Nothing Like Whole Foods Grand Market at South Beach

For those who have not been to the Whole Foods Grand Market at the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival, it is hard to describe. The “market” consists of three blocks (on the beach) of food, wine and spirits. There are three rows in each block offering more than anyone could ingest in one day. Still, we all try our best.

The food seminars on the Kitchen Aid states continued throughout the day and I got to catch some of the ones by Rocco Dispirito, Bobby Deen (mom Paula was also on the stage Sunday) and Countess Luann de Lesseps. They were all pretty full and the participants seemed to enjoy both the food and the cooking tips.

The Whole Foods booth was actually a group of booths, from which the samples added up to an entire meal on its own. I really enjoyed the Spinach Feta Pinwheel. It went down perfectly with a Pom Pomegrante Bellini. Speaking of the Bellini, The Wilson Creek Peach Bellini sparkling wine was just great.

It was pretty hot outside, but luckily there were also lots of cool drinks. One of the fan favorites (OK, mine too) was the Cruzan Rum Raspberry Mojito Ice Bar. For those who prefer tequila, Jose Cuervo had some cold samples of their new pre-made margarita. There was also sampling of Harmonie Liqueur, the new offering from Hipnotiq which is a cross between floral and fruity.

Just in time for Passover, L’Chaim is a new vodka brand with a Kosher for Passover wine made from beets. I didn’t get to taste it, but heard from a few that it was pretty good. I did try kosher (but not for Passover) vodka and I liked it, though it’s hard to beat Voli’s Vanilla Espresso, a favorite brand of mine which is low calorie, electrolyte-induced and just bought into by Fergie.

Ginger is finding its way into many cocktails this year and the Domaine de Canton French Ginger Liqueur is a great way to keep up that trend.

Bobby Flay was one of the network stars who were signing (and selling) copies of his book . Among others on hand with their books were Robert Irvine, Anthony Bourdain and Anne Burrell. Former Top Chef Michael Isabella was promoting his Washington, DC restaurant Graffiato, which I’ll have the pleasure of visiting in a few weeks.

After I left the market and I checked out of my perfectly located room at The National, I realized it was another great four days at the South Beach Food Network Wine & Food Festival. I’m sure I will be back next year. 

In the meantime, I will see some of my favorite chefs at the Food & Wine Classicin Aspen. Of course, that’s after my time in Delray Beach & Boca Raton… New York City… Arizona… Virginia & Washington… the Hamptons… and England!


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