The South Beach Wine and Food Festival  kicked off today with The Q , a full-fledged barbecue battle between 40 of the best chefs in the country. The competition was fierce; both the tender meat and sparkling wine from Chandon were a-flowin'. However, that didn't stop the chefs from smiling (or making faces) for the camera. Take a look . . .
Barbecue and Bubbles
Though beer might seem like an obvious pairing with barbecue, sparkling wine  like Chandon helps cut through the fat and richness, plus it's extrarefreshing. Chandon poured the bubbles in beachy-hued flutes made of a durable, travel-friendly plastic.
Jeff Mauro, Barbecue Judge
Food Network's Sandwich King and host of The Kitchen, Jeff Mauro , raved on and on about the whole hog, barbecued by Mike and Amy Mills from 17th Street BBQ.
. . . And what do you know? The couple behind 17th Street Barbecue  won king and queen of The Q for their whole hog. The melt-in-your-mouth meat wasn't the only reason the crowd gathered at the stand. "It's not every day you see a guy pulling pork straight from the pig's ribs," pointed out the guy next to me.
Cuban Sandwich With Tuna Mayo
What makes this Cuban sandwich from Paul Kahan's The Publican  in Chicago extraspecial is the addition of tuna mayo. It's a whole new way of thinking about surf 'n' turf.
The Chew's Michael Symon hosted the event, along with a little help from Sports Illustrated swimsuit models like Chrissy Teigan, who was joined by John Legend .
Kielbasa, Polish Sausage
At The Q, American barbecue wasn't the only representation. International barbecues from Asia, South America, and even Eastern Europe made appearances. Michael Symon served up a Polish sausage called kielbasa with a cabbage slaw.
Brooklyn-based Dale Talde, chef of Talde restaurant , heated things up with smoked Vietnamese short rib tucked inside a lettuce leaf with a buffalo-like hot sauce.
Smoked Beef Cheeks
Beef cheeks may sound strange to the American palate, but chef Hugh Mangum of New York City's Mighty Quinn's Barbecue  proved that the cut, tossed in a preserved lemon chili sauce, just might be the most tender part of the animal possible.
Geoffrey Zakarian posed with a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model who playfully mimicked the chef's thick-rimmed glasses with her own pink cutout mask.
Cinnamon and Pomegranate Barbecue Ribs
Even ribs can take on a Middle Eastern form, as chef Zakarian slathered his with a cinnamon-and-pomegranate glaze.
Ice Cream Fog
Sparkling wine wasn't the only thing cooling people down. Orlando's Three2OH  makes its ice cream using liquid nitrogen; however, while doing so, the process sends a wave of cool fog rushing out from underneath the stand. Happy dances ensue.
If ever there was a grown-up version of Frito pie, this brisket sandwich from Los Angeles chef Joshua Stone of Fat Sal's  would be it. Crunchy corn chips adorned the meat. A "shot of sauce" added just before service ensured crunchy chips with each bite.
Chicago-based chef Rick Bayless of Frontera Grill  greeted fans with a big grin.
Carne Asada Brava
You can't go wrong with medium-rare carne asada from Rick Bayless. But the true standout of the plate was the sweet corn tamal, steamed in a banana leaf. It tasted like the sweet sticky rice of the South American world.
Ancho Braised Short Ribs
Pickled carrots and tortilla chip slivers garnished these plates of ancho short ribs from New York City's Marc Murphy  and took on a comforting, tortilla-soup-like flavor.