SoBeWFF: The Festival Beyond Famous Faces

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You might not recognize them yet, but their names should already be on your radar. These chefs are in the kitchen every day, building the culinary foundation for future success. They bring a newfound creativity to comfort foods that we traditionally consider less than great cuisine. Meatballs, spring rolls, cakes, and cookies -- although those foods do not necessarily ring in the ears of gourmands, American chefs are digging deep to elevate classic favorites.

For those who want to see up-and-coming chefs in action from restaurants making a mark now, smaller events at the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival showcase the very particular talents of those who fall outside the superstar realm. Christina Tosi, who heads the sweet side of David Chang's empire at Momofuku Milk Bar, will demonstrate her pastry prowess; NYC's Meatball Shop chef and co-owner Daniel Holzman has reinvented mama's meatballs; and the esteemed patriarch of modern Vietnamese, Charles Phan, of the Slanted Door in San Francisco, has created a unique menu alongside David Werly at the Setai. All offer seminars for true foodies who admire the specific skills of chefs who have yet to claim their own Food Network shows.

To see the real food folks, visit the events listed here, which will take place Saturday, February 25.

Bank of America Lifestyle Seminar: Meatballs With Daniel Holzman and Mark Oldman
Noon to 1 p.m. at the Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Dr.
Daniel Holzman of the Meatball Shop will give a lesson on the art of eating ground meat. Mark Oldman, winner of the 2011 Georges Duboeuf Best Wine Book of the Year Award for Brave New World of Wine, will match wines with everything from lamb meatballs with wild mushrooms, to beef and mortadella meatballs, to chicken sliders with Parmesan cream sauce. Holzman's kitchen stints include working with venerated chef Eric Ripert as well as food maverick Wylie Dufresne. The Meatball Shop Cookbook will be given as a freebie, so those juicy little bites can be re-created in your own oven.

Dolce Lunch, Hosted by Charles Phan at the Setai
Noon to 3 p.m. at 2001 Collins Ave.
Charles Phan will bring his contemporary take on Vietnamese cuisine to the Setai Miami Beach, where he will work alongside executive chef David Werly to create a four-course lunch of epic proportions. Phan's family-run restaurant, Slanted Door, opened in San Francisco's Mission District in 1995. Since then, he has been hailed for his modern approach to working with traditional Vietnamese ingredients and techniques. Napa Valley's Dolce wine will be served with the meal. Dolce is a small-scale producer and the only winery in North America completely dedicated to a single, late-harvest blend.

Bank of America Lifestyle Seminar: Momofuku Milk Bar Desserts With Christina Tosi and Andrea Robinson
5 to 6 p.m. at the Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Dr.
Momofuku Milk Bar's head pastry chef, Christina Tosi, will team up with sommelier Andrea Robinson to pair Tosi's unusual confections with wines. The menu highlights recipes from The Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook, such as black-pepper shortcake with macerated grapefruit and grapefruit marmalade, three-chocolate-chip cake with passionfruit curd and coffee buttercream, and a ganache made from celery root, with strawberries, lovage, and a Ritz crunch. Attendees will also get to take home a copy of her cookbook. Compost cookies and crack pie are only a baking day away.

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