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Why Was Batali Even Up There?

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We're referring to Mario Batali being "up there" on stage at the SBWFF's Wines and Food of Spain dinner. You've probably heard that he dropped a couple of F-bombs in front of the royal company. And speaking of F-bombs: What the fuck was he even doing on that platform welcoming the King and Queen of Spain to our city? We've got more than enough great chefs that could have done so, and in the process given Miami's culinary scene a boost. It is nothing less than a slap in the face to our local culinarians that an out-of-towner was selected for this honor.

Alvaro Beade from Valladolid, Spain, the chef at Ideas Restaurant in Coconut Grove would have been a fine choice, but so would Philippe Ruiz, Pascal Oudin, Edgar Leal, Doug Rodriguez or any number of our talented toques. And I bet they could have handled the proceedings without having to use the word fuckwads.

The problem is that ever since the Food Network took over, the Festival has not been about locals. If the SBWFF folks are intent on having Mario Batali and the Food Network buffoons represent our city, then instead of inviting Manny Diaz and Charlie Crist to attend the dinners, they might as well fly in former Governor Blagojevich to do so at next year's ceremonies instead. His language, we're sure, would pair well with Batali's.

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

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