Although plenty of the elite events at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival were sold out long ago, one party was mum to all but a select crowd of VIPs Friday night.
The always-modish, never disillusioned Hotel Victor put on an after-hours show for a cozy crowd of about 200 hosted by Food Network superstar Rachael Ray (you know, the gal on the Wheat Thins box) and her hubby, John Cusimano’s band The Cringe. Guests enjoyed complimentary vino from Three Daughters while tapping their feet as a slew of celebrity chefs and stars took over the event, which was kept on the super-hush.
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Ray jammed out to The Cringe at a front-and-center VIP table as rumored guest Gloria Estefan popped in to say hello. After The Cringe set, the couple chatted and caught up with the Miami diva. Soon after, the Food Network celeb train arrived, sending Bobby Flay, Guy Fieri, Katie Lee Joel, Ingrid Hoffman and “Take Home Chef” Curtis Stone upstairs for a meet-and-greet while enjoying a few drinks. A friendly Fieri’s larger-than-life personality grabbed the attention of fans, as he entertained questions about his baby, hit show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, making him the standout star of the night. The ocean-view shindig was a happenin’ late night spot, mid-way through the SoBe Wine & Food Festival, which sailed on through Sunday, February 24th. Not even the humidity – which took it’s toll on Ray’s and a number of other females' tresses that evening – could put a damper on the night. -- Tracy Block