Bobby Deen played host at last night's BBQ & the Blues event at Eden Roc. However, it was his mother and "hero" that caused the most "hullabaloo."
All the meaty goodness prepared by top Miami chefs couldn't compete with the crowds or commotion caused when Paula Deen stepped into this hog heaven. Escorted by a bodyguard, she sampled barbecue and even grabbed a slab from chef Timon Balloo gripping it with two hands.
When Bobby took the stage he thanked the local chefs, the band, and introduced his hullabaloo-raising hero. Paula Deen got on the stage and called the SOBEWFF a "love fest" and Lee Schrager a genius. She thanked everyone for their support and then mentioned her new "Venezuelan daughter-in-law." Claudia Deen joined them on stage. Paula took her time pronouncing Cl-auuu-d-ia. "It just rolls off the tongue." Paula then gave lots of details about the new couple. They were quietly married at her home this past summer. Claudia is Catholic and they will all be going to Panama City to do the religious ceremony soon. Paula is excited to do it all over again.
It felt like a press conference with strange details given, perhaps playing up to a Miami audience. Paula posed for some pictures and then was escorted back out by her bodyguard.
The barbecue consuming resumed.
Todd Erickson of Haven served one of the more unusual and best tasting plates. It was a Korean barbecue beef bun served with lotus root chips and a cucumber gooseberry slaw.
Danny Serfer of Blue Collar served a pulled oxtail sandwich with macaroni and pimento cheese for a fun twist on barbecue classics.
Aaron Brooks of the Edge Steak & Bar presented some perfectly cooked flat iron steak with a tamarind barbecue sauce and cornbread.
Bobby Deen's offering from the family restaurant, The Lady and Sons, was slow-cooked North Carolina-style pulled beef with a German potato salad specked with turkey bacon. The meat was a bit too sweet for our taste but that potato salad was perfect.
This large welcome drink in a plastic cup with a lid and straw was the perfect accompaniment for a food event.
Red or pink? That was one of the stranger questions that night. Apparently Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Lisa Vanderpump has her own line of sangria. Pink sangria doesn't seem to go with barbecue and the blues.
But the band played on.
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The Deens with the band.
If the Thrillist BBQ taught us anything, it is that the thrill for Paula Deen is not gone.
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