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Parties are in the DNA of any great festival, and South Beach Wine & Food is certainly no different. To give you a taste of what to expect, the 2013 festival kicked off with Moët Hennessy’s The Q After Dark, a beachside party at the swanky Delano Hotel. Guests sipped flutes of Moët & Chandon, as well as cocktails featuring Belvedere Vodka, Hennessy cognac, Grand Marnier and 10 Cane rum. Australian chef Curtis Stone (host of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters and Around the World in 80 Plates) oversaw the evening of music, food and drinks, as a live performance of Mansion Nightclub’s Cirque du Mansion wowed the crowd.
A Red Hot Night: Presented by Target, saw chef Ingrid Hoffmann of Food Network’s Simply Delicioso hosting a 1950s Havana-inspired evening. She cooked to live music from the Celia Cruz All Stars and the Soulfrito DJ Collective. Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern, meanwhile, celebrated the Miami food truck culture at Trucks on Midtown’s Tracks. More than 20 food trucks (including queen of the grilled cheese Ms. Cheezious) rolled into the Wynwood neighborhood to serve everything from gourmet Cuban cuisine to lamb-fennel sausage sliders.
In addition to the open parties, there are more exclusive shindigs. In 2013, Forbes Travel Guide sponsored Tony Abou-Ganim’s invite-only pool party at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach to celebrate his new book, Vodka Distilled: The Modern Mixologist on Vodka and Vodka Cocktails. Abou-Ganim signed copies of the go-to guidebook for the often-overlooked spirit — and served up Moscow Mules and other vodka cocktails poolside.