SoBeWFF: Ten Survival Tips for the Weekend

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Plan for the day with our handy tips.
The 2012 South Beach Wine and Food Festival is under way, with festivities getting into high gear tomorrow. Since we're planning to call in sick (hey -- it's once a year), we figure you did your best Ferris Bueller imitation and are now on your way in your vintage sports car (or Honda CRV) to South Beach for a weekend of eating, drinking, and celebrity-spotting.

Clean Plate Charlie has compiled a survival list of the ten things you absolutely have to know to survive the weekend. 

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SoBeWFF: Tickets Still Available for These Events

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You can still see Paula Deen if you act now.
There's no denying that the South Beach Wine and Food Festival is South Florida's premier foodie event. The four-day festival turns Miami into one giant celebrity-chef mosh pit -- where the likes of Paula Deen, Anthony Bourdain, Emeril Lagasse, and Rachael Ray all come together to mingle with fans and one another.

Even though tickets are pricey (one day at the Grand Tasting Village will cost you $225), they still sell out months in advance, with some events like Paula Deen's Gospel Brunch selling out back in October, when tickets first went on sale.

If you acted late, there are still tickets available to certain seminars and parties. Hint: If there's an event you're interested in, we suggest you act quickly. 

For more information on each event and to purchase tickets, click here. Here's a list of events that were still available as of today:

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Six Under the Radar Events For 2012 South Beach Wine and Food Festival

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We're in the countdown to South Beach Wine and Food Festival 2012 for which coveted tickets are sold out. Even so, there's no shortage of events from which to choose. We've culled a selection that may capture your imagination and deliver delicious eats.

Have a weigh-in on South Beach Wine and Food weekend? Share it in the comments. After the jump, six events you should be aware of.

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Broward Chefs at South Beach Wine and Food Festival 2012

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South Beach Wine and Food Festival 2012 is a few weeks away: the Nascar of foodie weekends. Though hot tickets are sold out, there's a slew of events with tickets available. Perhaps a local chef's attendance might convince you to splurge.

Have a weigh-in on South Beach Wine and Food weekend? Share it in the comments. After the jump, Broward chefs who will make an appearance.


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Tickets for Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival on Sale Monday

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Brustman Carrino PR
Calling all gourmands and scenesters: Tickets go on sale Monday for the foodist event of the year: The 11th-annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival, to benefit FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Remember Paula Dean's pants episode or Mario Batali's f bomb for the king and queen of Spain, followed by his grab-assing Jose Andres? If those episodes don't remind you of the epic nature of the weekend, perhaps a rundown of this year's events may entice you:

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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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South Beach Wine & Food Festival's Closing Party: Guy Fieri Makes Pizza, Booze for Everyone

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All photos by Laine Doss
Guy pouring in the booze.
There are a lot of celebrity hosts at the various South Beach Food and Wine Festival events. By what we can tell, hosting duties at these events pretty much mean showing up and schmoozing with friends and fans. Some hosts are seen more than others. Duff Goldmann, for example, was at his post at The Best Thing I Ever Ate for most of the party, serving corn chowder and taking photos with adoring fans (tough job). Other celeb hosts who we won't name (Rachael Ray at Burger Bash, Martha Stewart at Let Them Eat Cake) just did a cursory walk-through of the event and made an announcement at some point in the evening. Apparently no one gave Guy Fieri the memo that he really didn't have to work that hard as a host, because Fieri actually fed the thousand or so partygoers... literally! More »

South Beach Wine & Food Festival's The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Celebs Present Their Favorite Dishes

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All photos by Laine Doss
KC & The Sunshine Band Rocked The House - "This is what Justin Timberlake is going to look like in 30 years", quipped KC.
The giant festival party tent was transformed once again last evening for "The Best Thing I Ever Ate", where celebs and celebrity chefs don't actually cook themselves, but present a dish from a favorite restaurant. It's a fun way for these celebs to kick back with a glass of wine and meet their fans.

Celebrities presenting dishes included Scott Conant, Geoffrey Zakarian, Sunny Anderson, Anne Burrell, Bethanny Frankel, local celeb Paul Castronovo, event host Duff Goldmann and Andrew Zimmern and Debi Mazar. KC and the Band provided entertainment, which really got the crowd moving, especially with wild man Guy Fieri on percussions.

 

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South Beach Wine & Food Festival's Bubble Q: Celebs and Champagne Sparkle

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All photos by Laine Doss
​Last evening's Bubble Q on the beach has everything a huge tropical soiree could ask for - good music, great food, stunning decor, champagne corks popping endlessly and celebs. A gigantic white chandelier was the focal point of the tent, under which handsome men in black with neon green ties poured overflowing glasses of Perrier-Joet. Celebrity chefs were stationed around the tent cooking savory dishes to pair with the champagne. The highlight of the evening, however, were the celebrities in the crowd. Guy Fieri, Giada De Laurentiis, Rick Bayless, Al Roker, Jonathan Waxman and host Bobby Flay were spotted. Just when we thought we had seen every celeb, Martha Stewart strolled in on her way to the Let Them Eat Cake party to sample some food. Just as Martha walked in the room, the band played the theme to 2001, A Space Odyssey. Coincidence? We don't think so.

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Todd English had a line of admirers - all women.

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South Beach Wine & Food Festival's Let Them Eat Cake: A Sweet Fantasy

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All photos by Laine Doss
​While most larger SoBe Wine & Food Festival events happen in the giant tents on the beach, the location on the ticket of the Let Them Eat Cake party, hosted by Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse, was that of a parking garage on Lincoln Road and Alton Road. This is going to be interesting, we thought as we traded in ticket for wristband and were directed to an elevator. When the elevator doors opened, guests were surprised to find the entire seventh floor of this parking garage had been turned into a fantasy of cakes, champagne, dancing girls, acrobats and extreme ice carvers.

Sound a bit like Cirque du Soleil? Well, it looked a lot like it. Out of all the events and parties so far this season (and there are still a lot more events left this weekend), this party was both the most exclusive and spectacular. Hosts Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse were on hand and you could feel their touches in the room - the extreme decorating of Martha coupled with the music and color that is Emeril's beloved New Orleans. What about celebrities you say? More celebs than you can shake a cupcake at, we say. We spotted Martha and Emeril, of course, along with Gail Simmons, Geoffrey Zakarian enjoying a cigar, Duff Goldman and Fabio Viviani.

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