image description February 26, 2014

16 Things We Learned at SOBEWFF

16 Things We Learned at SOBEWFF

Another South Beach Wine & Food Fest has come and gone.

And yes, it was hot, humid and awesome. HUGE thanks to Lee Schrager & his team for putting on what I like to think of as spring break for the culinary world…. except in this case, what happened on spring break is not staying on spring break. We at Food Works are dishing on the best stuff happening behind the scenes at SOBE. Our top 16 things, in no particular order.


1. John Kunkel, the mastermind behind Yard Bird, Khong River House, Swine & Patpong Road is the most down to earth, smart dude we’ve met in a long time. Really, let’s hang out, John.


2. Speaking of Khong River House, you gotta eat there. Soon.

3. Robert Irvine is married to a WWE wrestler… is this common knowledge? At any rate, it’s awesome.

4. Rachael Ray apparently dislikes hot & humid weather, yet still manages to look like a million bucks in sweaty Miami.


5. We have a serious crush on Trisha Yearwood.  She has a thing for Beyonce and Prince and LOVES First Ave in Mpls.

6. Rocco DiSpirito kinda-sorta dissed Anne Burrell’s new ‘do. Whatever, Rocco, we love her cockatiel coiffe.

Big Gay Ice Cream

7. Cutest couple in the food world is a toss-up between Bryan Petroff & Doug Quint and Jenn Louis & David Welch.

Big Gay Ice Cream Social

8. Speaking of Big Gay Ice Cream, their ice cream social with Art Smith is quite possibly the best event at SOBE. Free, open to whomever, the only event that allows kids (outside of Jungle Island), and every single celeb chefs wants to go… not to mention, awesome desserts! Oh, and it promotes a good cause. More like this, please!

9. Paula Deen is alive and looking very svelte these days. We had a sighting at Lure Fish Bar. We love comebacks in America, and we wouldn’t root against anyone, but I wish Paula would do more to build relationships back with the communities that she marginalized and she ABSOLUTELY 10000% needs to stop riding Robert Irvine on stage.

Old Fashioned Donut

10. If you’re anywhere in south Florida, go to Dandee Donut Factory. Their sour cream old fashioned cake donuts are insane.

SOBEWFF Burger Bash Trophy

11. If you want to win Burger Bash, the key is to Keep. It. Simple. You don’t need to reinvent the burger. Really. No burger needs a ramen bun or chocolate sauce. Just do a classic burger and do it well. I beg and plead. It’s no coincidence that Shake Shack and Michael Symon always seem to win.

Geoffrey Zarkarian & Andrew Zimmern

12. Geoffrey Zakarian claims he dresses for the job he wants. If that’s the case, the guy wants to be a GQ model or something. Dapper.

Andrew Zimmern & Randy Fisher of CREaM

13. Randy Fisher & Kali Bensaadon of CREaM are the best in the food event planning biz. And a special shoutout to Kali for busting her ass while 7 months pregnant with twins. We do not know how you did it, KB. We’re not worthy!

14. You might think of Anthony Bourdain only as a badass, hard-partying guy.  Don’t paint people in corners. We spotted him playing in the pool with his daughter at 8:30am one morning… he’s a family man.


15. Next year, you gotta get tickets to The Munchies. Here’s why: it’s a huge array of foods—not just burgers or tacos or a bunch of riffs on the same item. There were burgers, hot dogs, donuts, ice cream, bbq, tacos… it’s a food freak’s haven.

16. Best MOMENT: midnight on Saturday, Sammy Hagar cover of Zeppelin’s Black Dog with Bonham on drums and Anthony on Bass…Fahk!!!



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