This event would be the ideal cocktail barefoot bbq rehearsal dinner for my wedding- hear me out- on the beach at the Mandarin Oriental, Brickell Key lit up over the water, New Orleans jazz played live and wafting through the air, John Besh, Aaron Sanchez and Jonathan Waxman cooking for me. As far as SOBE Wine and Food Events, this was a huge success on many levels: Not too crowded, enough food, good wine and water sponsors, and ample areas to rest your plates and yourself. The event was really fun- the chefs were clearly having a great time (depsite fighting through a very late night the night before), and being friendly and obliging to all the guests. (Alex Guaranschelli, take note of how to be friendly at tasting events). Besh and Sanchez did both classic and altered renditions of NOLA fare, while Waxman stuck to what he does best: Clean, straight-forward American food and his famous chicken. He also made some kale something (kale, so hot right now) and a walnut pesto gnoochi that was like crack. His steak was cooked perfectly and very well seasoned and served in large portions. Aaron Sanchez served a great interpretation of shrimp and grits, with a cheesy grit cake that was crunchy and a textural improvement, at least to me, over more traditional grits. His other dish was a spicy corn thing with bacon and tomatoes that made me smile. John Besh was all NOLA charm, warming hearts and stomachs with a shrimp etouffe, oyster soup and a crab and goat cheese toast.
See below for pictures, Big Apple meets the Big Easy was a perfect SOBE Food and Wine Festival event….shout out to Justin Wines, loved your Isoceles red with all of the flavors in the food.