posted Tuesday, March 17, 2015 by Rebecca, Brianne and Jess

The South Beach Wine & Food Festival is easily one of our favorite events of the year. Not only does it bring together some of the most talented chefs from around the country, it does so with the incredible backdrop of beautiful South Beach, Miami.  While we were more than happy to escape the sub-zero temperatures (literally) in New York, the arctic chill followed us for one of the cooler festival weekends we’ve experienced in our decade+ attending.

Over the years, the festival has evolved, new events have been introduced, and new venues discovered. This year didn’t disappoint! We’re all about the visuals, so we’ll keep the text to a minimum and let the images speak for themselves.

Chef Ben Ford hosted the incredible 3-course Retro Feast Dinner with Chef Ashley Christensen and Chef Jonathan Lane at the Metropolitan by COMO.

Chef Christensen’s first course set the bar high. Red Mustard Greens with Cipollini Onions, Pickled Pumpkin, Benne Seed Tahini and Crispy Chicken Skins (you read that correctly). It was perfectly dressed and was everything I enjoy in a salad - and then some!

To round out the meal, Chef Ford served a superb Bacon-Wrapped Quail with Pickled Jalapeno Stuffing and a side of Pulled Walnut Bread Croutons with Frisee and Dates. Each bite had the perfect punch to it.

The following night, we attended the Cobaya Dinner at the new Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). There, Andrew Zimmern served a profoundly delicious Grilled Abalone with Black Bean Sauce, Crispy Shallots, Charred Scallions, and Hot Chile Oil. Chefs Michael Schwartz, Chris Cosentino, Makato Okuwa, and PAMM’s own Kaytlin Brakefield each tackled a course.

A few other honorable mentions from the weekend:

Andrew Zimmern delivers leftover room service to Alex Thomopoulos for an impromptu interview. 

Blues Traveler kills it at Guy Fieri's Meatopia.

Ben steps out from behind the stove for an interview with People Magazine at the Retro Feast.

The following morning, Ben and Rebecca work off the Retro Feast meal with a Flywheel event.

We sunk our teeth into this delicious Tongue Slider from Andrew Zimmern's Canteen at Andrew's closing event, The Best of The Munchies.

Andrew showed how to prepare a Florida delicacy - frog legs - at the Grand Tasting Village.

The Brooks Group team (left to right) Brianne (7th year at SOBE), Rebecca (11th year at SOBE) and Jess (1st year at SOBE) wrap up another fun weekend at the festival. 

‘Til next year SoBe!