Why Was Batali Even Up There? | Clean Plate Charlie | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

Food Festivals

Why Was Batali Even Up There?

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.

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Lee Klein

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