There's just one place in the universe where chef Ferran Adrià (known for turning ingredients like bell peppers into "air") and chef-dude Guy Fieri (who autographs bell peppers with a Sharpie) might appear at the same time, and to equal fanfare: the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Miami. And now there's a second spot: the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival Cookbook, honoring the event's 10th anniversary in February.
The festival is the brainchild of Lee Brian Schrager, a communications VP at Southern Wine & Spirits, the event's host. His inspiration was the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. "If I hadn't been there, I never would have gotten this idea," Schrager says. "I thought those mountains were the most gorgeous place in the world. And then I thought, 'Imagine this on the beach.' " He went home to Miami, signed Food & Wine on as a presenting partner and launched the festival with events like the Champagne-and-barbecue extravaganza BubbleQ. One BubbleQ dish in the cookbook: spicy, messy shrimp tacos from Texas chef Dean Fearing.
These days, guests50,000 pluscome to see stars like chefs Jamie Oliver and Alice Waters, who'll be collaborating on a children's healthy-eating program at the 2011 festival. (Besides increasing awareness about kids' nutrition, the festival has raised $12 million for culinary scholarships at Florida International University.) Waters's contribution to the cookbook is a zippy avocado-and-grapefruit salad. Not surprisingly, it's quite a bit easier than Adrià's recipe: carrot air with bitter coconut milk.
Ultimate Food Festival Calendar
The Food & Wine Classic in Aspen is F&W's very own event (June 1719, 2011; foodandwine.com). We also sponsor the amazing festivals below:
Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival
Among the highlights: cooking demos by Tom Colicchio and Fergus Henderson, and lots of rum. November 1922; foodwinerum.com.
Chef Eric Ripert hosts this four-day event on Grand Cayman, which includes his guided tour of Stingray City. January 1316, 2011; caymanislands.ky/cayman_cookout.
South Beach Wine & Food Festival
New this year: A surf-and-turf boat brunch, plus a gala dinner for Alain Ducasse. February 2427, 2011; sobewineand foodfest.com.
Pebble Beach Food & Wine
Some 250 wineries and 60 great chefs are the draw. April 28May 1, 2011; pebblebeachfoodandwine.com.