While thousands of people will be flocking to the South Beach Wine and Food Festival's Grand Tasting Village for some wine and a glimpse at a celebrity chef, those same chefs will be sneaking across the street to the Hotel Victor for some very intimate (and interesting) panel discussions, designed to inform and inspire the culinary community.
Public Relations firm Bullfrog & Baum are hosting the series of trade talks, entitled Candid Discussions with Industry Insiders. These panels will feature America's foremost chefs, restaurateurs, and celebrities dishing about some provocative topics like catering to younger diners who Tweet and eat, winning at the TV game, and just letting their hair down.
This is the second year for Bullfrog & Baum's trade panel series, and some of the topics of conversation this year have come directly from past panels. Restaurant Diners: The Next Generation, for instance, was inspired by a comment made by Daniel Boulud at the New York Wine and Food Festival. Boulud mentioned that restaurants may want to take influences and insights from diners, rather than vice versa.
The discussions are limited to trade only and by invitation. To snag an invite, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Here are descriptions of the three panel discussions:
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Restaurant Diners: The Next Generation
Friday, Feb 24th, 2 - 3 p.m.
Michael Solomonov, Marc Murphy, Michelle Bernstein, and Tony Maws discuss what will happen to the dining scene now that younger, more cost conscious diners are becoming "foodies", while Tweeting and blogging about their experiences. Moderated by Jennifer Baum.
Saturday, February 25th, 10:45 - 11:45 a.m.
What do Richard Blais, Marc Forgione, Jonathan Waxman, Stephanie Izard, Geoffrey Zakarian, and Michael Symon have to say about their experiences on television shows? How does winning a nationally televised cooking competition change your professional and personal life? Would they do it again? Moderated by Bobby Flay.
Girls Gone Wild
Saturday, February 25th, 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Some of the most outspoken females in the industry dish (colorfully, we're presuming) about cooking, celebrity, and probably everything else they can think of. Alex Guarnaschelli, Gabrielle Hamilton, Debi Mazar, and Nadia G. join the all-bets-are-off panel. Good luck to Andrew Zimmern, who's charged with the formidable task of moderating them.