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Dishing it Out

| March 30, 2012 | Parties National

The eat was most certainly on at this year’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Thousands of foodies made their way to this year’s event, risking increased cholesterol levels in the name of foie gras, burgers and vino… oh, so much vino. And chefs… so many chefs. The highlights were many: Charlie Trotter got his due at the Tribute Dinner… Bethenny Frankel got her sweet tooth on with Godiva at The Best Thing I Ever Ate… David Burke introduced diners to the nuances of eating sans sight at Dining in the Dark… Antonio Banderas showed the masses that he’s as good an actor as he is a winemaker at Matador… Rachael Ray presented her very first patty at the Burger Bash… Al Roker talked about something besides the weather for a change… Bobby Flay got the grill going as he always does… Rocco DiSpirito and Guy Fieri taught kids the importance of good nutrition and healthy eats… Anne Burrell got people cooking at the Barilla Interactive Lunch… The Neelys showed Miami what Memphis cooking is all about… Daniel Holzman taught us about meatballs as Mark Oldman poured wine… Douglas Rodriguez and Aarón Sanchez took culinary matters to the water in the first-ever Salsa at Sea tasting… Anthony Bourdain pissed off a fan or two with some snarky remark… Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos proved that the couple that cooks together stays together… Paula Deen giggled... And Andrew Zimmern closed it all with Trucks on the Beach. There were two particular events with extra buzz, however. The Q (this year’s replacement to the BubbleQ) made its debut and reassured attendees that barbecue is alive and well at the festival. “It’s just like it was before,” said one attendee. “There’s just a lot more booze.” Not to mention off-the-grill dishes from the likes of Stephanie Izard, Dewey LoSasso, Jordi Vallés and a slew of others. “The fish tacos from the Standard are something,” said publicist Larry Carrino. And they were! Over at the Diamond Dishes event, the talk was not of cuisine (not at first, anyway), but of baseball. The event (for Julie Loria’s book by the same name) was held at the brand-new Marlins Park, where talents like Scott Conant, Michelle Bernstein, Laurent Tourondel and Hedy Goldsmith served their bites (and lots of Laurent Perrier Rosé) right at the various base spots on the diamond. As glorious as the cuisine on display was, the one topic of conversation among guests had nothing to do with food. “That retractable roof is something else,” said columnist Daisy Olivera. “I wish they’d leave it closed though. My hair is not happy.” Wind aside, the evening was a homerun. If only we could take back the calories. Photography by Billy Farrell Agency & World Red Eye


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