It’s almost that time of the year again. Pretty soon, Miami will be rolling out its flashy red carpet for the industry’s most notorious and talented chefs during the annual South Beach Wine and Food Festival. As the event continually grows, so does the schedule with infinite possibilities: wine tastings, workshops of all kinds, cooking demonstrations, restaurant tastings, chef collaboration dinners, and even fitness classes (to name a few). Personally, I prefer to participate in some of the off-site special dinners. Choosing which tickets to purchase is never easy.
Last year, I attended two events. The first was at Turnberry Isle in Aventura. Hosted by Corsair‘s Scott Conant (at the time) and Bourbon Steak‘s Michael Mina, the usual East Meets West dinner was changed from an elegant seated dinner to a more casual outdoor party. With food stations spread out throughout the lush hotel grounds, guests strolled and sampled bites all night long. Needless to say, I could often be found near the dessert station. Can you blame me?
The second event I attended, an Italian feast fit for kings, held at the Fontainebleau Hotel‘s Scarpetta, could not be missed. An epic collaboration dinner by Chefs Conant, Pirolo, and Compton? Really? Really! Every dish was well thought out and delivered an unforgettable experience: Chicken Liver Mousse, Red Prawn Caviar Tartare, Scallion Pancake, Hamachi, Truffle Risotto (my favorite), Veal Saltimbocca, and a Chocolate Hazelnut dessert. What a beautiful night!
I would have attended a third SOBEWFF event, but as luck would have it Chicago’s Alinea was having their very own Miami pop-up (not related to the festival). My reservation happened to coincide with the festival. What a perfect, food-indulgent weekend!
As much as I’ve enjoyed every experience I’ve had in the past (2015, 2014, 2013), I’m positively giddy over the choices I’ve made for this year. Hint: one of the events features Dominique Crenn! Yes! Insert food geek moment here. Counting down the days…
You can check up the lineup for this year’s event HERE! Will you be there?
Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival
February 22nd- 26th
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