The Inside Scoop From The 2008 South Beach Wine and Food Festival
Not that we ever need a good reason to eat, drinks and be merry… this year’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival was not to be missed – and we made sure of that!
In keeping with its tradition (and celebrating is 7th year), the Festival was a star-studded, fun (and food) filled extravaganza that brought together some of the world’s most renowned culinary masterminds with foodies just like us!
The Festival featured food icons like Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, Govind Armstrong, Rachel Ray, Paula Deen, Giada De Laurentiis, Tyler Florence, and hundreds of top chefs spanning the globe. This year’s event also boasted many exciting and interesting gastronomic festivities and showcased vendors from all over the world.
Here are just some of the festival’s signature events we got a chance to experience:
Grand Tasting Village
Talk about a great way to kick off a culinary adventure! This two-day journey was sprawled across much of the beach along Ocean Avenue and featured everything from Lifestyle Seminars to a Grand Tasting – bringing together all of the excitement of this annual event.
The Grand Tasting Village offered tents filled with chef superstars, top wine and spirits producers and local restaurateurs offering a non-stop tasting and feasting of their best. The festivities also included a dance floor, music and an opportunity to rub elbows with chef celebrities attending the show.
Burger Bash – Hosted by Rachael Ray
Despite the fact that everyone seems to be watching their waistlines these days – it was a relief to know that even for just one day everyone could put that diet-watch aside and enjoy this good ol’ American tradition!
First inducted into the South Beach Wine & Food Festival in 2007, the Burger Bash was one of the weekend’s most highly anticipated events – featuring an assortment of winning burgers from top burger-makers from around the country.
Whichever topping or condiment was chosen to accompany this delightful treat, each and every burger here was a hit! Located inside a tent right on South Beach, the Burger Bash was a meat-fest that offered attendees the opportunity to walk the tent and get a little taste from some of the best burger joints. Among this year’s featured burgers, were winners of last year’s “Burger Bash People’s Choice Award” – Shake Shack. Though Radius of Boston beat out the competition, other noteworthy competitors included BTL (chef Laurent Tourondel) and Love Shack (chef Tim Love).
With no shortage of great burgers havens, our only complaint: we didn’t have enough room to try them all (all 17 of them)!
“Best of the Best”
Talk about a food-filled (three and a half-hour long) extravaganza of the some of the best from the best! Guests who attending this year’s “Best of the Best” event enjoyed a spectacular and gluttonous experience by visiting a series of suites (houses within the American Airlines Arena), each featuring a sophisticated tasting from personalities like Alfred Portale (Fontainebleau Resorts), Kerry Simon (Simon LA), Masaharu Morimoto (Morimoto), Michael Lomonaco (Porter House New York) and many many others; alongside champagne houses and 40 or so of the world’s top wineries – who poured their finest. Talk about a great pairing!
All in all, this year’s festival was amazing – though we’re still trying to work off those calories!
For all you foodies out there, mark your calendars for the 2009 South Beach Wine & Food Festival – scheduled to kick off on Thursday, February 19th. Programming for next year’s festivities are already underway, with Emeril Lagasse selected as the 2009 Tribute Dinner honoree.
For more on this year’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival check our podcasts: