Sadly, our time down at the South Beach Food and Wine Festival has come to an end. It was a hectic but enjoyable weekend down in Miami, the land where it's always 1998. We recapped the Burger Bash and BubbleQ, along with live-blogging the controversial—and highly entertaining—Golden Clogs. Hell, Rachael "Dunkin Donuts" Ray and Alice Waters even had lunch together. While much of the rest of the weekend was and still is a blur (mission accomplished), plenty of notable tidbits came out of the festivities. Here, then, the rest of our observations from the weekend that was:
1) The main event of the weekend, for the general public, was the Publix Grand Tasting Village. To get an idea of the type of crowd attracted here, consider the simultaneous book signing held by Giada and Bourdain (see last photo of gallery). Giada's line ran about 200 deep and lasted 90 minutes; Bourdain had no line in no time.
2) Tyler Florence, winner of the Rocco Award for worst career move, put forth the following excuse to Bourdain and Ruhlman for not attending the 2008 Golden Clogs awards ceremony: he had a squid-related emergency.
3) Much to our disappointment
Sir Robert Irvine was not seen in Miami the entire weekend.
4) Just about all of the Food Network personalities put on a quick demo. Some were better than others. Ingrid Hoffmann's actually included this quote: "Oh my god, I put the dog to sleep! Was I that boring guys?" Nervous laughter ensued.
5) Spotted: the Miami Code Compliance storming the gates at the "chefs-only" Two Twelve house on Friday night, much to the chagrin of a tiny, unfortunate-tilted-fedora-wearing, Scott Feldman.
6) Guy Fieri loves the Oakland Raiders and would like to tell you about it.
7) Casey from Season 3 of Top Chef apparently got a boob job. Everyone says so, so it must be true.
8) One of the highlights of the weekend was Saturday's Mario Batali dinner at Danny DeVito's SoBe restaurant. Simply put, Team Batali came to play. Batali spent pretty much the entire night cooking in the kitchen, alongside Jamie Oliver, Adam Perry Lang, Del Posto's Mark Ladner and Babbo's Frank Langello. One Tony Bourdain quickly eschewed the social scene and snuck into the kitchen to hang out with MB and co.
9) More from the DeVito/Batali front: Cat Cora and Rachael Ray both make nice with Bourdain, despite his past statements about them. RR spends the majority of the evening in the corner booth with Danny DeVito. Even Alice Waters made an appearance to support her homie Jamie Oliver, though she left early, natch.
10) Ming Tsai is decidedly unsmooth and struck out with just about every lady there. The man even tried to speak Spanish to the bartender, who was simply not having it. His direct quote upon meeting us: "Oh, I won't be using any f-bombs. The only four letter word I'll use is food." Whatever the fuck that means.