The South Beach Food Wine and Food Festival (SOBEWFF) comes once a year and the event doesn’t come cheap. For the average Joe, one can only afford to really pick one or two events without breaking the bank. This was my first year going and I was ecstatic, my friends and I chose to go to the Epicure Gourmet Market Party Impossible hosted by Robert Irvine. It was hosted at the Herzog & de Meuron designed parking garage. The design of the parking garage is sick. I think it actually costs 20k to rent out the space for an event. On a normal day, it costs 20 bucks to park your car. I actually accidently parked there one day not realizing the steep parking cost. I mean it is Miami Beach, but I normally park in a different lot which is a dollar an hour. Not only is the cost steep, but the ramps to get into the garage are steep. I felt like my car was gonna fall backwards. Anyways, I digress.
A few days prior to the event
I found out that Marc Summers from Double Dare was going to be there. I was more excited about meeting Marc Summers than the other chefs that were gonna be there. I’m ashamed to say, but I actually didn’t know who Robert Irvine was. I tweeted at Marc Summers and to my surprise he wrote back. I don’t know if anyone else can share if my excitement, but I was thrilled.
Night of the event
My friends and I hopped in the cab, and told the cabbie. “Take us to the pink building” The garage was lit up with hot pink lights that you can see from a distance. We were all getting excited. As we arrived, we checked in on the ground floor on Lincoln Road. To my disappointment, the tickets for this event were sold on Living Social. I paid $95 plus a $12 delivery of the ticket as they wouldn’t let you print it out. I was pissed, someone gets to go to the event for the half the price and didn’t have to pay the $12.
After checking in, we took the elevator in the garage to the 7th floor. As we got quickly got off, we were handed an event map. We first headed to the photo booth. I honestly could have spent the whole night in the photo booth, its so much fun. However, we came for the food and drinks and quickly moved on. Right as we were walking, I said out loud “ I want to meet Marc Summers”, as I finished saying that some old guy comes up to me and says “ I heard you wanted to meet Marc Summers” I turn around and my face turned bright red. It was Marc Summers. I told him I tweeted at him and he knew exactly who I was. After we took a picture together, my night was complete. Well almost.
Time for the food and drinks!
I started feeling overwhelmed by the amount of food. It was desserts galore at this event.
There was also a fish, cheese and meat station. Not sure whether I should begin with food or drink, I started with a yummy premade bottled vodka called Or-G made with papaya, lime and mango. After finishing my first drink, I quickly headed to the woman hanging upside down pouring champagne.
Between trying to get my drink on, carrying a purse, camera and wearing high heels and no place to sit, my excitement of the night quickly wore out. The lines to get the food were extremely long. However, lines are over-rated and I quickly stepped in and grabbed a few bites. The food was mediocre and honestly its hard to manage drinking and eating and crunching both in a 3 hour period.
Marc Summers put on his Double Dare hosting hat and challenged Robert Irvine to make a drink, make a sandwich hanging upside down and make a ceviche. The venue does not have good acoustics, so if you were not up close and personal, you had no idea what was going. My friends and I worn out by standing in our heels all night, found a spot on the edge of the stage, front and center for the ceviche challenge.
Robert Irvine must be very into his body, as people were shouting for him to take his shirt off for the challenge, he happily obliged.
All I was thinking was, he should put his shirt back on or put a bag over his head whichever is easiest or doesn’t hinder him from making ceviche. Being that he’s a celebrity chef or what not, I asked him to take a picture with me. He said sure but you gotta take it quick. Being rushed, I took an awful picture with him and Marc Summers. Not sure why he was rushing me, he was taking pictures for 10 minutes with fans. I would of taken another picture but I could care less about a chef I had no clue who he was prior to the event.
The biggest tool of the night was Guy Fieri. He may have just stopped by the event and was not paid to be there. After the ceviche challenge, he quickly rushed off the stage. I asked if he could take a picture with me and he said if you can manage to take one before I head to the elevator. No one would take the picture for me, so I held up my phone and took the best shot I could get. Thanks for nothing Guy!! Where are the modest celebrity chefs these days? Does Guy Fieri really need a security guard?
The hottie of the night was Fabio from Top Chef. He oozes sex appeal. At first when I saw him, I wasn’t sure if it was him. So I put on my stalker hat on. I couldn’t confirm if it was him or not until he spoke. Gotta love his Italian accent, plus he smelled so good. He may have overdone it on the cologne as I could smell him from 3 feet away but I didn’t care it was Fabio. I finally had the courage to go up to him and ask if I could take a picture with him. Before taking the picture, I told him I heard some not nice things about him. He was taken aback as who could hate Fabio? I felt bad as he was actually really nice. I wish I could have re-done that moment. Oh well. I’m sure it didn’t phase him more than the minute I was chatting with him.
Overall, I thought Epicure Gourmet put together a great event, it may have not been the best one of the entire South Beach Wine and Food Festival. I definitely plan to go again next year. Next time, I’ll pick more wisely on which one I go to. Unless, of course, I get comped to go an event next year. That would be nice, Wouldn’t it?