Thursday, February 19, 2009

Best of the Best

I'm taking in some R&R time in Florida. I'm a Canadian and as much as I adore Canada, leaving temperatures that are in the minus figures and shedding the winter coats and boots for shorts and enjoying the mid 80's F (30's C) doesn't take a whole lot of arm twisting. Apart from the weather, I just happened to be here when the Food and Wine Festival is on in Miami Beach. Driving down the streets one sees celebrity chefs of the Food Network posters adorning the light standards. Oh look - there's Tyler Florence, Paula Deen, Giada DiLaurentis, Emeril to name just a few.
Alot of the events are already sold out so I expected that the closest I would get would be to see the entrance gates on the drive past.

Today is/was and will always be remembered as a lucky day for me. A friend was able to get me a ticket for an event called "The Best of the Best" - an evening event on Friday, February 20th - a sampling of food and wine at the newly renovated Fontainebleau.

I'm not one to get star struck but who can dispute the incredible list of who's who in the culinary world?

Participating Chefs:

Nate Appleman (A16 Restaurant and SPQR Restaurant, San Francisco, CA)
John Besh (Restaurant August, New Orleans, LA)
Patrick Boucher (Acqua, Four Seasons Hotel, Miami, FL)
Anne Burrell
Floyd Cardoz (Tabla, New York, NY)
Fabrizio & Nicola Carro (Quattro Gastronomia Italiana, South Beach, FL)
Anthony Carron (Bourbon Steak Miami, Aventura, FL)
Richard Chen (Wing Lei at Wynn Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV)
Scott Conant (Scarpetta, Fontainebleau Miami Beach, FL)
Adam Cooke (Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN)
Andrea Curto-Randazzo & Frank Randazzo (Talula, Miami Beach, FL)
Daniel Eardley (Chestnut, Brooklyn, NY)
Angelo Elia (Casa D'Angelo, Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Marco Ferraro (Wish, South Beach, FL)
Tyler Florence (Empire Plush Room, San Francisco, CA)
Clark Frasier & Mark Gaier (Arrow’s Restaurant, Ogunquit, ME)
John Fraser (Dovetail, New York, NY)
Neal Fraser (Grace Restaurant, Los Angeles, CA)
Bryan Fyler (Asia de Cuba at Mondrian South Beach, South Beach, FL)
Kerry Heffernan (South Gate, New York, NY)
Cindy Hutson (Ortanique on the Mile, Coral Gables, FL)
Paul Kahan (Blackbird, avec & The Publican, Chicago, IL)
Dewey LoSasso (North One 10, Miami, FL)
Steve Martorano (Café Martorano, Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
Mark Militello (1 Bleau, Bal Harbour, FL)
Sean Mohammed (Tuscan Steak, South Beach, FL)
Rick Moonen (Rick Moonen’s rm seafood, Las Vegas, NV)
Masaharu Morimoto (Morimoto, New York, NY)
Michel Nischan (Dressing Room, Westport, CT)
Sean O’Connell (Vida, Fontainebleau Miami Beach, FL)
François Payard (Payard Bistro, New York, NY)
Alfred Portale (Gotham Steak, Fontainebleau Miami Beach, FL and Gotham Bar and Grill, New York, NY)
Michael Psilakis (Anthos, Mia Dona, Kefi, New York, NY)
Roberto Santibañez (Revolucion, Café Frida, Maria Maria, New York, NY)
Andrew Shotts (Garrison Confections, Central Falls, RI)
Susie Stallings (Susie's Scrumptious Sweets, Sunrise, FL)
Allen Susser (Chef Allen’s, Aventura, FL)
Michael Symon (Lola, Cleveland, OH)
Rick Tramonto (Tru, Vernon Hills, IL)
Jonathan Waxman (barbuto, New York, NY)
Kris Wessel (Red Light, Miami, FL)
Roy Yamaguchi (Roy’s Restaurants, Honolulu, HI)
Alan Yau (Hakkasan, Fontainebleau Miami Beach, FL)
Mark Zeitouni (The Standard Hotel, South Beach, FL)

I'm not a big wine efficionado but for those who are - I'm sure this list could be fun.

Who’s Pouring:

A.P. Vin
Amisfield Winery
Andrew Geoffrey Vineyards
Argyle Winery
Au Bon Climat
Beaulieu Vineyard
Bodegas Caro
Bodegas Montecillo
Campo Viejo
Castello di Fonterutoli
Champagne Gosset
Champagne Mumm
Champagne Nicolas Feuillate
Champagne Perrier-Jouët
Charles Krug Winery
Château Coufran
Château de la Gardine
Château D'Esclans
Château Lascombes
Château Verdignan
Col Solare
Daedalus Cellars
Diamond Creek Vineyards
Domaine De La Vougeraie
Donum Estate
Far Niente
Flora Springs Winery & Vineyard
Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards
GrGich Hills
Grupo Barón de Ley
Grupo Pesquera
Hanzell Vineyards
Jordan Vineyard & Winery
Joseph Phelps Vineyards
Ladera Vineyards
Landmark Vineyards
Louis Latour
Marchesi Antinori
Marques de Riscal
Nickel & Nickel
Nicolas Potel
Northstar Winery
Olivier Laflaive
Pago de Vallegarcia
Pali Wine Company
Palmaz Vineyards
Paul Jaboulet Aine
Provenance Vineyards
Red Car
Robert Stemmler Winery
Roessler Cellars
Rubicon Estate
Rudd Winery
Schrader Cellars
Segura Viudas
Silver Pines Vineyards
Stag's Leap Wine Cellars
Tandem Winery
Terlato Wines
TOR Kenward family Wines
Vine Cliff Winery
Wagner Family Wines
Weinlaubenhof Kracher

Believe that my camera will be fully charged and I'll be looking forward to sharing real food with you right after the event.

Reminder: Tomorrow is the last day of submissions for Tried Tested and True 3.


kat said...

Oh my gosh that is going to be wonderful!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

o one blames you in the least fro wanting to escape the Canadian winter Giz:D We all wish we were on the guest list for the event. Give Tyler a big hug for me:D

Julia said...

Oh my goodness! That sounds fantastic for so many reasons: sun, warm, food and wine, good friends. Lucky you! Enjoy!!

Lori said...

I cant wait to see these pictures. Lucky you- I am so glad, you deserve it Giz!

Lori Lynn said...

Wow! What a list of chefs and vintners! Have a great time! Can't wait to hear about it.

OhioMom said...

...and here I sit with cold and snow, no of course I don't envy your warmth and sunshine LOL! Soak up some of that sun for me, in between star gazing and good eats. Delighted that Cleveland is being represented at the event :)

glamah16 said...


Ivy said...

This is a vacation any foodie would dream of. Shall be looking forward to seeing lots of pictures and enjoy your stay there.

Unknown said...

what a great foodie adventure... and all the best of the best chefs, amazing... :)

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