The tents have been taken down for another year and the 2013 edition of the South Beach Wine and Food Festival is but a memory. There is, however, one way to relive the magic made when you get some of the world's funniest and most talented chefs together in one city and add some alcohol.
During the festival, dapper celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian hosted a one hour long live taping of Food Talk for SiriusXM satellite radio at the James Royal Palm's pool deck.
During that one hour, Zakarian managed to chat with Andrew Zimmern, Anne Burrell, Guy Fieri, Al Roker, Lee Schrager, Curtis Stone, Marc Murphy, Mark Summers, Sunny Anderson and Scott Conant.
Though you can't see some of the crazy moments we did when we watched live -- like when Fieri and Zakarian smoked us out with cigars and downed copious amounts of tequila -- the show, which airs tonight, March 15, on SiriusXM's Stars (channel 107) at 8 p.m. will still be packed with some great stories (did you know, by the way, that Guy Fieri started out by selling pretzels as a kid?)
We spoke with Zakarian about the show, his very apparent love for Miami, and what his plans for the future are. Read on now and tune in later:
New Times: How did it feel to host your own live radio show at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival and is this something you always wanted to do?
Geoffrey Zakarian: I certainly, and most importantly, love discussing the passion and convergence around food. There are so many stories that explain to the listener how we all got where we are. That being said, I hope this conversation is a long lasting one and has legs.
During the taping of Food Talk, many of your guests told you the origins of being a chef and landing
on Food Network. Which story was the most intriguing -- and can you
They were all just so fascinating, from running a pretzel
cart to cold calling physicians. How in the world could I make that up?
They were equally intriguing, to say the least.
In your career, you've tackled television, books, and running several successful restaurants. Now you've entered the realm of radio. Out of all your endeavors, which one is your true love?
I honestly think that today's customer needs a lot of different stimulus, so picking just one aspect of the hospitality world over another really might not work. I believe the customer needs those many facets of our world, and that in turn is why I love doing many different things, acknowledging, of course, that they are all related to the basics of hospitality.
You mentioned you're looking at another restaurant in Miami. Where are you
looking and what is the concept and time frame?
I am trying to find the right combination for a long-term commitment in Miami. That is the tricky part. There are plenty of spaces, but a lot of ones feel impermanent to me. I am committed to doing Miami. I just need to be patient. Stay tuned!
Your Tudor House executive chef Jamie DeRosa is about to open his first restaurant, Tongue & Cheek, after many years of making a name for himself in other kitchens -- yours included. What three pieces of advice do you have for him and any chefs opening their first restaurant?
I told him, in no uncertain terms, to make the right deal with the landlord; raise twice the money he believes he needs; and to beware of the drag on cash flow the opening 6 months puts on you. Most owners get their brains beaten out because they don't have enough cash flow to fund the negative losses in the first 6 months, even if the reviews are terrific and all goes well. You need to set yourself up for financial success.
You and your wife clearly enjoy Miami. Would you ever consider being a snowbird or moving here?
Yes, one day. I have an office in Tampa, I would probably move it to Miami -- sooner than you might think!
What are your upcoming projects?
We are working on a new season of Chopped and, of course, Iron Chef. Wealso have a new show in development. I am opening two restaurants in May for Norwegian Cruise Line called Breakaway, and I'm writing two new books for Random House, I certainly have my hands full in the most delightful way. I am very lucky to have so many opportunities.
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