South Beach Wine and Food Festival: The Bacchanal is Back

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On February - 24 - 2010


Stephanie March and Bobby Flay

Stephanie March and Bobby Flay

It’s no secret that the South Beach Wine and Food Festival (SBWFF) is taking over Miami, specifically South Beach this weekend.  What the World Series is to baseball fans, the SBWFF is to eaters everywhere.  Foodies have been revving up their taste buds since the last crumb was consumed at the end of SBWFF 2009, some wishing they had four stomachs like the bovines.  Well it’s back so prepare for an influx of culinary gastro fiends to invade our turf and enjoy the chef-lebrity sightings.  Here is a run down to help you organize your week as you prepare your medicine cabinet with antacids and digestive aids to get you through.

On Thursday, February 25, Rachael Ray will be hosting the Amstel Light Burger Bash at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach.  The festivities take place from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., where guests get the chance to vote for their favorite burger. Defending 2009 Burger Bash People’s Choice Award Winner, Spike Mendelsohn, (Washington, D.C.), will be fighting to keep his title.  Making its competitive debut this year is New York City’s critically acclaimed Bill’s Bar & Burger with Chef Brett Reichler at the grill.  Also joining the Bash, are heavy hitters Bobby Flay, Marcus Samuelsson, Stephanie Izard, and Masaharu Morimoto just to name a few. A portion of the VIP preview reception proceeds will benefit Rachael Ray’s nonprofit Yum-o!® Foundation.

 On Friday afternoon, the honorable Pierre Vimont, French Ambassador to the United States, will officially open the “Celebrate France!” tent during Wine Spectator’s Trade Day.  The ribbon cutting will take place at 12:30 p.m. on 13th and Ocean, giving the phrase “Viva la France!” a whole new meaning.   Food Network star Sunny Anderson, the Cooking for Real host, will also be appearing at the VIVA booth from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

 Friday the Perrier-Jouët Bubble Q, hosted by the “Bamalicious”  Emeril Lagasse set up shop in a giant tent on the sand (read: wearcelebrating-with-a-bamromero-britto-presents-emeril-lagasse-with-a-painting-during-his-five-year-anniversary-celebration-2 flats) behind the Delano.  Call us biased, but this is our FAVORITE party during SBWFF.  Free flowing champagne, tons of “cheflebrities,” great music and tasty perfectly grilled seafood and meats…how can you go wrong?  An added bonus is that Pennsylvania-based Sweet Street Desserts will debut it’s dessert bar ( and Godiva will also provide chocolate decadence. The cork popping begins at 7:30 p.m.  Chef-lebrities expected include Todd English, Aaron Sanchez, Tony Neely, Adam Perry Lang, Chris Lilly, Elizabeth Karmel to name a few.  This year, expect some surprises dangling from the rafters and some other secret fun that we have promised not to divulge.  Check back for photos next week!  

 Also taking place on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Fontainebleau is Best of the Best, where some of the most acclaimed chefs will be flaunting their culinary expertise, along with the world’s top wines and champagnes.  In the presence of Pierre Vimont, Scott Conant, Alfred Portale, Michael Psilakis, Masaharu Morimoto, Michael White and many others are expected to show off their skills to the delight of many palates.

 If you are up and running on Saturday and Sunday morning don’t miss the Whole Foods Grand Tasting Village.  Starting at 11:00 a.m., the food adventure begins with hundreds of local restaurants serving their finest, top “chefleb” sightings and cooking demos, and wine and spirits that would make Bacchus envious.   Chelebrities scheduled to appear: Bobby Flay, Rachael Ray, Sandra Lee, Katie Lee, Emeril Lagasse, Ming Tsai, Paula Deen, Michael Chiarello, Guy Fieri,  to name a few.  For a full schedule of appearances and tickets go to:

 South Beach Diet, yes “diet”, presents Fun and Fit as a Family on Saturday and Sunday morning, as well.  The “mini-festival” teaches kids and parents how to make healthy food choices while having fun in the kitchen.  Featuring the Kellogg’s Kidz Kitchen, Fun and Fit will kick off with a cooking demonstration at 11:00 a.m., on Saturday, by Paula Deen, followed by Daisy Martinez at 1:00 p.m. and Rachael Ray at 3:00 p.m.  Additional celebrities slated to appear at special Food Lab demos are Marcela Valladolid (11:30 a.m.), Maggie Jimenez (1:30 p.m.) and Adrianne Calvo (3:30 p.m.). On Sunday, the festivities will begin with Guy Fieri at 11:00 a.m., followed by Rocco DiSpirito at 1:00 p.m. and Michelle Bernstein at 3:00 p.m.  Additional celebrities slated to appear at special Food Labs include Marcela Valladolid (11:30 a.m.), Juliana Gonzalez (1:30 p.m.) and Adrianne Calvo (3:30 p.m.). Jungle Island,  1111 Parrot Jungle Trail (Miami).  Tickets are still available at

 Saturday evening, iconic chef, Daniel Boulud, will be honored at this year’s 2010 Tribute Dinner, last year’s honoree was Emeril Lagasse.  The event will be hosted by Food & Wine’s Gail Simmons, (Top Chef judge), formerly Chef Boulud’s special events manager for his restaurant empire.  The celebration will take place at 7:00 p.m. at the Loews Miami Beach.

 Also on Saturday night, the newly added Wine + Dine + Design event is a multi-course seated dinner that will travel from one culinary hot spot to another in Miami’s Design District, including SRA Martinez, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Fratelli Lyon and Pacific Time. Each will offer one delicious course along with a specially paired wine. The night will end with an outdoor dessert party with all the evening’s diners at ORNARE. Sweet Street Desserts will also have trucks roaming the Design District for those who need an added sugar fix.   All restaurants are located along 40th Street, between North Miami Avenue and NW 2nd Avenue in the Miami Design District; the event begins at 7:00 p.m.

 The closing party for SBWFF takes place on Sunday night and will be hosted by fan favorite Guy Fieri. This last hurrah takes place at Gansevoort South Beach, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.  To see galleries of events from last year’s SBWFF visit:

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