On Friday morning, February 24th, I arrived in beautiful, sunny Miami for the South Beach Wine and Food Festival. After checking in to my hotel, the first item on the agenda was to fetch my event passes from the Media Suite at the Loews Miami Beach...and snoop around the Hospitality Suite (chock-full of goodies)!
Next item of business? Return to my hotel - quickly change in to my swim suit - and hit the pool/beach. Hey, a girl's gotta' have some down time!
For lunch, I grabbed the healthiest item I could find on Eden Roc's Cabana Beach Club menu: "Blackened Salmon Salad" (sub salmon for grilled shrimp). Why "healthiest," you ask? Because I knew that the remainder of my meals in Miami would be overly abundant, indulgent, and gluttonous. Though I'm sure the two frozen margaritas I sipped poolside didn't aid much in my lo-cal endeavors...
Held on the sprawling rooftop terrace - overlooking the turquoise sea and palm tree "tops" - at The Betsy Hotel, the Ultimate Beginnings Wine & Cheese Party featured a multi-table spread consisting of a selection of pours from Winebow, and a variety of fromage (chosen specifically to compliment the wines) from the Cheese Course. Hosts, Josh Wesson and Laura Werlin, were on-hand to answer attendees' questions, pose for photos, and mingle.
Second event of the evening: "Wine Spectator's Best of the Best," at the Fountainebleau
This event ended up being one of my favorites of the entire weekend! Held at the fabulous Fountainebleau Miami Beach (hotel), this grand soiree featured dishes from the best new chefs in the country, which were paired with wines rated 90 points or higher on Wine Spectator's scale!
Wineries of note included:
- Champagne Laurent-Perrier
- Champagne Nicoloas Feuillatte
- Inniskillin (yummy ice wine)
- Stag's Leap Wine Cellars
- Sterling Vineyards
Chefs/restaurants of note included:
- Hugh Acheson (Five & Ten, Athens, GA)
- Nick Anderer (Maialino, New York, NY)
- David Burke (David Burke Townhouse, New York, NY)
- Marco Canora (Hearth Restaurant, New York, NY)
- Scott Conant (Scarpetta at Fontainebleau Miami Beach, FL) - met him! What a babe...!
- Ariane Daguin (D'Artagnan, New York, NY)
- Gabrielle Hamilton (Prune, New York, NY)
- Gerard Hayden (North Fork Table & Inn, Southold, NY)
- Dan Kluger (ABC Kitchen, New York, NY)
- Jian Heng Loo (Hakkasan at Fontainebleau Miami Beach, FL)
- Emily Luchetti (Waterbar, San Francisco, CA) - met her! Super nice!
- George Mendes (ALDEA, New York, NY)
- Carlo Mirarchi (Roberta's, Brooklyn, NY)
- Seamus Mullen (Tertulia, New York, NY)
- Charles Phan (The Slanted Door, San Francisco, CA)
- Angela Pinkerton (Eleven Madison Park, New York, NY)
- Bill Telepan (Telepan, New York, NY)
- Christina Tosi (Momofuku Milk Bar, New York, NY) - met her!
Oh, what an eventful day/night it was! By about 10:45pm, I had no other choice but to surrender to my hotel room. After all, I had been up since 3:30am and had a full Saturday planned. Until then...!
Until we eat again,
The Lunch Belle