If you attended the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, chances are you’re in a food coma. We’re still reeling from all the food and drink we consumed over the weekend. While we participated in quite a few events this year, three of them really stood out: Burger Bash, Southern Kitchen Brunch and Grand Tasting Village. Here’s what you missed.
Amstel Light Burger Bash
Amstel Light Burger Bash presented by Schweid & Sons celebrated its 10-year anniversary this year on the beautiful sands behind the Ritz-Carlton on South Beach. Dozens of participants local and abroad brought their A-game in hopes of winning two of the night’s coveted prizes: the Schweid & Sons Very Best Burger Award and the Amstel Light People’s Choice Award.
As diners descended upon the PMG North Venue, they were treated to creative concoctions from local favorites like The Federal, The Seven Dials, STK Miami, M.E.A.T. and last year’s People’s Choice winner Pincho Factory. In the end, though, the Very Best Burger and People’s Choice trophies would go to Jersey Dawg and Morimoto, respectively. The former put together a classic slider and paired it with chili, while the latter wowed guests with a menchi katsu burger featuring a breaded patty fried until golden.
While savory fare hogged most of the spotlight, ticketholders could finish their night on a sweet note thanks to cannolis and cakes from Carlo’s Bakery as well as other decadent treats.
If you didn’t make it out to Burger Bash this year, don’t worry. The next one will be here before you know it. To help you get a head start, we talked to Jamie Schweid, President of Schweid & Sons, the renowned New Jersey beef purveyor that’s also the presenting sponsor of the event.
Here are his three tips you should keep in mind for the next Burger Bash:
1. Get there early. In Miami, this is easier said than done. But Schweid can’t stress this enough. “Showing up on time or early will help you avoid the longer lines that develop as the night progresses. The sooner you can be at the event, the better.”
2. Take small bites. “Depending on the restaurant, you could end up with a big burger or just a small slice. Regardless of what they give you, just remember that you don’t have to eat the whole thing. Just take a bite and move on to the next one. You don’t want to end up full after one or two burgers.”
3. Don’t eat everything. “You get your money’s worth at this event. There’s a lot of food — and not just burgers. Pace yourself and accept that fact that you probably won’t get to eat everything nor should you. Eat what you can and just enjoy yourself. It’s a fun evening.”
Southern Kitchen Brunch with Trisha Yearwood
Great music and great food joined forces for this memorable Sunday brunch at the Loews Miami Beach. The 2nd-floor ballroom was full of lively entertainment and soulful Southern fare thanks to country star Trisha Yearwood and popular local eateries like Whisk and Bulldog BBQ as well as out-of-state restaurants like Milktooth (Indianapolis, IN) and Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (Syracuse, NY).
The menu was a Southern version of heaven on earth with bites like blue crab benedict, smoked beef short ribs, fried chicken, biscuit french toast and cheese grit cake with brisket. And that wasn’t even half the menu!
Aside from the food, diners indulged in a wealth of beverage options including bourbon Bloody Mary’s and bourbon Mules and Trisha’s own Porch Punch: Bulleit Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, freshly brewed ice tea, freshly squeezed lemon juice, mint simple syrup, garnished with lemon. To cap the brunch, Yearwood herself took the stage to perform for the audience, who bid her farewell with a standing ovation after the outstanding set.
Goya Foods Grand Tasting Village
You haven’t experienced SOBEWFF unless you’ve checked out the famous Goya Food Grand Tasting Village. We popped our Grand Tasting Village cherry on Sunday during a gorgeous Miami afternoon. The spacious beachside venue offered guests an assortment of delicious fare, plenty of fine wines and fun entertainment through 5 p.m.
Restaurants like 26 Sushi & Tapas, DIRT, Proof Pizza & Pasta, The Salty Donut, Bianca at Delano and many others served up plate after plate of tasty delights as wine poured generously around the event’s two main food tents. But food was only one of the many attractions at the Village.
Kitchen demos by celebrity chefs Anne Burrell and Rev. Reun entertained and educated guests, while other ticketholders took advantage of the shade and swag from vendor tents throughout the Village. In short, this was one hell of a showcase. And one we’ll be checking out again come next year.
For more information on the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, visit their official site.