My Trip to South Beach Wine & Food Festival 2017, Part Two
There is always so much to do at SOBE.
As you know, I recently flew to Miami, Florida to attend the annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival - this year, its “Sweet 16”. While there, I always try to participate in as many events as possible. Among them, as part of the New York Times Cooking Dinner Series, I co-hosted a lovely dinner at Stephen Starr’s Le Zoo. I also attended a rose cocktail party at the famed Faena hotel, and a “pool party” at the Hotel Sant Ambroeus in Palm Beach. Here are more photos - enjoy.
Here I am at Le Zoo with Mel Dick, senior vice president of Southern Wine and Spirits of America and President of the company’s Wine Division, along with his wife, Bobbi.
This is the bar at Le Zoo, the stylish 200-seat French brasserie from Stephen Starr. The menu features classic bistro fare and an array of dishes celebrating the flavors of the Mediterranean.
Two of Le Zoo’s great sous chefs stopped to pose for this photo.
Here I am with old friends from Miami – Tara Solomon, my publicist Susan Magrino, and Yolanda Berkowitz.
Here’s a mouthwatering seafood display of king crab legs, stone crab legs, mussels, Kumamoto oysters, and Maine lobsters – everything was so fresh.
And a tray of shaved truffles that were served on top of baked potatoes.
Here I am with Le Zoo’s executive chef, Craig Wallen, and Hugo Carmona, deputy chef to internationally renowned truffle expert, Benjamin Bruno. Dinner included whole Brumale truffle, baked potato with truffles, and a delicious roasted lobster with light Brumale truffle bisque and fresh vegetables.
And here I am joined by award-winning pastry chef, and 2016 James Beard Award semifinalist, Antonio Bachour, of Miami’s Bachour Bakery+Bistro. For dessert, Antonio created a delectable Gianduja Petit Gateau with chocolate hazelnut mousse, passion fruit cremeux, yuzu ganache, and chocolate hazelnut praline pain de Genes.
I stopped to welcome everyone to Le Zoo for the dinner and shared some of my favorite SOBE memories.
Here is a nice photo of my good friend and chef, Geoffrey Zakarian, and Susan.
Geoffrey, his wife Margaret, and Chef Marcus Samuelsson posed for this snapshot. Geoffrey and Margaret also hosted an event at SOBE called “Samba Late Night Supper”.
The weather was perfect for this year’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival, and the views were breathtaking.
Here I am holding a copy of the “Miami New Times” with my friend, Snoop Dogg, on the cover. Snoop was also at SOBE for a culinary demo with Guy Fieri, and to host a custom “Gin & Juice” bar.
The next day, we headed to the Faena Hotel. Artist Juan Gatti, the Michelangelo of Faena created “The Way to Futopia”, eight large scale site-specific murals. They reference classical themes of love, war, knowledge, passion and nature. This one is called “Revelatio”.
This mural is “Gnosis”, which denotes personal and inward knowledge.
“Energos” is the ancient Greek adjective, meaning to be engaged “in work.”
“Illuminatio” translated from Latin means “enlightenment”.
“Scientia” is the Latin word for science and suggests an intellectual and mystical knowledge of the world.
“Potere” was widely used in ancient times to describe the virtues of being strong and able-bodied.
“Amor” stood for what we would now call “love” and “fervor.”
And, “Pax” in Latin means peace, quiet and tranquility.
These columns in the outdoor dining area at Faena are encrusted in seashells.
Nearby is Faena’s Tree of Life – a courtyard seating area featuring this three-story tall tree.
The Tree is surrounded by a large tile covered bench.
Also outdoors at Faena is “Gone but not Forgotten” by Damien Hirst. He gilded the mammoth bones and presented them as if part of a natural history museum. It’s said to be worth millions of dollars.
Here is a closeup of this amazing installation.
At Faena, I attended an event hosted by JetSmarter, a mobile marketplace for private jet charter that operates globally and is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale. Here I am with members of the Jetsmarter team. As a regular traveler for both business and pleasure, this is a great and very convenient service – especially for my busy schedule.
These gold and white drapes were hard to miss. The event was held in one of Faena’s lounges designed by cinematic visionaries, Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin. They also worked on the musical film, Moulin Rouge.
Also eye-catching are the decorative birds underneath the tables, and – look closely behind – leopard covered sofas.
We also stopped at the famous Versailles Restaurant and Bakery, which has been serving tasty Cuban cuisine and treats to the South Florida community and its visitors for four decades.
There was a large array of pastries in the cafe – all freshly made.
On our last night in the area, we attended a party at Sant Ambroeus in Palm Beach, hosted by Whispering Angel Rosé King, Sacha Lichine. Here I am with Sacha. (Photo by Annie Watt)
Here are Susan, and her husband, Jim Dunning.
My publicist, and Susan’s sister, Allyn Magrino, poses with Sacha’s wife, Mathilde Lichine.
More than 100-guests attended the outdoor “pool” party. (Photo by Annie Watt)
We all had a wonderful time – here I am with Susan and Lis. (Photo by Annie Watt)