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south beach wine & food fest

g
gingersnap Feb 20, 2008 06:06 PM

anyone going to any of the events? planning to go to saturdays grand tasting, have loved it the past 2 years.

  1. s
    sharoni345 Feb 20, 2008 08:12 PM

    Im going to Sunday Tasting..i went two both Sat and Sun last year...was amazinggggggg....very excited...I WISH i could go to more events..just has gotten so expensive..does anyone know anywhere doing contests to win tickets or anything?!?!?!

    1 Reply
    1. re: sharoni345
      t
      tpigeon Feb 20, 2008 09:01 PM

      I went a couple of years ago and was underwhelmed by the food at the grand tasting. Has anyone ever been to the high dollar special events?

      I believe they are not worth it no matter who is cooking because they are in an unfamiliar kitchen using unfamilar ovens, possibly unfamilar ingredients, and other equipment. Am I way off base here?

      Let's say, Batalli was cooking in a $1000 a plate event. Would it be as good or better than his own restaurants? I would highly doubt it, but want to hear from those who have actual experience of going to the special events.

      My guess is you are paying big bucks to meet & greet celebrity chefs.

    2. l
      LargeLife Feb 21, 2008 04:22 AM

      My wife and I have been to the last 3 SoBe W&F Fests....and we've enjoyed most all of the events.....But we were mightily disappointed in last year's Bubble Q....They ran out of the "All You Can Enjoy" Moet Champagne just 1 hour into the event....and we were stuck eating BBQ with Evian Water....Organizers did manage to pull out a case of champagne to toast honored guests and celebs later in the evening....while we stood with glasses empty...begging like dogs.....

      We spent over $2000 for tix that weekend....And I requested..in writing...a refund for Bubble Q tix....And organizers wrote back to me...stating...."that never happened and champagne flowed for all three hours".....So I guess that makes me a liar.....

      We've enjoyed this event thoroughly over the years.....But we've concluded that they don't need our business....our money....or continued patronage....A shame....

      EMac

      1. butrfli1227 Feb 21, 2008 05:37 AM

        I'll be at the Saturday tasting this year. Last year was my 1st time and it was amazing! They have so many different foods & wines, it would take days to taste everything. I'm also a food network addict so it was great to see Giada, Paula Deen and the other food celebs. I'm so EXCITED for Saturday!

        1. g
          gingersnap Feb 21, 2008 06:09 AM

          saw craigslist has tickets for sale. i think the grand tasting is worth the price- nobody expects the food to be the best they have ever had, its the fun and excitement of the whole thing. so many stalls of food and drink, love those bars set up in the middle of the tent, great to see all the food demos- just a great experience all around! can't wait...

          1. l
            LargeLife Feb 21, 2008 07:46 AM

            Oh...forgot to mention that I've spent over $10,000 in tickets for this event over the past three years.....I've taken family, friends and clients over the years....and had a great time.....But that didn't matter much to the organizers very much.....And I guess when they said that the champagne never stopped flowing at last year's Bubble Q....when it stopped less than an hour into the event....and that my complaint was invalid....that was enough for me......

            EMac

            1. m
              mikek Feb 21, 2008 07:52 AM

              I do not get the grand tastings? It is a list of restaurants that are in the area, most of which I have found to be mediocre? I would rather take the 200 per person and go to 2 or 3 meals with my girlfriend. The one event I would love to go to is the Sat night event at the AAA. It has top chefs from around the country and top vineyards to match.

              4 Replies
              1. re: LargeLife
                lax2mia Feb 21, 2008 10:55 AM

                That's weird. I remember someone on another string saying that champagne had run out. Sure enough I found it (see halfway through the string).

                I went to the event the first year and had a blast. After they almost doubled the prices the following year it turned us off. When Food Network began sponsoring it we decided to avoid Miami Beach entirely during that weekend. It'll be a Yakko-san and Heelsha kinda weekend. Hmm, sounds like a good post to start.

                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/446701

                1. re: mikek
                  j
                  jessierandall Feb 21, 2008 01:05 PM

                  Mike, I think the majority of the restos are actually from out of town. Last year, only two or three Miami chefs were present at the event I attended.

                  1. re: jessierandall
                    m
                    mikek Feb 21, 2008 02:18 PM

                    I just looked at the lineups for both days, and I would say that 90% listed were from the tri-county areas. Perhaps they changed the format this year?

                    1. re: mikek
                      j
                      jessierandall Feb 21, 2008 09:35 PM

                      Went to the burger bash tonight and probably 8 or 9 restos were Florida- based. It didn't take away from the fun. The event was wonderfully done. The burgers from Radius and The Hitching Post were phenomenal. (Neither are Florida-based.)

                      I was only horrified by one burger: the Everday with Rachael Ray contest winner. It was a dry pork burger with soso bread and a strip of bacon atop it. I hate wasting food but it hit the garbage after one bite. Had I a napkin handy, none of it would be in my digestive track.

                      All in all, it was a great experience. I got to talk to a number of the food network chefs and eat some killer burgers.

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