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SoBeWFF 2015: Best of the Best Brought Out Major Culinary Talent

The Best of the Best at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach brought out culinary heavy hitters who dished out their absolute finest bites.

The $350 price tag might seem steep, but compared with airfare to New York, California, Nashville, Chicago, and other "foodie" cities, it's a most economical to dine from names like Stephanie Izard, Jeff McInnis, Elizabeth Falkner, Gabrielle Hamilton, Anita Lo, Daniel Boulud, Christina Tosi, and Laurent Tourondel -- all in one room.

Best of the Best can be considered an annual culinary all-star game -- with wine and champagne.

Prune's Gabrielle Hamilton packed beef in salt, traditionally a method used with fish, to create a tender bite. Bread crumb salsa gave a brightness to the dish.

Bourbon Steak's chef Gabriel Fenton's cauliflower panna cotta is topped with decadent Petrossian caviar and Perigold black truffle shavings.

Chef Scott Conant represented his Scarpetta restaurant with a spinach and ricotta gnudi.

Oolite's Kris Wessel took the opportunity to educate guests on the lionfish and its invasive nature in the most delicious way possible -- by serving it as his dish. Wessel said that the fish, which can grow to about eight pounds, is rapidly taking over local waters, and offering them on a menu also helps take back the ocean and help native grouper repopulate.

Elizabeth Falkner served a salad tartar. When asked why she chose to go vegetarian for the event, she said that after all the meat and bacon, people need a refreshing taste. Indeed, the brightness of the dish made it memorable.

In the "why didn't I think of that" category, Derek Brown and travis Croxton of Washington D.C.'s Eat the Rich presented the Redneck Laundry -- potato chips and caviar.

The chance to eat Daniel Boulud's food, prepared by the master himself was priceless.

Root & Bone's Janine Booth and Jeff McInnis brought their tangy, tender fried chicken to the event from their New York City Root & Bone restaurant. Sometimes simple is the best.

Laurent Tourondel poses with his chef and festival director, Lee Brian Schrager.

Michael Shikany's intricate dish took a few minutes to prepare. Once presented, the chef instructed guests to mix the fish and edible flowers into a mash and eat it in one bite. When asked about his restaurant, the young chef said the departure was amicable and he's looking forward to relocating his concept to somewhere in the Midwest.

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.


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