The South Beach Wine & Food Festival is over for another year, and all across South Beach, workers are furiously tearing up the giant tents, chefs are soaking their feet, and people are guzzling Alka-Seltzer. The festival always great energy; for the celebrity chefs, it seems like the festival is one part work, three parts party in SoBe. Even if you're not very good at math, you can do this simple equation: celebrity chefs + alcohol + warm weather = some crazy moments. Here we run down some of the craziest events we witnessed (we can only guess what happened behind closed doors):
Paula Deen Rides Robert IrvineDuring Sunday afternoon's cooking demo, Paula had celebrity friends Tyler Florence and Robert Irvine drop by. Everyone was joking around, Paula was carrying a large glass of red wine, and then all hell broke loose. It began with Paula wanting to see Irvine's abs and then quickly descended to Paula licking cream off said abs. Then came the horsie ride. Two things we learned: Paula is one fun chick, and Irvine has to have the strongest back in the world.
Debi Mazar Freaks OutAt Saturday's The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Mazar was a beautiful and gracious hostess, representing George's Stone Crabs and greeting fans. At the end of the evening, however, she got into an argument with a security guard when he searched her bag for alcohol (everyone was thoroughly searched for alcohol at every event). We're not sure the exact details of her beef, only that maybe she shouldn't have freaked out as camera-toting guests were filing out of the event.
I Love You, Andrew BourdainAnthony Bourdain chose an interesting new twist on the Q&A session. Bringing out the "wheel of death," a carnival wheel doctored up to include topics such as "dick/poop jokes," "politics and religion," "Top Chef," and "the good shit," Bourdain (holding a PBR) invited people from the audience to spin the wheel and ask a question relating to the topic they landed on. An overexcited fan ran up and exclaimed, "Andrew, I love you"! Maybe Tony shared some of "the good shit" before the demo?
Alain Ducasse Speaks and No One ListensWhile the likes of Guy Fieri and Anne Burrell drew standing-room-only crowds, iconic chef Alain Ducasse quietly conducted an interview to an audience of about three people at the Illy Coffee Lounge. Not even promotional models luring people in with offers of free espresso martinis could get people to stop and listen to the master of modern French cuisine. What did Alain have to say? He was greatly influenced by his grandmother, who used to pull vegetables from the garden and cook them for lunch -- talk about farm-to-table cuisine!
Bethenny Frankel Wants Her Husband to Not Give a ShitBravo reality star Bethenny Frankel began to make stuffed peppers and then realized the scores of women in the audience wanted more gossip and less cooking. She dished the dirt when she announced that she, husband Jason Hoppe, and daughter Bryn were riding a large gangsta-style bus across the country for her promotional tour. The number one rule of the bus: Don't make number two. According to Frankel, hubby broke the rule and they had to ride around in a shitty bus.
Guy Fieri Gets His Audience DrunkAs the familiar strains of "Bad to the Bone" started, Guy Fieri strutted onto the stage, accompanied by Emeril Lagasse in dark glasses. Before he cooked a healthful pizza and raised money for charity, Guy got the audience in the mood by making the world's largest cocktail. Into a giant vat/blender went strawberries, juices, ice, and about 20 bottles of tequila to make his own concoction, the Miami slur-icane. Bonus points to Fieri for having FIU students and security pass around slur-icanes to everyone in the audience.
Ottavia Bourdain Shows Her TatWhen someone in the audience asked to see Ottavia Bourdain's new tattoo (over the weekend, the Bourdains found time to get inked with matching snakes), she walked onstage, pulled up her shirt, and showed the tat to everyone! Looks like the badass chef has an equally badass wife.