The largest event at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival is the Grand Tasting, where guests can sample food, wine, and spirits from dozens of vendors and also attend cooking demos, talks, and book signings besides. Here's a peek inside the tents!
1 The South Beach Wine & Food Festival is unique because the major events take place right on the sand.
2 The Grand Tasting is the biggest of them all.
3 Only in Florida: This table featured alligator picadillo. I want to say it tasted like chicken, but it didn't.
4 There were dozens of tables serving wine and spirits, and many a spirited festival-goer around them.
5 I spotted over a dozen celebrity chefs and Food Network hosts around the tents. Here's Marc Summers, a hero for those of us who grew up watching Double Dare, now the host of Unwrapped.
6 Chef Ming Tsai had his cooking demo audience laughing as he described beating Iron Chef Bobby Flay in "Battle: Duck."
7 Chef Marcus Samuelsson joined some fans for what looked to me like a high school yearbook photo.
8 Chef Michael Symon took questions from his audience on everything from TV hosting to the right way to grill lamb. (Bonus: There's Chef Anne Burrell in the background!)
9 Is that...wait, no.
10 Chef Emeril's cooking demo was jam-packed, not a seat to be had.
11 Chef made salad, fish stew, and an ice cream parfait while riffing on everything from overpriced limes to the hecklers who yell "Bam!" to him. The crowd showed their approval at the charity auction that followed, as the winning bid was a record $5,000 for an autographed mixer.
12 Signing books after his demo, Chef was all smiles.
13 The tents eventually got a bit soggy as rain came down, but in the end, we got a spectacular rainbow.
Want a taste of those demos? Check out this clip of Chef Emeril talking about the Rodney Dangerfield of vegetables.
Here's Chef Ming Tsai telling the story behind his getting the website, Ming.com.