We spent Sunday afternoon at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival's Whole Foods Grand Tasting Village, walking around the massive tents around 13th and Ocean tasting mostly liquor. It's no secret that this event has become less about the bites and more about the booze -- well, and the celebrity chefs -- but not everyone seems to have a problem with that.
This year, your wine glass was filled before you even went inside and there seemed to be more spirits than wine. There were a few good bites like Mercadito's carnitas tacos with coleslaw (corporate chef Jose Mendin said the restaurant's Midtown Miami location will open in two weeks).
We saw Top Chef contestant Fabio Viviani do cooking demos for Bertolli and sampled sweet tea bourbon, vodka and absinthe before heading to the KitchenAid stage where friends Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert faced off in a seafood battle. "I've made a lot of bad decisions over tequila with this guy," said Bourdain. This one is "the most fucked up."
Why Guy Fieri and Dinner Impossible's Robert Irvine were selected as
judges, we have no idea, but here's Fieri declaring Ripert the winner.
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Bourdain and Ripert then took questions from the audience and were asked twice to name some restaurants they like to eat at in Miami.
They seemed to struggle, saying they don't go out much here, but finally mentioned Michelle Bernstein, Jonathan Eismann, and Norman Van Aken as chefs whose food they liked. Not surprisingly, Casa Tua and Prime 112 got a mention from Ripert. Bourdain then remembered that he had been to Yakko San and liked it. Next time they're in town, someone should take them to try a few new places.