Beth Landman is down enjoying the weather, parties, and, of course, food at this year’s South Beach Wine and Food Festival. She filed this report.
It may be Academy Awards weekend in L.A., but with all the paparazzi and the obsessive fans, the scene in Miami is not too dissimilar. There is a “beauty suite” at The Sagamore Hotel’s Rik Rak salon, where VIPs are invited to have airbrush make-up, hair styling, and pedicures in preparation for the evening’s parties; and William Morris hosted a party for their stars at the Soho House.
Which is to say nothing of the marketing overload — there are 140 corporate partners including American Express, The New York Times, Whole Foods, and, of course, Food Network. Havaianas even has chefs handing out flip-flops
Last night’s biggest madhouse was the Bobby Flay-hosted Bubble Q, an annual grill-fest that will come to an end after this year. Food Network stars like Giada De Laurentiis mingled with the masses, and Missy Robbins, Todd English, Jonathan Waxman, and Ed Brown sweated it out over hot grills. “Half of our equipment didn’t show up, including our cookers,’’ sighed Todd English. “So we’ve been running around at the last minute.’’
Nobu’s Richie Notar was working the room. “I’m not selling anything,’’ he promised. “I haven’t been to one of these in years and there’s camaraderie. I like to say hi to chefs, have a drink and a bite to eat.’’ He says his favorite Miami spot now is a little restaurant on the bay called Sardinia.
Of course, Danny Meyer knew where the real action was: “The guys outside are doing the real barbeque,’’ he explained. “Inside it’s just famous chefs doing quote-unquote barbeque.’’