Celebrating its 13th year, The South Beach Wine & Food Festival brings together the country’s most established chefs along with the up-and-coming culinary stars, to Miami each year, turning it for the weekend into the culinary capital of the planet. Here is a taste of some of the most remarkable dishes I sampled over the four-day affair.
Which dish has your mouth watering? Share your pick in the comments below!
Photos By: Brandon Perlman
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Day 1: Moet Hennessy’s "The Q" event kicked off the festival on Thursday night with some of the nation’s best chefs preparing their signature BBQ-inspired dishes on the beach in front of South Beach’s Delano Hotel.
Grilled kalbi short ribs with kimchi by Floyd Cardoz of the North End Grill in New York City.
Georgia peach glazed baby back ribs with “The Forge” collard greens by Christopher Lee of The Forge in Miami Beach.
Carne Asada Brava: Spicy habanero marinated and grilled Creekstone Farms flank steak, spicy salsa huevana with fresh corn tamal, banana leaf steamed sweet corn tamal, and homemade crema by Rick Bayless of Frontera Grill in Chicago.
Costata tomahawk chop with shaved zucchini salad, Calabrian chilies, and torn basil by PJ Calapa of Costata in New York City.
BBQ Brisket Sliders: Martins’s potato roll, green apple jalapeño slaw, sweet potato chips by Joshua Stone of Fat Sal’s Deli in Los Angeles.
Day 2: By far everyone’s “must attend” event during the festival is the Amstel Light Burger Bash. Currently in its 8th year, and once again hosted by Rachel Ray, the grills took to the sand in front of the Ritz Carlton Hotel. You could literally smell the aroma from miles away...
The Big Sexy from The Stanton Social in New York City: Dry aged prime rib, short rib, chuck, and ground bacon burger topped with Pepsi-Cola caramelized onions, American cheese, and secret sauce on a Martin’s Potato Roll.
Commerce Burger 2.0 from Commerce in New York City: Rye bread with caramelized onions, smoked gouda, and a Pat LaFrieda patty.
The Murph-A-Lotta from Landmarc in New York City: An all beet patty topped with Giardiniera relish, provolone cheese, sopressata, and green olive aioli.
The Fat Doug Burger from B Spot in Cleveland, Ohio: Burger with coleslaw, pastrami, Castello Aged Havarti cheese, and Stadium Mustard.
Day 2: The Wine Spectator's “Best of the Best” event at the Fontainebleau. Sampling signature dishes from more than 50 of the country’s best restaurants while sipping on wines rated 90 points or higher on the Wine Spectator scale couldn't be a better treat.
My favorite dish by far was the scallop sashimi with candied fennel and Arak foam with yuzu olive oil and mint cello radish from Ilili Restaurant in New York City.
Day 3: The Barilla Interactive lunch at the Biltmore Hotel, hosted by Katie Lee. Chefs and guests alike prepared world-class dishes tableside under the watchful eyes of culinary talent, Lorenzo Boni Barilla’s Executive Chef, and Food Network stars Katie Lee and Jeff Mauro.
Barilla Gemelli pasta with asparagus, grape tomatoes, Vermentino wine, and mascarpone cream.
Cinnamon raison bread pudding with caramel sauce and vanilla crème glacee.
Day 3: The Rosé Lifestyle of St. Tropez event at the Tiki Garden at Soho Beach House. Sipping on Whispering Angel Rosé from Chateau d’Esclans.
Day 3: Thrillist’s BBQ & Blues Hosted by Bobby Dean at the Eden Roc Hotel. Favorite dish: Pulled BBQ oxtail served with macaroni and pimento cheese by Blue Collar's (in Miami) owner and Executive Chef Daniel Serfer.
Day 3: The Chicken Coupe event hosted by Andrew Carmellini at The W Hotel South Beach. A champagne and fired chicken tasting from America’s best. My personal favorite was the Kerala fried chicken by Asha Gomez from Atlanta’s Cardamom Hill Restaurant. Finished with a drizzle of coconut oil and spicy mango sauce, caramelized onion, and cumin rice. This Indian-inspired morsel was loaded with unexpected heat and sweetness.
Day 4: The festival finished with the Best of The Munchies: People's Choice Food Awards event presented by PepsiCo and hosted by Andrew Zimmern. The “Munchies” are the ultimate close out to the festival featuring the very best bites from each event as voted on by the public.
Patracio Sandoval of Mercadito Hospitality in Chicago's Taco Estilo Baja: Crispy beer battered mahi mahi, Mexican-style coleslaw, chipotle aioli.
Richard Ingraham of Team ChefRLI’s sweet potato pancakes served with slow roasted pork slathered in a sweet tangy pineapple BBQ sauce, chicharrons, and smoked maple syrup.