The hottest ticket in town this weekend may not have been in the Grand Tasting Village or some of the official parties. It seems that the celebs in town for the event were dining and drinking at various small gatherings and uber-private receptions at different venues scattered around Miami and Miami Beach.
Keeping our nose to the ground, we came up with a list of who partied and ate where -- just so you could feel completely jealous.
Michael's Genuine Food & Drink
It's no surprise to anyone that Michael's was the place to go to see celebrity chefs. After all, when we asked chefs where they absolutely have to eat in Miami, the Design District restaurant was on almost everyone's radar. If you were at Michael's this weekend, you probably saw Richard Blais (Top Chef), Sean Brock (Husk; Charleston), Mark Canlis (Canlis Restaurant; Seattle), Wylie Dufresne (WD-50; New York), Gabrielle Hamilton (Prune; New York), and Andrea Reusing (Lantern; Chapel Hill, NC).
The Raleigh Hotel
Though Michael Schwartz is not yet at the helm (but we did spot Daniel Ganem behind the burners), the restaurant at The Raleigh was packed with celebs in town for the festival. It doesn't hurt that the restaurant adjoins one of the most gorgeous pools in Miami Beach, or that the hotel itself is a celebrity magnet. During lunch and dinner this weekend we managed to run into Mikhail Barishnikov, Anthony Bourdain with his daughter, Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos (Cooking Channel's Extra Virgin), and Spike Mendelsohn (Top Chef, Good Stuff Eatery; Washington DC) in his swimsuit, ready for a dip.
Barceloneta & Pubbelly
The small intimate settings and inspired food of these restaurants were a siren song to master chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who dined at Barceloneta, but also tried the kimchi fried rice from Pubbelly. New Times Broward-Palm Beach's Melissa McCart witnessed the whole thing.
Anthony Bourdain and wife Ottavia dined at Andrew Carmellini's restaurant as a last meal before heading back to New York.
Tony Bourdain was also spotted at this South Beach dive bar to watch the UFC match.
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Soho Beach House
Geoffrey and Margaret Zakarian and The National Bar & Dining Rooms hosted a celebrity-filled rose lunch at Soho Beach House on Saturday. The invite-only fete was attended by Martha Stewart, Bobby Flay, Michael Symon, Alfred Portale (Gotham Bar & Grill; New York), Jonathan Waxman (Rosa Mexicano consultant), and Wylie Dufresne.
The Dream South Beach Hotel
The Dream South Beach Hotel was the scene of the Chef's Afterparty on Friday. Tudor House provided food as Scott Conant, Rachael Ray, Bobby Flay, Andrew Zimmern, Jonathan Waxman, Geoffrey Zakarian, Timbaland, and Tim Love partied like the rock stars they've kind of become.