The South Beach Wine and Food Festival is coming this week and you can't even pay your FP&L bill, let alone shell out the $225 for a ticket to the Grand Tasting tents. Hell, you can't even ask your boss if he has an extra ticket because you were laid off six months ago! We feel your pain and, while we're not going to give you any of our tickets, we will lay out some handy dandy tips to (ahem) "get into" the South Beach Wine and Food Festival this year.
1. Impersonate Martha Stewart's 12th Personal Assistant
Martha Stewart is the queen of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Hell, she and Oprah just divided all the world's media down the middle. With that clout comes an entourage. Martha probably has more assistants than you have leftover burritos behind your couch cushions. Capitalize on this fact by arriving at the tents wearing a grey suit, white shirt with tie for the guys and a silk scarf tied and folded into an Origami swan for the gals. Briskly rush past security yelling "I've got to get this tulip made entirely of chicken feathers and Popsicle sticks to Martha right away. It's a centerpiece for her cooking demo."
Probable success rate: 40% - Martha does probably have a staff so large she assigns them numbers instead of names. If you can act sufficiently frightened of what tortures might befall you if Martha doesn't get her craft project/midday snack/parole hearing, you have a good shot of getting past the guards.
2. Sleep With A Celebrity Chef
At some point you have to decide how badly you want to watch Paula Deen make cornbread stuffing. If you're a true superfan, you might have to do things that you'll regret - like sleeping with a chef so he (or she) will let you in to the tents the next day. Simply hang out at one of the many dive bars close to the tents (Lush and Mac's Club Deuce are two good choices). Wait for the celebrity chefs to arrive and choose one to hook up with. The next day he'll give you a ticket to the events in exchange for getting rid of you for the rest of the day.
Probable success rate: 60% - but is that itching rash going to be worth it?
3. Impersonate a FIU Student
Each year, FIU culinary students volunteer at the festival. Bribe one of these always-broke students to part with their chef's jacket ($20 and a large can of Monster Energy Drink should be enough for one of the more desperate ones to give you their jacket). Purchase a large aluminum lasagna tray and run past the security yelling "Move out of the way! Paula Deen needs her chicken."
Probable success rate: 25% The odds increase if you don't wash your hair and you look like you're addicted to speed, meth or 5-Hour Energy Drinks.
4. Beg For a Wristband
Each year tens of thousands of people descend upon Miami Beach to attend The South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Most of these people did not, in fact, purchase their own tickets. They are known as "somebody's client". Soooo....each year these "clients" go to the festival for an hour or so, just to see what's up and leave. Simply ask each and every stranger walking out of the festival if you can have the wristband. Make up a story, like "I was mugged of my tickets by a gang of wild circus clowns and I can't go back to Omaha without Rachael Ray's autograph."
Probable Success Rate: 75% - Unless you encounter some douche that likes to save their wristband in some "Food Network" scrapbook (along with a lock of Guy Fieri's hair), these wristbands wind up in the trash, anyway.
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5. Become a Food Blogger
For about five bucks, you can get your own domain name, set up a simple blog site and create some media credentials in Photoshop. Make up an esoteric yet witty name for your blog like.."Cupcake Badger" or
"Short Order" (oops, that one's taken)...Voila! Instant media access!
Probable success rate: 80% - it worked for us, didn't it?