Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

MAY-JUN 2018

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Page 44 of 143 43 Later that evening, our ambitious itinerar y included taking in both the Wine Spectator's Best of the Best event at Fontainebleau Miami Beach, followed by a nightcap back at the beach for the raucous Heineken Light Burger Bash, presented by Schweid & Sons. We were handed a Riedel wine glass as we walked into the Best of the Best event, which was a dream come true for both gourmands and oenophiles. Sampling stations offered decadent dishes created by 60 of the nation's top-rated chefs, while a selection of 100 wines rated 90 points or higher on Wine Spectator's scale were being poured by the proprietors and winemakers themselves. At the Burger Bash, chef and judge Guy Fieri fired up the crowd and boasted of how he sampled each of the 45 burgers created by participating chefs vying for the title of best burger on the beach. Having already overindulged at the Best of the Best event, I still managed to try quite a few of the burgers, but fell far short of Fieri's impressive feat. Perfectly encapsulating the spirit of South Beach, we capped off our weekend of glorious gluttony on Saturday night at the beachfront Walshy Fire's Rum & Bass Beach Party, presented by BACARDI. A second annual event, rum-centric drinks were accompanied by bites from 25 South Florida chefs. Jamaican- American DJ Walshy Fire and special guest DJ Irie kept the dance floor packed and the energy level soaring late into the night. Throughout the weekend, I found myself marveling at just how smoothly each of these massively scaled events were staged. is was due in no small part to the involvement of the exceedingly friendly and hardworking students from Florida International University's Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management (which is the beneficiary of the festival's proceeds). To date, the festival has raised more than $26 million for the School. e 2019 South Beach Wine & Food Festival is scheduled for February 20-24. For more information and reservations, visit sl Gourmet bites at the Best of the Best event

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