The 2018 South Beach Wine & Food Festival is in the books.
It's time to take a few aspirin and down plenty of water to rehydrate after five days of eating, drinking, and merrymaking.
Each year, the festival hosts a plethora of parties that serve savory bites and adult beverages. There's one more thing the fest dishes up: plenty of gossip from chefs who hint at opening new eateries and chat with fans.
Here are the juiciest tidbits heard at the festival. Who needs wine when celebrity chefs are eager to spill the tea?
1. Marcus Samuelsson is opening an Overtown restaurant. After years of speculation, Marcus Samuelsson has confirmed he will open a restaurant in Overtown. Though the name and opening date of the restaurant have yet to be announced, the eatery will be located at 920 NW Second Ave. in Overtown, where Art Africa Miami resides. Miami Commissioner Keon Hardemon thanked Samuelsson for the project at the SOBEWFF Harlem to Overtown brunch, saying the chef was a part of a robust resurgence of Overtown as a major cultural hub of the Miami.
2. Rick Bayless does not plan to open a restaurant in Miami. Nearly two years ago, the Magic City got word that Rick Bayless would open a restaurant called Bay O in downtown. The chef/owner of Frontera Grill and several others in the Chicago area hosted SOBEWFF's Tacos After Dark. Asked about the opening date of the Miami eatery, Bayless said there was nothing in the works. Looks like local fans of his culinary skills can only hope he takes over 27 Restaurant & Bar again.
3. Alex Guarnaschelli's audience gets political. At the chef's culinary demonstration at Sunday's Grand Tasting Village, the Chopped judge fielded questions while whipping up meringue cookies. The chef chatted with the audience while talking about topics ranging from how to get kids excited about food to what to do when you cut yourself in the kitchen (Band-Aids and vodka). The tone got icy when someone asked what she would cook for Trump if she were invited to the White House. The chef responded, "Who said I would go?" to rousing applause before telling the questioner to have a seat. A moment later, someone asked the same question about Obama. The chef said that for her, it's not about politics; it's about making the best food you can. Guarnachelli then said that maybe having political discourse after day-drinking on the beach maybe wasn't prudent before changing the subject deftly about Jonesing for some tequila.
4. Anna Robbins is opening 222 Taco. The former Coyo Taco partner was at Tacos After Dark with her husband, who was wearing a T-shirt for a cool-looking taco place. Asked where the restaurant is located, Robbins confessed it's actually hers. 222 Taco is set to open soon at 1624 79th St. Cswy. in North Bay Village.
5. Absolut gets "handsy." SOBEWFF is known for intriguing and lavish activations. From the David Grutman Experience — which brings an entire club setting to the sands — to chicken bingo inside a tiny Dewar's house, the festival is a sensory feast. This year's hands-down winner is Absolut for its living wall where silver disembodied hands offered guests margaritas and lime drops. Instagram blew up with attendees taking selfies as the hands high-fived, served cocktails, and interacted with the crowd. Give the vodka company a hand for the most fun display at the Grand Tasting Village.
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6. It's a dog's world. Once again, dogs were invited to a lawn party at the annual Yappie Hour at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. Though Rachael Ray wasn't in attendance, Katie Lee did a great job cohosting with her Chihuahua while pooches noshed on treats, wore shades, and had their afternoon in the sun. See more precious pups at the Yappie Hour slide show here.
7. Tour de Spain. Hosted by Spanish chef José Andrés at the SLS South Beach, Tour de Spain was an indoor/outdoor celebration, with participating toques, such as Daniel Galvan (Novecento) and Dan Bufford (Cleo), offering their rendition of Iberian tapas. The highlight was a tasting of acorn-fed, free-range Ibérico ham, carved on the spot and strategically located by one of the bars serving Spanish margaritas.