Fear & Loathing at the Sobe Wine & Food Festival

By | February 27th, 2011 | 10 Comments

Beware: Marauding foodie terrorists abound at the Sobe Wine & Food Festival.

I had reservations about getting press passes to the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. First of all, if you listened to Podcast #7, you know my opinion of the festival’s douche-bag-in-chief, Guy Fieri (pictured below looking quite the DB). Secondly, an event of this magnitude and tailored to the faux-foodie-with-hundreds-to-burn-on-a-day-pass set seemed like exactly the kind of event we could pretend doesn’t exist on Beached Miami. Thirdly, it seemed inevitable that the spectacle of thousands of yuppie satyrs stuffing face was going to quickly activate my fear-and-loathing gland, and that, lacking David Foster Wallace’s genius to turn the experience into a timeless piece of writing (“Consider the Sand Flea”?), I’d end up simply complaining about it and inciting a few such yuppie satyrs to reply with mildly indignant comments.

So I went. And boy was I wrong! Kidding of course. Exactly as expected. In fact, the only surprise was how bad the food was. I tried about every vendor in Grand Tasting Village and nothing registered above “demi-divine” in the Official Foodie’s Guide to Verbal Food Appraisal (a must-read for all who aspire to the Iron Chef judge’s table). Seriously, I wouldn’t regurgitate a single hors d’oeuvre and say “Try that.”

Not more than a few sandy steps into one of the two main tents, I was about to try my first bite — a rum-soaked brownie — when a woman with a lecherous eye gasped, “Isn’t it fantastic?” in blatant disregard to the fact that the brownie had yet to cross my lips and in a way that made me wonder if Lee Schrager had boosters planted around GT Village. I should have turned back there, my friends, but I went forward, into the munching masses, the red-toothed swishing swarm. Somehow I have lived to tell about it, and, no matter the appeal of sobewff’s siren song (“Mambo No. 5″ with kettle drum accompaniment), I almost certainly wouldn’t tempt fate again. For staged debauchery is a step away from chaos, and I will not have my obituary read: “Husband, brother, beloved son. Trampled under sandal by a live audience of Guy’s Big Bite.” On to the pictures.

Guy Fieri, stirring his audience into a frenzy (i.e., being a douche bag)

Guy's Crowd
Mein Fieri!


Couple Lounging

Can’t figure this out? Click HERE.

Look at That

Pink Dress

More Guy. Isn’t he rad?

The Buzz Aldrin of molecular gastronomy, Wylie Dufresne (dark blue hat)

Another foodie terrorist (food critic incognito?)

Save yourself, my friend

10 Comments on “Fear & Loathing at the Sobe Wine & Food Festival”

  1. 1 Geoff said at 11:42 am on February 27th, 2011:

    1.Why is Christopher Lloyd/Doc Brown trying to save souls. 2. What the F is good ole Guy Ferretti wearing ? He looks like a smoldering turdmister. He should meet up with the Real Houswives of Miami to get tips on the perfect shade of hair dye, whilst cooking them locust nards. Now that would be compelling television.

  2. 2 Pashmina said at 12:36 pm on February 27th, 2011:

    OMG. I can’t stand Guy Fieri too! And am so glad your post confirms what I suspected about SBWFF. Yech.

    Where do true foodies go in Miami? I’ve had to travel to other cities to get my fix for a reasonable price.

  3. 3 Jordan Melnick said at 3:32 pm on February 27th, 2011:

    @Geoff The soul-saver looks more like Stephen King, no?

    @Pashmina “Where do true foodies go in Miami?” To the airport with a ticket to the West Coast? Or Yakko-san.

  4. 4 Pashmina said at 3:56 pm on February 27th, 2011:

    I liked Yako San… but that’s just one type of food. I miss Denver. :( If you’re ever there, go check out Potager. I remember meals I’ve eaten there from 3 years ago in crazy detail.

  5. 5 Jordan Melnick said at 4:23 pm on February 27th, 2011:

    @Pashmina In my experience, fests of all stripes (music, food, arts) tend to suck. The smaller, the more focused, the better. I loved the smaller art fairs (Seven, Ink) during Art Basel and felt next to nothing for Art Basel itself. Problem with food is, even a narrow food fest like a seafood fest will likely bring out too many people for it to be enjoyable. Also, once you’re organizing a fest, going big is probably the most profitable way to go.

  6. 6 Geoff said at 4:28 pm on February 27th, 2011:

    I am seeing some King now that you mention it. That should had that guy do a cooking show. What would Jesus eat!

  7. 7 Jordan Melnick said at 6:11 pm on February 27th, 2011:

    ha ha a little bread and wine.

  8. 8 megan said at 8:34 am on February 28th, 2011:

    @pashmina, have you been to red light, gigi, mandolin, buena vista bistro, lost and found, joey’s, kb burgers, one burger (?)… i could go on and on! there are definitely great restaurants here in miami – although i completely agree that the sbwff is not the foodie oasis they make it out to be.

    @jordan, help a girl out here! i know you know more places than just yakko-san. ;)

  9. 9 Guy Fieri said at 10:33 pm on February 28th, 2011:

    Why don’t you like me? We got you in for free. You got to eat all that great free food. Next year you will not get in for free.

  10. 10 Jordan Melnick said at 10:39 pm on February 28th, 2011:

    I’m sure you’re a nice guy, Guy. It’s just that I’m allergic to bleach … and fearful of sharp hair. As for next year, I will be paying not to get in.

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