1 This is the charming butler at the SoHo House, located on Collins Ave. in Miami Beach.
2 He came to my luxurious suite to mix some nice cocktails after arriving in Miami.
3 He offered caipirinhas, gin and tonics, and other interesting cocktails.
4 The cart was well-stocked with fresh juices and condiments.
5 He has a nice shaking technique.
6 A caipirinha is made with fresh muddled lime, cachaça - a liquor made from fermented sugarcane juice, and cane sugar syrup.
7 Caipirinhas are quite delicious and refreshing.
8 I was in Miami with Lucinda Scala Quinn, Sarah Carey, Daisy Schwartzberg, and Kevin Sharkey. SoBe greeter Jennifer Hager met us at the airport.
9 On Friday evening, we attended Wine Spectator's Best of the Best at Fontainebleau Hotel.
10 This is the famous Bleau Bar, which has long been regarded as the meeting place of the stars.
11 After a $1 billion renovation and expansion, the Hotel held a grand reopening in November of 2008. The grand lobby's original white-and-black bow-tie floor pattern was recreated out of new materials.
12 This is one of many fabulous chandeliers in the Hotel.
13 Best of the Best was held in a very crowded grand ballroom. This event features the best chefs in the country, who pair their dishes with the best wines rated 90 points or higher on Wine Spectator's scale.
14 Upon entering the ballroom, guests are each given a wine glass.
15 The wineglasses are in a holder and are designed to be worn around the neck.
16 Here I am with Susan Magrino, my long-time publicist. It was very humid in Miami and definitely not a good hair day. I was also fighting the flu.
17 Sanford Winery, located in the Santa Rita Hills of CA, is known for their Pinot Noir. With climate and soil similarities to France's Burgundy province, Sanford was the first CA winery to plant Pinot in that area. http://www.sanfordwinery.com/
18 Cloudy Bay Vineyards is located in various location in the Marlborough region of New Zealand to maximize the considerable diversity that exists in micro-climates and soil types. http://www.cloudybay.co.nz/
19 Cloudy Bay had several excellent wines to choose from.
20 Here I am with Chef Brad Farmerie from Public in New York City, where he serves free-spirited fusion. http://public-nyc.com/
21 Chef Brad holding his tasty creation - Each chef is required to prepare 600 - 900 individual servings to satisfy the crowd.
23 This fellow did not want to pour me any wine.
24 I held out my glass until he acquiesced. I had a small taste and it was quite good.
25 This is Chef Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern in New York City, where he offers refined, contemporary American cuisine. http://www.gramercytavern.com/
26 Chef Michael served the crowd a wonderful dish of Gulf shrimp.
27 Jordan Vineyard & Winery is located in Sonoma County, CA and are known for their excellent Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. http://www.jordanwinery.com/
28 Posing with Chef Pascal Oudin, chef/owner of the award winning French restaurant, Pascal's on Ponce, in Coral Gables, FL.
29 Chef Pascal served a yummy steak tartar topped with caviar.
30 A large tin of caviar staying cold in an ice bowl
31 These gals were working feverishly assembling a rather complicated hors d'oeuvre of crabmeat.
32 This type of dish is difficult to prepare for 600 - 900 hungry attendees.
33 It was quite good.
34 The Vodka Cured Salmon Belly was amazingly fresh, served with dill pearls and mustard caviar on black bread. It was prepared by The Villa By Barton G restaurant in Miami Beach. http://www.thevillabybartong.com/dining
35 I wanted some of these freshly dug truffles! On the left is Chef Michael Lewis of Zuma Miami, offering a sophisticated cuisine philosophy of flavorsome, modern Japanese dishes. http://www.zumarestaurant.com/
36 There were many desserts and they were all quite extraordinary!
37 There was so much variety.
38 Light as a feather mousse
39 A very special panna cotta - It was utterly delicious!
40 Someone was serving sweet spiced popcorn.
41 And someone else was spinning cotton candy.
42 These fellows from Lavazza were serving up shots of espresso as a form of drunk prevention. I wished them luck!