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Chef Bobby Flay is this year’s Tribute Dinner honoree.

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By Riki Altman-Yee

Derek Degrazio photo by Nick Garcia

01.22.18

Good taste is easy to recognize at this month’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival.

Person of Interest
Though he is the first chef to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Bobby Flay is also being celebrated as this year’s SBWFF Tribute Dinner award recipient because, as his fans will attest, the Iron Chef’s talents go way beyond the world of television (though he has hosted a whopping 14 cooking shows and specials on Food Network and Cooking Channel to date).

At his highly regarded fine dining restaurants in New York, Connecticut and Atlantic City, and Bobby’s Burger Palace locations throughout the country, Flay demonstrates prowess with nearly every level of recognizable cuisine, adding his signature Southwestern flair for effect. The chef’s efforts have earned him numerous accolades along the way, including an induction into the Culinary Hall of Fame. He also recently launched Bobby Flay Fit (Clarkson Potter, $33), his 14th cookbook, which shares the same name as his new fitness-focused web series.

Suiting Flay’s laidback style, this year’s Tribute Dinner format is more movable than ever, as guests will sample dishes from stations manned by some of TV’s favorite celebrity chefs, including Giada De Laurentiis, Alex Guarnaschelli, Michael Symon, Jonathan Waxman (Flay’s mentor) and Miami’s own Michelle Bernstein, among others. Wine pairings will be provided by Treasury Wine Estates, as its managing director and chief executive officer, Michael Clarke, will also be recognized that night, and Y100 radio host Elvis Duran emcees what is guaranteed to be a supper to remember. Feb. 24, 7pm, $550, Loews Miami Beach Hotel, 1601 Collins Ave., Miami Beach

Barry’s Bootcamp’s Derek Degrazio is bringing his talents to the festival for the very first time.

Caloric Intake
Yes, calories can be burned at the SBWFF; just muscle a ticket to Barry’s Bootcamp and Bites (Feb. 24, 8:30am, $50, 1 Hotel, 2341 Collins Ave., Miami Beach), hosted by Robert Irvine and featuring Derek Degrazio, partner and head trainer at Miami’s favorite high-intensity studio. Post-workout, Degrazio says he usually recommends “anything with some carbs and protein,” but after the event, his plan is as follows: “Work out. Food. Wine. Repeat.” Also mixing fitness and cuisine, Buddhas and Bellinis (Feb. 24-25, 10:30am, $35, Loews hotel, 1601 Collins Ave., Miami Beach) is a yoga session and panel discussion co-hosted by Julie Smolyansky, the president and CEO of Lifeway Foods, whose company makes Kefir probiotic drinks. “The idea of a mocktail Bellini smoothie came to me while overlooking the Grand Canal,” she says. “By replacing the prosecco with Lifeway Kefir, the mocktail smoothie has a slight effervescence reminiscent of the original drink.” Bottoms up, everybody!  

Salty Donut’s delicious creations get the class treatment at this year’s SBWFF.

Sweetie Darling
Of all the master classes at the SBWFF, we’re betting the two being held by Salty Donut’s Raceni Richards will sell out fast. The reason? The chef is dishing the goods on what makes the venue’s fried and frosted treats so addictive. “I’ve been digging deep to knock it out of the park with every doughnut we make since we opened,” says Richards. “From simple to complex, the idea is not perfection, but excellence.” Feb. 25, 11am and 2pm, $75, 303 NE 61st St., Miami