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Bubble Q

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Ah, yes, that great tradition of BBQ and champagne. Having grown up in the south, this pairing was no stranger to me – NOT! But for some reason everything works with champagne (at least after 3 glasses).

This event (a $300 ticket) is always mentioned among the favorite of South Beach Wine & Food goers, and I can see why. Held outside, on the beach, in great weather, it was a who’s who of chefs. Hosted by Giada De Laurentiis, there was Tyler Florence, Cat Cora, and Bobby Flay, sporting a sweet white jacket (more on that later). And a nice group of celebs including Al Roker from the Today Show, Ted Allen from Top Chef (and the “cooking guy” from the Queer Eye show), and singer John Legend.

Taste Wine Like a Master Sommelier

Held at the Miami Beach convention center, it was time to see if I could learn from the masters at tasting wine. As we waited for entry inside (they were finishing pouring wines into the eight different glasses), one gentleman answered his cellphone and said, “Hey, I am about to go into a meeting, so I may have to cut this short.” (Nice one!)

There are 168 masters worldwide, 97 of which are in North America. Of those, 81 are men and 16 are women – in attendance we had two men and two women.

The highlight of the event were wine samples No. 5 and No. 6, which once the masters announced the price per bottle the samples were quickly consumed whether participants had enjoyed the wine or not.

Not too much

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A chef from Johhny V in Fort Lauderdale puts the finishing touches on the Barbeque Burger (stuffed, spiked, smoked and grilled - another of our favorites).

Prime time for Rachael

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Rachael Ray goes for the Prime 112 Kobe beef sliders (one of our favorites).

Lovin' some Dunkin

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Rachael Ray goes for some treats from Dunkin Donuts.

More pics from Burger Bash

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The Love Shack cooks were getting down.

We love Giada

Giada closeup

No Crest Whitener needed here! Make sure to read Howard Cohen's piece on Giada "I-can't-spell-her-last-name" this weekend in The Miami Herald (Man, Howard was so lucky to get that gig!)

Ming the Man

Ming Tsai hanging out beside the stage.

… Sold. We’re outta here.

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Final stop at the craps table and the ladies were on a roll. The luckiest lady was up $9,000. After her big bet that brought $7,000 of that she split the winnings with her two friends and it was time to go while the other two stayed. Oh, and nobody won any raffle items. See you later today from more events, including the Bubble Q.

- Fred G.

Going once, Going Twice….

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Plenty was up for auction, including a Kitchen Aide mixer autographed by Paula, Guy and others. The winning bid – $2,400 (those mixers retail for about $300). “You are getting a really good deal,” Paula told the winner from her seat on the stage. Also on stage was Elaine Lancaster, who kept Paula cool by fanning her. (Nice work all around, Elaine. We even overheard Ming Tsai say you had a nice bum. But next time can we limit the performances from your girls to, say, two instead of four?)

- Fred G.

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