September 15, 2013
February 19, 2009
February 23, 2008
The Rachael Ray party at the Victor last night was, um, entertaining in many ways. Unfortunately, according to many in attendance, the one thing missing was earplugs---you see, Ray's hubby John Cusimano and his band, the appropriately titled The Cringe, was the headlining act. "Her husband should stick to his day job," said our source who is still experiencing ringing in her ears today. And where was Rach while hubby played with his band? "She was inside in air conditioning most of the time. She came out to clap for him at the end of each interminable song." Ouch! Meanwhile elsewhere in wine and food mania, the Bubble Q event was a stellar one. Preggo hostess Giada De Laurentiis (who sort of resembles Natalie Portman) was one of many hits of the night. Al Roker left his weatherman hat at home in favor of a toque, cooking up some serious sausages. We asked him what the secret was, to which he replied heartily, "Beer!" Bobby Flay was roaming around, too, pausing for pix with fans, one who told us he's starting to get a little paunchy. Katie Lee Joel was hardly a diva piano man's wife, cooking up her own BBQ and serving it to eager fans, some who couldn't avoid asking where hubby Billy was. "He didn't want to upstage her, so he stayed away," said one source. Smart guy but her BBQ could have stood up to him at least last night anyway. Another big hit based on the swarms of camera toting fans looking for photo ops was the diminutive Cat Cora, whose shrimp with chili powder was, as Paris would say, "hot." Spotted sipping bubbly in the back of the tented area, R&B singer John Legend, who looked as happy as, say, we'd look if he started to serenade us. Who knew he was a foodie? The only one missing from the bash was Paula Deen, who was probably up at the Hard Rock or Gulfstream, channeling her alter ego---the one she told our colleague about at her Poker Party the night before---Paula Deen as "slot whore." Now that's delicious.
Anthony Bourdain has been out and about this weekend, too, but to the dismay of many a smitten female fan, with his wife. We've seen him everywhere, from the Bubble Q to poolside at the Raleigh yesterday and last night at DeVito for the Mario Batali and Jamie Oliver affair (where we actually saw China Grill emperor Jeffrey Chodorow waiting on line to get in). Speaking of DeVito, he was there, too. Rachael Ray and Giada were also there but we didn't see them. DeVito must have eclipsed 'em. Also seen around town, Top Chef Miami finalist Casey Thompson, at the Ritz South Beach, who told us she's doing well and was happy to be here again.
Photos: Lily Blitstein and Ralph Notaro/Splash News
February 23, 2007
So Catherine Zeta Jones was a no-show at the exclusive premiere of her new flick No Reservations at the Regal Cinema on Lincoln Road last night. The movie, which doesn't come out until July, screened as part of the SoBe Wine and Food festivities. We found out at the Rachael Ray Amstel Light Burger Bash that Zeta Jones wasn't making the movie and would be flying in tonight for the Food Network Awards at the Jackie Gleason Theatre, where she and co-star Aaron Eckhart will present an award. It didn't really matter that she wasn't there, though. The movie was a cute chick flick. The Burger Bash was an orgy of cholesterol and calories. Rachael Ray was mobbed by fans, making an almost Madonna-like entrance, surrounded by handlers and protectors, and even kept some local celebrities from grabbing a cupcake or two. Some of us, however, were too busy marveling over NYC's City Hall's ingenious knish burger to notice. NYC's Shake Shack burger wasn't too shabby, either. In fact, it won the prize for best burger.
John Cusimano and Rachael Ray taste burgers at Burger Bash.
Photo: Wire Image
February 21, 2007
Not everyone loves Rachael Ray. Just ask Martha Stewart, whose show airs the same time at Ray's. Lee Schrager, South Beach Wine and Food fest organizer, told the Herald, "The rumor is that Martha doesn't want to be in the same room as Rachael." The cat figt started over, of all people, Barry Manilow! Apparently Stewart thought it weird that Ray aired the crooner's segment on the same day he was appearing live on Stewart's show. On that show, the domestic diva announced "We have Barry Manilow live this morning, and he taped an epi ode of the Rachael Ray show that was supposed to air tomorrow. But for some reason, they pushed the show up to today, and now Barry is on two shows at once. He's live with us, but it's really not fair to the artist because these performers deserve to reach as big of an audience as possible. But anyway, we have him here. Live." But, still. South Beach is a small town. They may find themselves on the same couch at, say, Cameo. Doubtful, but you never know. Can we expect a reconciliation? ''Would I like to get the credit for getting those two to kiss and make up?" says Schrager. "Yes. Do I think it's going to happen? No."
February 26, 2006
On Saturday night, a staggeringly amazing (enter hyperbole here) amassment of the biggest culinary talent out there: Decoding Ferran Adria: The Tribute Dinner at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel.
Foodies who paid $600 a plate for the sold out event were convulsing with joy at the thought of Thomas Keller (French Laundry), Jean Georges Vongerichten and Nobu Matsuhisa cooking just for them. The seven course feast also included starters by local luminaries Emeril Lagasse and Norman Van Aken.
The theme: uniquely combined flavors that Adria, Spain's master of innovation cuisine, could appreciate.
"This is heaven,'' said Frenchman Marc Ehrler, executive chef at the Loews who organized the army of servers. "A once in a lifetime event."
The first course, Organized Caesar Salad, was dictated - that's the word, folks - by
Adria's close friend and translator for the evening, Jose Andres, a popular Spanish TV host who is known as much for his manic energy as for his novel approach to food.
"That doesn't look like Caesar salad,'' I stupidly remark about the plate dotted with three little
tubes, one with a yolk atop, lying beside an orange dollop, later discovered to be sea urchin. "Have you ever seen Barney [the purple, kid-friendly dinosaur]?'' Andres asks, flitting between servers who are plating, assembly-line style, on city-block-long tables. "Use your imagination!''
Oh, it was going to be that kind of night.
At this celestial level, things are not as they appear especially for the uninitiated (I once had tekka maki at Nobu New York and used the phone at Lespinasse in the early '90s).
I dunk the lettuce-filled cylinder into the sea urchin. For roughly six seconds, I'm rendered unable to speak.
"Wow,'' I finally manage. But Andres is off down the server queue, cracking his knuckles and bellowing, "More parmesan! More parmesan!''
February 25, 2006
Saturday, on the beach....weather is holding.
"The skies are beginning to get threatening again,'' said Lisa Palley, PR coordinator for the wine and food festival. Luckily, the centerpiece of the festival -- the all star tribute to Ferran Adria of the famed El Bulli restaurant in Spain -- is being held inside at the Loews hotel later on. More on that later...
As for Bobby Flay's father, it was a false alarm. No heart attack. "Just too much excitement" that caused him to collapse, Palley said.
February 24, 2006
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.
The South Beach Wine and Food Festival had its soft opening last night.
Actually "soft" wouldn't be the right word at Veuve Clicquot's Bubble Bath at South Beach's Hotel Victor, where guests lounged on chairs that used to be bathtubs (yeeouch). The slinky models seemed to be having a better time of it, sudsing it up in champagne-filled tubs and synchronizing their swimming in the fantabulous heated pool. Machines pumped out bubbles, which wafted out onto Ocean Drive.
"Usually people are so nonchalant on the beach, but not last night. Everyone was staring up at the bubbles,'' said Terri Lynn, spokeswoman for Touch Catering, which put together the event. "And everywhere you looked there was champagne."
Partyers weren't there for the solids, apparently. That kind of culinary action will happen tonight at The Delano Hotel's ever popular Moet & Chandon's Bubble Q, featuring BBQ king Bobby Flay and Fontainebleau Resort's Wine Spectator's Best Of The Best, where top toques will present their fave nibbles.
-- MADELEINE MARR