Food Network SOBE Wine and Food Festival

Wow, what an amazing foodie weekend. I think I told you before I love my job, but the perks that come with my job are a.m.a.z.i.n.g!!!! One of those perks was attending the Food Network SOBE Wine and Food Festival this weekend. 

The 2012 South Beach Wine and Food Festival opened on Thursday night with “Q” – where the theme of the night was barbecue and champagne. 

Champagne, wine and cocktails were flowing all night, so much that by 8:45 p.m. one of the two humongous bars run out of champagne. Fortunately, there was a refrigerated truck behind the tent, where more cases of MoΓ«t had been waiting for the crowds. I am pretty sure I contributed to the shortage of champagne….my hangover lasted till Saturday…..Since it was the opening night, and all of the celeb chefs were in attendance, I was in foodie celebrity heaven – there was Morimoto handing out his surf and turf of beef brisket and yellowtail pastrami, Scott Conant of Scarpetta 
as was Emeril
Guy Fieri
Al Roker (NBC)
 Aaron Sanchez (Chopped)
Nadja G, 
Stephanie Izard 
and my favorite Michelle Bernstein
There were 38 stations, but I only made my way through about 13 of them….I tried pacing myself, but there was just too much BBQ. My favorite, of course was Michy’s “Yogurt and Kumquat Roast Lamb with Falafel and Flatbread”.
It was a fun night with live entertainment, impressive food, impeccable organization, and great company.

 The second night was just as exciting. I went to the “Burger Bash hosted by Rachel Ray” and tried tasting food at all 35 stations, but yet again it was almost impossible. Though I did taste all the sweets – yum!
It was another star studded night…Rachel Ray (who spent half the time hiding in her booth chatting with her friends)

 Michael Simon
“Serendipity” frozen hot chocolate
Godiva Chocolate Bar

Sandwich King

Friday night was a true girls’ night out. It was so much fun hanging out with my girlfriend Gloria, laughing, people watching and enjoying good food.

Saturday morning, I was invited as part of group of bloggers and media to attend an event sponsored by Bertolli  for cooking demo with chef Fabiano Viviani. But I think that event deserves its own post. Stay tuned it’s coming!!!!

Since this was my first time going to the “tents”, I learned some valuable lessons for the next year

  • Wear comfy shoes – first night I showed up in 6″ heels… Hence this photo
  • Go early. The early bird gets prime food and shortest lines – thank God for those speedy VIP lines
  • Go hands-free – you’ll want both hands for plates and cups – after all this night is all about food and drinks
  • Pace yourself. Like I said there are 38 stations and over 20 were left un-tasted….I wish I did this!!!!
  • Mingle with Chefs – yup it’s true, they will talk to you…well and other celebrities, like countess de Lesseps (who would have thought she would be so down to earth person)

Again, thank you Food Network for having me….it was a blast. what a memorable foodie weekend!
P.S. And is if my weekend ended with that…I also indulged in some pampering and got a massage and went to a beautiful surprise birthday party and most of all enjoyed this little munchkin (she is mastering how to take photos with my iPhone)

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