10 top bites from the South Beach Wine & Food Festival

 <span class="cutline_leadin">CLOWNING AROUND</span>: Food Network star Damaris Phillipps, left, cannot get a bite in without the watchful eyes of chefs Geoffrey Zakarian and Aaron Sanchez, right.
CLOWNING AROUND: Food Network star Damaris Phillipps, left, cannot get a bite in without the watchful eyes of chefs Geoffrey Zakarian and Aaron Sanchez, right.

The 13th annual Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival induced plenty of food comas and adult-beverage hangovers from its 70-some events spread over four days. It also raised about $2 million for Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Here are five of the best dishes I tasted at this year’s festival (no order). For a complete list visit

1. Stephanie Izard’s skate wing croquettes with avocado and grapefruit were a perfect bite at Best of the Best on Friday night: hot, cold, crispy, soft, salty, sweet, acidic. They’re on the menu at her restaurant Girl and the Goat in Chicago.

2. Trevor Kunk from New York’s Blue Hill served green-wheat soup with crunchy bits of bacon, hazelnuts and fresh herbs. It was a cool, refreshing change of pace at Best of the Best.

3. Barbecue master Hugh Mangum from Mighty Quinn’s BBQ in New York wowed me with his smoked beef cheeks with preserved lemon and chili sauce at the Q on Thursday night. Crazy tender with a little heat that the lemon cut right through.

4. Fried chicken and waffles took a flavor journey to India in the hands of Asha Gomez, who runs Cardamom restaurant in Atlanta. She coated boneless thighs in herb-laden buttermilk, spiked the waffles with cardamom and garnished the plate with crispy curry leaves for the Fried and True seminar on Sunday.

5. The aroma of black winter truffles on a filet of red mullet jumped up and punched me in the nose at the Tribute Dinner on Saturday night at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. Loews chef Frederic Delaire amped up the dish’s savory factor with leeks cooked in French butter.

Deen gets standing ovation

Embattled celebrity chef Paula Deen reemerged in the food-world spotlight Saturday and Sunday at the Wine & Food Festival, thanking her fans who supported her through a racial-slur scandal.

"We love you, Paula!" an audience member shouted during Deen's chicken-and-dumplings cooking demonstration Sunday afternoon at the Grand Tasting Village.

No hecklers or protesters piped up; but Deen's security team had to escort an overly enthusiastic fan away from Deen's husband, Michael Groover, and her mother.

Deen, 67, was embroiled in a racial-discrimination lawsuit last summer that alleged she used the word n----- in front of her employees. In a deposition, Deen acknowledged using the term. A judge dismissed the case, but many of Deen's corporate sponsors dropped her.

The Food Network canceled her television show. This month, a private-equity firm said it would invest $75 million to $100 million in her comeback.

Lee Schrager, the festival's founder and director, said Sunday that Deen is a friend of his and of the festival, and that "as long as I'm around, she's always welcome here."

A full crowd at the demo tent gave Deen, who was looking slimmed-down and tan, a standing ovation. Before she stepped behind the stove, she asked the group if she could "get serious for a minute."

"We have come off of a very hard summer, my family and I," she said. "I want to apologize to those that did not hear me apologize."

Evan Benn covers the economy and reviews restaurants and craft beer for the Miami Herald. Follow him on Twitter: @EvanBenn .

Read more People stories from the Miami Herald

FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 file photo, Peaches Geldof arrives to attend the ETAM's ready to wear fall/winter 2014-2015 fashion collection presented in Paris. A British coroner has concluded that model and TV personality Peaches Geldof died from a heroin overdose. Coroner Roger Hatch said Wednesday that Geldof had taken a fatal dose after a period of trying to come off the drug. The 25-year-old daughter of Live Aid organizer Bob Geldof was found dead at her home south of London on April 7, 2014.

    Coroner: Heroin overdose killed Peaches Geldof

    LONDON (AP) – Model and TV personality Peaches Geldof died from a heroin overdose after relapsing from a battle to give up the drug, a British coroner ruled Wednesday.

  • Celebrity birthdays on July 23

    Actress Gloria DeHaven is 89. Radio personality Don Imus is 74. Actor Larry Manetti (“Magnum, P.I.”) is 67. Actor Woody Harrelson is 53. Guitarist Martin Gore of Depeche Mode is 53. Actor Eriq Lasalle (“ER”) is 52. Guitarist Slash is 49. Model Stephanie Seymour is 46. Comedian Marlon Wayans is 42. Singer Michelle Williams (Destiny’s Child) is 34. Actor Paul Wesley (“The Vampire Diaries”) is 32. Actor Daniel Radcliffe is 25.

  • The music scene

    Weird Al still making fun of hit songs

    Attention, pop stars: If “Weird Al” Yankovic shows up at your concert or has tracked down your personal email address, you’re likely his next parody conquest.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category