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February 24, 2006

In the drink!

Bobby Flay and his BBQ buddies didn't disappoint at The Delano's Moet & Chandon Bubble Q, one of the most anticipated events at the SoBe Wine & Food Fest. But the weather did. We're talking a serious, major, yowza downpour, which began at approximately 8 p.m., an hour after the $300-a- head, sold-out beachfront fete began.

Before we get into precipitation, let's talk turkey first. Much more entertaining.

In a scene out of a movie set, merrymakers -- some barefoot because stilettos can only take so much sand -- were happily munching away on miniature feasts cooked up by some of the best in the biz, who were set up in tents alongside each other in a kind of huge square. A stage was set up in the middle, with a slinky singer, blonde surfer girl drummer and dancing Bubble Q models, dressed up as yes, bubbles, with wedding veils bunched up on their heads (and no their costumes didn't look water resistant).

Back to the face stuffing. Standouts: Douglas Rodriguez's (OLA) fiery salmon fillets; Cindy Hutson's (Ortanique on the Mile) incredibly tender pork loin; Stephane Becht's (Blue Door, Delano) nod to Dick Cheney's weekend hobby, quail (we can understand now why he'd want to take these poor little birdies down; they taste pretty good); Flay's delectably peppery chicken strips; and my personal favorite, Chris Lilly's (Big Bob Gibson BBQ) killer pulled pork with slaw and their award winning hickory smoke sauce. Lilly stepped away from the fire for a few to give lip licking fans a presentation. He plopped down a plate of pork shoulder (the size of a bed pillow), slipped out the bones and then mashed down the meat with his hands, "pulling" the pork into little strips. Masterpiece. If you're ever in Decatur, Ala., you may want to stop by and get a sampling yourself. At least the sauce is readily available on their website at  www.bigbobgibsonbbq.com.

I was gearing up to head to the National Hotel next door for Belvedere Vodka's party called The Beautiful Life because last year it was such a gas (get 700 people ready for anything at a fabulous South Beach pool, you can expect nothing but); however, the droplets began to strike.

It remains to be seen if this party was a go. Judging by the howling winds outside and general lack of visibility as I peer out the window, I'm thinking no.

I'm headed for a hot toddy. Wet stilettos are not fun.

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