Drinking Cuban coffees first thing in the morning has been our ritual since I arrived. I love these coladas. Super concentrated coffee with a heavy hand on sweetness to counteract the bitter. They have just enough caffeine to jump start your morning. Of course we get there in Ted’s Carrera and we usually run into the enforced 15 mph school zone which are highly monitored with police. There is construction taking place on all the roads so it can be slow moving.
Ted has been fighting sickness since I arrived. Ted sick is still a force to be reckoned with. His 60% is my 100% rate of energy.
I meet up with Julie Mautner at the Dorchester for a gathering of a chef friend of hers named John Gray. He owns several restaurants on the Riviera Maya. We then head over to the Delano and go to a book signing of Tony Ayoub who has written a mixology book . The Delano is a gorgeous property and their infinity pool has been replicated by many of the newer hotels on the beach.
After the book signing we head to the Burger Bash. It is being held in a huge tent with open sides (thank goodness with the amount of grills aflame) From a distance it looks like a scene from close encounters of the third kind.
The line is huge to get in, but with our guest passes we go right to the front. It is easy to move around initially and the first burger I taste is from the Morimoto booth and it becomes the standard to compare all the others. After a while though it becomes pretty congested and the burgers less accessible. I try some of the big names. Daniel Boulud’s famous foie gras and braised short rib burger is very nice but still doesn’t quite measure up to Morimoto. I also try David Burke’s burger. I am remotely connected to several of the these top chefs through some of my more successful students and it’s great to hear these star chefs praise my former students.
Rachel Ray who is hosting the event tastes each of the burgers in sequence surrounded by seven body guards. This seems a little over the top and is maybe in place for show, but you can’t escape her entourage.
They announce the people’s choice award at the end of the bash and it is between Bobby Flay and Michael Symon. Micheal Symon takes it. On the way out of the tent I am introduced to Bobby Flay as casually as you would introduce anyone.
Julie heads back to her hotel and I make my way to the next venue, which is the Patron party at the W Hotel. This is a pool side party and the theme is the great Patron debate (crushed ice or frozen, salt no salt on rim). There are tasting booths everywhere with the same concept played out (tuna carpaccio vs tuna tartare) etc. Participants of the party are encouraged to text their comments on a huge TV screen with a ticker tape view.
Ted urged me to take a sweater and it quickly becomes a necessity and the envy of many of the party goers who are dressed in Miami high fashion. Sex sells and this is an open marketplace. Patron has hired a about ten dancers scantily clad to take turns dancing in front of the huge TV screen. They are in naughty librarian outfits and have clearly gone to advanced stripping school. They have all the techno moves. The rest of the Miami feminine contingency is competing for who can get away with the least clothing and pushing that dress line to the maximum. Add to that the amount of silicone and body improvements and it turns out to be quite a fashion show.
Towards the end of the party I meet an interesting couple and we decide to continue on to the hotel nightclub. We run through the hotel and bump into two French men. I start to chat to them in French. I turns out to be Sacha Lichine and Patrick Léon.
Sacha Lichine is from the famous Bordeaux family (also owner of the famous Rosé Chateau d’Esclan) and Patrick is the former wine maker for Mouton Rothschild and was in the movie Mondo Vino. Two living legends in the world of French wine. Later waiting in line to get into the club I run into Thomas Trois Gros the grandson of the famous Trois Gros brothers. He runs two restaurants in Rio. These are the types of people I want to run into. Those body guards can have Rachel Ray.
Let’s see what tomorrow brings.
Filed under: SOBE Wine and Food, The flock Tagged: | Aaron Sanchez, Bobby Flay, Burger Bash, Daniel Boulud, David Burke, Delano, Dorchester, Drew Nieporent, John Besh, John Gray, Larry Stone, Lee Schrager, Michael Symon, Morimoto, Patrick Leon, sacha Lichine, Tim Love, Tony Ayoub, Trois Gros, W hotel