip started to pulsate. First there were ticketed events like the Burger Bash, Best of the Best and and the BubbleQ, where an eclectic array of brand-name chefs like Rocco DiSpirito, David Burke, Daniel Boulud, Susan Spicer, and Norman Van Aken served up burgers blended with foie gras and Lamb Belly BLTs. It is safe to say the place was not filled with vegetarians or sponsored by Lipitor (though in hindsight, that would have been a brilliant sponsor). Then there were after parties. Then there were after after parties. And THEN the sun came up, and everyone crawled home, to sleep and re-hydrate for the next round.
Anyway, people had FUN! And if you are a bon vivant, being at SOBE is very much equal to being in L.A. during the Oscars. You will bump into Guy Fieri in the toothpaste aisle at CVS, find yourself holding the door for Lidia Bastianich, and possibly fighting Katie Lee Joel for the last piece of Hamachi Sashimi with Viet Mignonette Sauce, Fried Shallots and Thai Basil from o ya. And have the bragging rights to boot.