Order Up: The Sordid History of the South Beach Wine & Food Fest

This week we're putting off our normal restaurant review in favor of a guest column from Miami New Times' own award-winning restaurant critic, Lee Klein. It's a great read on the history of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, which kicks off in Miami tomorrow and runs through Sunday, February 28. I've read the whole column, and it's fantastic stuff: Klein includes a lot of juicy, dramatic moments from the festival's past and poses some great questions on high prices and overselling tickets. But he makes sure to point out that the fest is pure Miami; a homegrown event that's certainly grown large, but still brings the flavor every time.

Read more about the South Beach Wine & Food Festival tomorrow when Klein's article debuts in Dish. For now, here's a quick excerpt from the piece.

"The most motherfucking (Michelin) stars of any Spanish restaurant in the U.S.," Mario Batali barked when describing an eatery to a crowd. It was only noteworthy because it occurred at last year's South Beach Wine & Food Festival dinner honoring attendees King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia of Spain. The royal couple was taken aback, the episode made its way across the nation's news wires, and the Festival had found more fodder for its folklore. A bonus footnote was added with a New Times' video report (find it at CleanPlateCharlie.com) of Paula Deen's pants falling down to mid-thigh.

Oh, about that Paula Deen video... we'll post that link, plus a few of our other favorite hits from the SBWFF tomorrow on the blog.

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