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The 10 Best Things We Ate at the 2017 South Beach Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, February 27th, 2017

South Beach Wine & Food FestivalAfter a four-day marathon of eating and drinking alongside your favorite chefs and stars at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, it’s safe to say that we. are. full. But as we look back on this sunny weekend along the Miami shore, we can’t help but crave a few particularly memorable dishes that we were enjoying mere hours ago. From an over-the-top-cheesy burgers at Burger Bash to a sweet treat of Trisha Yearwood’s coffee cake at her Southern Kitchen Brunch, these are 10 of our favorite tastes of SOBEWFF.

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Burger Bash 2017 Winners: Little Jack’s Tavern and Jr’s Gourmet Burgers

by in Events, News, February 24th, 2017

South Beach Wine & Food FestivalThe soft sand, the cool ocean breeze, the sound of partygoers mingling along the shore — this was the scene at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival on Friday night. This plus a whole lot of burgers, of course. Friday marked the 11th annual Burger Bash at SOBEWFF, and like in years past, Rachael Ray hosted the fan-favorite extravaganza, which brought together nearly three dozen chefs from across the country. As hungry burger enthusiasts lined up to sample chefs’ between-the-bun offerings, all-star judges, including Ayesha Curry, Rev Run, Adam Richman and Emilio Estefan, took their places on a perch inside the tents to get down to the business of tasting as well. Up for grabs this year was the sought-after Schweid & Son’s The Very Best Burger Award, which would be decided by the judges, and the equally coveted Heineken Light People’s Choice Award, which celebrates the chef or restaurant that earned the most votes from guests. After reveling in the meaty burgers (and plentiful sides) on display, we watched as two restaurants earned the highest honors. Read on below to find out who took home the trophies, and take an insider’s look at some of our favorite bites from the night.

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Cassoulet for Any Day

by in Events, February 24th, 2017

Best Creative Cassoulet from Chef Ryan Lory of Charlie Palmer SteakCassoulet was born, as many deep-rooted comfort food dishes are, out of hunger and a need to use up leftover ingredients. At its most basic, it is a thick, stewlike casserole with duck, pork or other meaty bits, and meltingly tender beans under a golden crust. The correct way to make cassoulet is a point of contention throughout France with each village claiming it makes the authentic version. The cassoulet cook-off is to France what the chili cook-off is to the United States. Andre Daguin, a famous French chef, once said, “Cassoulet is not really a recipe, it’s a way to argue among neighboring villages of Gascony.”

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7 Reasons Why Italian Food Is Best Enjoyed on the Beach, As Learned at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, News, February 24th, 2017

South Beach Wine & Food FestivalThe team here at Food Network is enjoying a mini spring break of sorts. Along with some of your favorite chefs and many of the most-revered names in the restaurant industry, we headed south to Miami and are spending the weekend at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, which brings together stars like Bobby Flay, Alex Guarnaschelli, Trisha Yearwood, Guy Fieri and Giada De Laurentiis for four days of celebrating all things food and drink — and plenty of eating and drinking, of course.

Thursday marked the first night of this 16th annual culinary extravaganza, and in true Florida form, sun-kissed guests donned their sandals and packed into the seaside tents to join pals Alex Guarnaschelli and Valerie Bertinelli as they hosted an opening-night soiree. At Italian Bites on the Beach, as guests danced in the sand to the sounds of a live band, chefs and restaurateurs doled out some of Italy’s most-craved comfort foods, from pizza, pasta and saucy meatballs to lemony cupcakes and rich cannoli. And here’s the thing: ordinarily we wouldn’t consider these plates beach fare. After all, they’re often warm and covered with sauce, not often an ideal combo when you’re already sitting in hot, messy sand. But as we made our way from booth to booth, tasting each of the items up for grabs, we couldn’t help but realize just how right it is to eat Italian food on the beach.

Here’s why:

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Big-Game Food Fight: Atlanta vs. New England

by in Events, Recipes, January 31st, 2017

This year’s Super Bowl is an East Coast battle, with the Atlanta Falcons facing off against the New England Patriots. Will your game-day spread feature Southern comforts or New England classics? We’ve got you covered, no matter whether your loyalties lie north or south of the Mason-Dixon.

Plus, for decor that doubles as a sweet snack, show your team spirit with these candy centerpieces for the Patriots and Falcons. Read more

Andrew’s Lucky Chopsticks, a Reminder of Asia’s Bustling Food Culture

by in Events, October 17th, 2016

Closing out the New York City Wine & Food Festival weekend was Lucky Chopsticks, a pan-Asian setup reminiscent of the bustling night markets of Japan, China, Vietnam, Laos, India and more. Hosted by Andrew Zimmern (who himself worked a booth), the event was a delicious reminder of what happens when an eclectic range of cultures come together to celebrate good food.

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Bobby and Michael Turned the Big Apple Into One Big Backyard BBQ at the New York City Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, October 17th, 2016

Backyard BBQ with Bobby and MichaelOn an uncharacteristically warm fall evening, people gathered at one of the last events of the New York City Wine & Food Festival, enjoying family fun at Backyard BBQ, hosted by Bobby Flay and Michael Symon on Sunday. With this new event the two chefs and best friends invited some of the city’s best barbecue chefs and pitmasters to cook for an evening. “Anything that I can do with Michael is always going to be a good time,” said Bobby as we sat down with the two hosts to chat about the event. “We basically major in fun,” added Bobby. People might be thinking, barbecue in the Big Apple? But Bobby immediately cleared up any doubts. “New York City may not be known as the barbecue capital of the word, but it is today,” he said. After tasting the offerings, we wholeheartedly agree: All these city-slicker chefs can make some darn-good barbecue.

Michael added: “I love being in New York. I love what this event stands for. I love the money that it raises. And to do it with one of your best friends, cooking a style of food that both of us love so much, and surrounded by people that love food, it’s magical.” When asked how the event came to be, Bobby said: “In some ways it was just sort of natural. Food Network said: You guys are such good friends. Why don’t you do an event together?” We were like, “Alright.” And since both guys love to cook and eat barbecue, it was simply the perfect fit.

Find Out Our Top 10 Picks and Who Won the Night’s Awards

Food and Theater Take Center Stage at Broadway Tastes with Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka

by in Events, October 17th, 2016

Neil Patrick Harris and David BurtkaBefore the curtain closed on the ninth-annual New York City Wine & Food Festival, the scene was set for Broadway Tastes at the Metropolitan West, where fans of Broadway and food converged on Sunday morning. It opened with a full house, and hosts Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka set the stage for special performances from the casts of Chicago, Something Rotten! and Beautiful, the Carole King Musical, while all-star chefs served up brunch bites inspired by the most-popular Broadway musicals. These were some of our favorites.

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The Stars Came Out and Gloves Came Off at Guy’s Food Fight

by in Events, October 16th, 2016

Friday night a slew of well-fed food fans were drawn to the late-night party emceed by Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives host Guy Fieri at the New York City Wine & Food Festival. The first iteration of the late-night trivia event, pitting star against star, appeared at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival in February. Guy was proud to announce that this was Round 2, only bigger, better and with more booze. Guy’s ever-present energy ricocheted off the walls as he riled up the crowd for the panel of Food Network stars, distributing drinks personally before introducing the two teams. Carla Hall, Josh Capon and Valerie Bertinelli faced off against Chopped judges Alex Guarnaschelli, Marc Murphy and Scott Conant. Food Fight with Guy Fieri was a rare chance for the attendees to see the Food Network stars unedited and unfiltered.

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Midnight in Harlem: Breakfast and Jazz with Patti LaBelle

by in Events, October 16th, 2016

Closing out Saturday night’s festivities at the New York City Wine & Food Festival was Patti LaBelle and Carla Hall’s Midnight Jazz Breakfast at the Harlem hot-spot The Cecil. Guests were dressed in their Sunday best — this was a midnight party, after all — and ate good food, drank wine aplenty and danced to a live jazz band.

If I were to walk you through the night, I’d say it felt like an intimate house party that started in 2016 and ended in 1938. Though at first it might seem hard to believe that such a large party as one hosted by Ms. LaBelle herself could fit into the nooks and crannies of a local Harlem restaurant, The Cecil was an ideal venue for such an event.

First I was greeted by a bar — with familiar pours like bourbon on the rocks and a dry Prosecco, both ideal ways to start a meal. But then the bartenders offered a handful of vintage drinks as well, such as the classic sidecar — a sweet, citrusy cognac-based cocktail owing its origins to the Ritz Hotel in Paris, circa 1922.

After a drink or two, I headed into the main dining room for a bite or six. To a contemporary backdrop of Beyoncé, Jay Z and Kanye, I started with an unctuous jumbo shrimp and grits, studded with jalapeno, applewood bacon and a hefty supply of sharp cheddar cheese, from Chef Carlos Swepson of BLVD Bistro.

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