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I'm making a list of all the reasons I want to be in Miami starting Thursday, February 19th for the awesome South Beach Wine & Food Festival (and not just because Food & Wine magazine is a sponsor and so I feel like it's my party). I have about 100 reasons, but I've winnowed the list down to 5.
1. The King & Queen of Spain! They'll be there for a deluxe dinner presided over by two of our country's top chefs, Mario Batali and José Andrés.
2. The Bubble Q. My hero Tom Colicchio is hosting the supersonic nighttime party on the beach with Champagne and barbecue from famed pitmasters like Adam Perry Lang of Daisy May's BBQ USA in New York City, Chris Lilly from Big Bob Gibson's Bar-B-Q in Decatur, Alabama and Tony Neely from Neely's Bar-B-Que in Nashville, Tennessee.
3. Joe's Big Chill. For the first time, Joe's Stone Crab will close to the public for a private festival event: a Sunday morning brunch with all-you-can-eat hash browns, fried green tomatoes, and of course, those awesome crab claws, finished off with key lime pie.
4. This year's annual burger bash. Another nighttime beach party, this will have 22 different burgers made with over two tons of ten different kinds of ground meat, 300 pounds of smoked bacon and 100 gallons of ketchup and mustard.
5. Billy Joel! He'll be at the burger bash. I'm not sure if he'll help his wife, Katie Lee, defend her Best Burger title or grab a microphone and start singing, but one can only hope.