If you find yourself feeling a little bit left out because you didn't get to party in Miami with your favorite chefs and culinary personalities, don't worry. YumSugar has got your back. We have put together the ultimate 2012 SOBEWFF experience, complete with all the events we attended and the awesome people we had a chance to meet and learn from. After clicking through these photos, you'll be able to chat with your friends about how hilarious Bobby Flay was after he chugged his second mojito and how buttery and amazing stone crab really is. It'll be like you were there with us! And don't worry. We'll obviously keep your secret . . .
The South Beach Wine and Food Festival offered some of our favorite people in the food world the chance to kick back, drink mojitos, and hang out with one another. Even though we were at a food event, the wine and cocktails part seemed to be the first thing on everybody's mind. From Bobby Flay chugging his two huge drinks on stage to Michael Chiarello doing a bit of a pole dance, click through to see who we spotted.
"Wow, I'm wasted," the Food Network chef admitted to the crowd, after pounding down two giant mojitos in a row. The inebriated audience only encouraged him to drink more. For the most entertaining of Bobby's bytes, keep on reading.
It's no secret here at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival that Guy Fieri's demo is hands down the most highly anticipated cooking demo of the festival. After all, last year's saw fanatical crowds and the onslaught of a slurricane machine.
While Guy's demo this year was a feat not to be missed, perhaps even more entertaining was the presence of a Guy Fieri impostor who we caught sight of while waiting for Guy's demo to begin. We thought he was the man of the hour himself from afar, with the shirt, the goatee, the spiky platinum tips, and the sunglasses — but quickly realized this man wasn't rocking the same sun glow that, hours before, was pouring us cups of homemade jungle juice at the SOBE afterparty.
It's no secret that Guy Fieri has impostors, but this one had no fear of showing up his favorite celebrity chef. Where did he turn up, one might wonder? Well, everywhere: in the tents tasting off-the-hook food, chatting it up with other festival-goers, and waiting for his idol to take center stage. Keep clicking to see some of the places we spotted Guy Fieri's impersonator.
This year, for the first time, Rachael Ray crowned a Burger Bun King of South Beach Wine and Food Festival. She took some time at the end of her demonstration in the village to bring some of her friends and colleagues on stage. We're not sure if the crowd was prepared for what followed. The audience actually got to pick which chef had the best buns. But we're not so sure she meant burger buns! Click through to find out who the lucky winner was.
Without a doubt, the biggest event at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival is Rachael Ray's annual Burger Bash. The event was bigger and badder than ever, with 32 burgers from top restaurants and chefs across the country. It was also incredibly loud, hot, sweaty, sandy, and chaotic; frankly, we're not sure how we survived it. But we did eat some stellar burgers: read on to see who served what, and — of course — who won the coveted Burger Bash prizes!
We started off the 2012 South Beach Wine and Food Festival in a big way: at Moët Hennessy's The Q, a barbecue and bubbly bash that took place under a tent right under the stars of South Beach. The grillout, which was hosted by Food Network pals Emeril Lagasse and Guy Fieri, was filled with plenty of other star chefs, from Anne Burrell to Stephanie Izard. Check out everything we filled up on — plus all of our behind-the-scenes party pics — when you click ahead.
Guests at this year's fête will be fed courtesy of Cat Cora, who'll be pulling out all the stops with an all-out global-inspired menu. I spoke to the Iron Chef about what she's making for this bash (and her tips for hosting your own Oscars viewing party at home!), as well as what's in the pipeline for her this year (hint: it involves several restaurant openings and a new show on Bravo!).
YumSugar: What's on the menu for this year's Oscars party?
Cat Cora: We're going to do a fantastic Italian salad — a tricolore, with arugula, some beautiful endive, and radicchio, composed with a pureed pistachio vinaigrette — just to start off nice and light. Then we're going to offer a baby tomato and bocconcini salad with a Bloody Mary vinaigrette, sesame-encrusted lamb meatballs, a filet tenderloin of beef, and a really good sea bass choice. We'll finish things off with a silky chocolate dessert or a pear and apple tartlet. It's going to be really over-the-top.
YS: Who are you most excited to run into?
Find out the answer — and more on Oscar-night party planning — when you keep reading.
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The Barefoot Contessa, as her fans call her, is always cool and collected when it comes to elegant home entertaining. How much do you know about her interesting life and accomplishments? Find out when you take this quiz!
This weekend, food artisans from around the country are being honored in the second annual Good Food Awards, which celebrate American food producers who enhance the country's agricultural landscape and help to build community. While the awards are relatively new to the gastronomic landscape, they're already backed by some of the country's biggest food influencers, such as Whole Foods, and seminal culinary figures, like Ruth Reichl.
Ruth is currently the editorial adviser at Gilt Taste, another cosponsor of this weekend's Good Food Awards. The author, former New York Times food critic, and final Gourmet editor sat down with me over dinner at Mission Chinese Food to talk more about good food and future projects.
YumSugar: Tell me about the partnership between Gilt Taste and the Good Food Awards. How did it come about?
Ruth Reichl: I've known Sarah [Weiner, the director] for a long time, and we've been talking about this for a long time. When I went to Gilt Taste, it just seemed like a seamless, natural partnership, finding and supporting food artisans in America.
YS: You're the keynote speaker at this year's Good Food Awards. What kind of a legacy do these awards create?
RR: It's hard for younger people to understand how bad things were in America, a time when all food was essentially industrial. There were no farmers markets. I have an interview with Wolfgang Puck that I did in 1982 where he goes, "Six years ago, there was no decent food in America." Now, there's this explosion of farmers markets, and while so much of the world is abandoning their food heritage, Americans are reclaiming theirs before it gets lost . . . We have these two completely parallel, simultaneous, and opposite tracks: on the one hand, people with money who eat organic, sustainable, handmade food. But if you're a poor person, you're stuck eating stuff that's cheaper than food and that will kill you. Food safety in this country becomes a worse and worse issue; we import more and more food; 80 percent of the antibiotics in this country go to perfectly healthy animals. We have a real crisis on the one hand — and on the other hand, we have, for the first time, an awareness of it. Which is quite stunning.
I really do think American food is the best in the world right now, because of the people making the kind of food that goes to the Good Food Awards. We have to nurture it, and make sure that it doesn't just stay with us in this little enclave.
YS: There's movement toward eating a plant-based diet. What do you think of that?
To find out her answer, keep reading.