Another day has passed in South Beach, friends. Highlights from the last 24 hours include officially sanctioned events such as the Bubble Q and the Best of the Best, both gargantuan consumer tasting events; there have also been parties, such as one to reveal the new BLT Steak at the Betsy Ross (opening soon) and another to showcase Rachael Ray's husband's band, The Cringe. Plus the King and Queen of Spain passed through, which isn't something that happens every day. With tonight comes a tribute dinner in honor of Emeril Lagasse, hosted by Martha Stewart and others. But before we dive back into the mosh pit, we pause to reflect:
1) There may be a recession happening in the real world, however the refrain here is "recess is on," as seen on shirts of staffers at both The Shore Club and The Delano hotels. Also, going rate for a scalped ticket to the
2) Yesterday afternoon, as mentioned, the King and Queen of Spain marked the official start of the festival with a ribbon cutting at their Wines of Spain pavilion. Their entourage of 30-plus have now left these parts, following the ceremony and a dinner in their honor the night before. Save for Molto Mario who didn't wait, the best behavior routine has been dropped.
3) This is probably as good a time as any to mention the Two 12 Access House, a no-press, VIP after-hours spot, and some math that may be of interest to the chefs who booze there. Focus, please, as we back-of-envelope the operation. The going rate for a house sponsorship, which gets one's product in front of these chefs and other assorted taste makers, ranges from product-only—such as the deal that Tom Collichio likely has for 'wichcraft, which is passing sandwiches—and $40K, the sum a source tells Eater was offered to one potential sponsor (who politely declined). If there are twelve sponsors and even three of them are paying half this amount, Two12's micromini-honcho Scott Feldman is raking in $60,000 before costs this weekend. Now, the house, a real behemoth at 1350 Collins Avenue, goes for $2,700 per night, which ain't cheap. And if dude is getting it for 5 nights, let's says he's spending $15,000, including fees. Let's say, too, that he has another $5K in expenses, which he doesn't. At the low end, he's walking away with $40,000 for a weekend of boozing with his friends; at the high end, he's clearing $150,000. Or, we should say, $150,000 before he doles out appearance fees to all the name chefs, like Tim Love and Guy Fieri, without whom he's got bupkis. And he does pay them, no?
4) At the Bubble Q, Lee Schrager's genius concept that put 25 chefs under one tent for a barbecue, it wasn't immediately clear who has more groupies: Tom Colicchio or Rocco Disiprito. Neither could pause for more than a few seconds before lady swoonings. Impressive for The Don, who was busy cooking (and sporting a new Ernst Benz watch, bee tee dubs). More so for Rocco, who hasn't helmed a kitchen or had a hit television show this year. But he's so pretty.
5) Party and venue of the year absolutely go to BLT Steak's preview event at the new Betsy Ross Hotel, opening shortly on Ocean Drive. A bastion of civility on the circuit, even with all of the roaming models, who were clearly trucked in for the occasion.