So in case you’re wondering if the “South Beach Wine and Food Festival” lived up to all of the expectations that people had for it, I would have to report an emphatic YES!
According to everyone I’ve spoken to thus far, the annual South Beach Wine and Food Festival was undoubtedly “HOT, HOT, HOT!” Held last week from Feb 19th to 22nd, this is the 8th year of the event, and as usual, it was chock-full of exciting wine and food educational, promotional and of course, tasting events.
There were a lot of worries heading into the event, with the economy being down, the financial world being in utter disarray and employment figures being fairly to extremely depressing, depending on where you are looking at the numbers as of late, so people and the promoters simple weren’t sure if paying visitors were going to show up for the event.
If you’re a serious “Foodie” then you will be impressed with the roll call of honor, as they definitely lined up some of the top names in the world of connoisseur “creme de le creme” culinary celebrities.
“SoBe Wine and Food Festival” was proudly hosted by the good people over at “The Food Network” and featured a large number of the most prestigious and prominent “palate pleasing” Principalities & Personalities as far as true taste treat talent & theatrics goes, such as: Sunny Anderson, Emeril Lagasse, Tony Abou-Ganim, Rick Bayless, Rachael Ray, Paula Deen, Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, Tyler Florence, Patrick & Gina Neely, Daniel Boulud, Guy Fieri, Tom Colicchio, Martha Stewart, Sandra Lee.
Well, as it turned out, people DID show up, including The King and Queen of Spain. With the economy on everyone’s mind, there were a lot of corporate sponsored discounts on the tickets to get in, so depending on where you were standing and who you were talking to or reading, you might have paid anywhere from the standard $300 per ticket to as little as $50.00 to get in, with the average price of entry proving to be just around the $100.00 mark.
According to Juliene Wong, a South Florida citizen who attended the event Saturday, the festival was truly worth while, she enthusiastically replied that she thoroughly enjoyed doing something different and unusual, trying the different foods and seeing her favorite food network personalities, so for her, it was absolutely worth every penny.
When asked whether or not the festival was for perceived to be primarily intended for elite aficionados, or people with a more sophisticated and well educated pallet for food and wine, such as we normally find within the culture of collectors and connoisseurs, she replied “absolutely not, I myself am not an expert on wine or culinary arts and I had an amazing time.”
In hard economic times it seems that some Americans just want to get away from it all, even if it’s for a short time. A delicious time was had by all!
The festival does have a pretty hefty price tag, but from what I’ve heard and read, was definitely well worth the investment. The South Beach Wine and Food Festival will be returning next year and already has its dates set for Feb 25-28 2010.
OK, that gives those of you out there who would like to attend next year exactly a year to start saving up, so get to work redeeming those soda bottles and maybe limit your consumption of $6.00 cups of coffee to every other day… or hour, whatever your current pace is, simply cut it by half and you might just make it in time!
Signing off at Pigging out!
Rocco “Boss Hog” Loosbrock
(NewsBlaze readers use coupon code Blaze to get 10% off your next bacon order)
Rocco owns and runs a Bacon of the Month Club called The Bacon Freak Bacon is Meat Candy Club as well as a Wine Club called the Coastal Vineyard Wine Club