South Beach Wine & Food Festival

SBWFF 2011: Paula Deen's Gospel Brunch Soaks Up the Sins of Saturday Night

Some folks live by "sin on Saturday, repent on Sunday." Paula's Down Home Cookin' Gospel Brunch soaked up the sorry effects of hard living during Saturday's SBWFF events. They were absorbed by the sheer volume of pork, beef, cornbread, and pie and by the force and emotion of Maryel Epps's gospel singing. And there was, of course, some hair of the dog: whiskey, mint juleps, and Georges Duboeuf wines. The cavernous ballroom was full, but the food on the buffet tables kept on coming until the very end. It was all a little over-the-top, just like Paula Deen herself.

Photos after the jump...

Pants-dropping and raunchy jokes were absent this year. Rather, it was a feel-good fest more in the vein of Joel Osteen. Deen proclaimed the goodness of God, and Epps sang that Deen was a living witness. "Manifest your wealth, manifest your dreams, whether you're a size 2 or
22," Epps improvised while folks with iPhones and cameras clustered around Deen.

Festival organizer Lee Brian Schrager announced the brunch had sold out three hours after tickets went on sale. I scored some gratis tickets to the Sunday-morning extravaganza. Here are some pics:

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Trina Sargalski