It should come as no surprise to any of you who know me that at the end of a meal, I like to feel full. Not the “unbutton your pants post-Thanksgiving gorge-fest” kind of full, but the “yep, I just ate for real and took no prisoners,” kind of full.
And, living in a foodie mecca like the Gables that features some of the finest Zagat-rated restaurants, James Beard Foundation Award nominated chefs and eye-popping culinary creations fit for a cover story only adds to the temptation and opportunity for gluttonous largesse.
Yet, with the SOBE Wine and Food Festival now piled upon the compost heap for another year, we all can return to our normal lives of eating and drinking and merrying…and without the $350 price tag, pretentiousness and wanna-be status updates.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the SOBE WFF is a great “get” for our community, showcasing local talent, as much as imported “chef-lebrities”, and reminding all who visit Miami that there is more to our way of life than just bikinis and spray tans. We have some chops, too (and I am not talking lamb, veal or pork).
The Food Network took a huge risk several years ago with the title sponsorship of the SOBE WFF; but, in doing so, they not only created a platform for their own network programming and celebrity chefs, they created an opportunity to identify and promote young talent on the rise – think James Beard Award finalist Giorgio Rapicavoli of Eating House – and further positions our local faves – think Michelle Bernstein of Michy’s (or Crumb on Parchment or the former Sra. Martinez).
The risk is not without reward and we, the local foodies with an ever-advancing and more discriminating palate, are the direct beneficiaries. In Coral Gables alone, we have latched our great fortunes to the aforementioned Eating House, Cindy Hutson’s Ortanique and the new entry to the hog pen, John Kunkel’s and 50 Eggs’ Swine.
You see, many of these stars, and their counterparts, are bigger celebrities than the cast of Breaking Dawn. Just try to get an affordable ticket to the wine and food festival and their signature events like the Bubble Q, the Burger Bash, the Chicken Coupe and the myriad tasting events. Like a unicorn, they do not exist in reality…even the wine seminars sell out…and most of what you take in, you merely spit out!
I like to think that every day in the Gables is a food festival. With more than 160 choices at the tip of your taste buds, every type of cuisine you could imagine or desire at every available price point, there is no lack of variety or opportunity to satiate your appetite.
With the arrival of several hot young chefs in the City Beautiful and their unique brand of gastronomy, the Gables is able to own a piece of culinary real estate that has often been the exclusive property of SOBE. No longer, my friends. We have staked (and “steaked”) our claim!
So, grab your fork, strap on your bib and get ready to experience the prowess of gastronomical genius. And, get ready to feel full…not just from the food you eat, but the lifestyle that comes with it.