Miami’s South Beach certainly boasts its share of models and buff, beach bodies, but this weekend, they were outnumbered by Foodies from all over the world who came to the metropolis to be part of the Eighth Annual South Beach Food & Wine Festival.
On Thursday, I drove down to South Beach (which is just a few hours from where I live) to take part in the festivities and see the likes of Tom Collichio, Emeril Lagasse, Rachael Ray, Guy Fieri, Paula Deen, Bobby Flay and a host of others. As always, it was a terrific showcase of star-studded talent, amazing food and impressive event planning.
What I enjoyed most was the third annual Burger Bash, held outside on the beachfront of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. It was relaxing, entertaining and the perfect opportunity to enjoy a cold one along with an amazing variety of burgers.
More then 1,000 people packed an eye-popping tent filled with nearly two dozen TV Food Network chefs grilling their favorite burger creations and vying for the “People’s Choice Award,” or the best-loved burger of the night.
Chef Michael Psilakis of restaurants Anthos, Mia Dona and Kefi, all in New York, made a lamb burger that just melted in your mouth; Chef David Walzhog of SW Steakhouse in Las Vegas made a truffle-infused burger served on a mini muffin that was my favorite, and a host of other chefs including Rick Bayless, Thomas Connell, Jeremy Fox and Katie Lee Joel pulled out the stops with burgers made with a variety of cheeses, herbs and creative breads.
If you’ve never been to the South Beach Food & Wine Festival, it’s a destination event you must attend at least once. If you have participated, I’d love to hear from you and learn about your most memorable or inspiring culinary moments at the festival.