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Feb 22, 2009 04:35 PM

Grand Tasting at South Beach Food and Wine Festival

I went to the Grand Tasting...what a Zoo, not sure I am going to go back. I thought there were some really good things and some really horrible things. I had some quesadillas that were awesome and then there was this soup that was barely edible. I am curious to see if anyone else had any good or bad experiences!

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  1. A total zoo. Madness. people pushing and shoving. terrible organization. they should have one tent for wines, one tent for foods. and why did it seem as if the WINE and food fest became a LIQUOR bonanza? So many different brands of booze that had nothing to do with wine..yuck!

    1. I agree. Went on Saturday-was looking forward to it as we had gone last year and had a great time. There should be instructions on how to behave at a food festival- not that anyone would really listen or read. The lines for the food were outrageous- there were loads of people who started at one end of the food tables and then just walked along the tables browsing. They would look and listen to what foods were being offered and then say no and stand there and wait until they could move forward to the next table and see what they had to offer. Or they would stand there and eat and discuss what they liked or didn't like with their friends. Grab a sample and get out! My husband watched a guy get a sample, eat it and then drop the sample cup on the ground and go up to the next table. He (this guy) then proceeded to step on my foot and elbow me out of the way to get at a sample. My husband and I would take turns waiting in a line- at one table he was waiting for a slider (chicken?) and a woman was at the table and grabbed a plate with the slider and started to eat it. Her friends were behind her and started saying "Hey, grab us some too" (which was fine) but then she said " Can't you wait for me to eat mine?" -so that's four people (five including my husband who was trying to get to the tray) all at the front of this line with a big crowd of people waiting behind them. There were several food tables we never got to the lines were ridiculous.

      1. Seems that this event has become a throw away event for the masses. This years list of restaurants was horrible and not a good representation of South Florida Chefs and Restaurants.

        Is there any planned organization or structure for the Grand Tasting? In past years it felt like the Chefs and Restaurants were hand selected and wanted to be there.

        My partner and I wasted our time at this years Trade Day GT, only food was discusting Sysco food and a long line at the CenterPlate booth for ceviche. The Exhibitors were not serving any food and their were many empty tables.

        As most of the other events did not sell out, the organizers decided to once again oversell the GT and make the overall experience a crowded disaster. Serving booze over 4 hours will not ensure that everyone will have a good time. FIU student volunteers looked like dears in the headlights and did not seem happy to be there.

        This is surely my last year at this unorganized and careless event.

        1. Thanks for confirming my decision to skip this.