South Beach Wine & Food Festival's Grand Tasting Village: Bring on the Celebrity Chefs

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All photos by Laine Doss
Anthony Bourdain brought the wheel of death.
Once a year, South Beach turns into the ultimate playground for adults. Filled with shows, food, and fun, it's basically Disney World for grownups. At the Grand Tasting Village, guests are given a Waterford Crystal glass and free reign to drink as much booze from 1 to 5 p.m. in the Florida sun as they can before they pass out. Strangely enough, though we've seen some slurred speech and stumbling, we've never seen any outright vomiting or fighting.

Beyond this weekend-long orgy of food and drink lie the celebrity demonstrations and book signings. Superfans of Food Network delight in nonstop talks and demonstrations by such heavy hitters are Emeril Lagasse, Paula Deen, Rocco DiSpirito, Anthony Bourdain, Morimoto, Bobbly Flay, Bethenny Frankel, and Guy Fieri. The one thing all of these celebs have in common is the ability to entertain a crowd of fans. Each has his or her own particular schtick -- some quipping about other celebs, some passing drinks around, but all of them pumping up the crowd more than a Disney parade! It's a chef's world, after all.

 

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​Paula Deen forgot her recipe but remembered her wine.

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Bethenny Frankel handed out her "Skinny Girl" margaritas and told stories about her life, her Bravo reality series, and why she's not going back to Housewives ("I'm sick of having women rewarded for bad behavior," she said).

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Guy Fieri pals around with Iron Chef Morimoto.

 

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Bill Clinton and Barack Obama party at the Grand Tasting Village.

 
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Rocco DiSpirito is planning a new TV show.

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​Alain Ducasse, the master.

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​Emeril Lagasse demos at the GTV.

 


Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Facebook and on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.

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