SOUTH BEACH, MIAMI--For their second year, Barilla's Italian Bites on the Beach hosted by Giada De Laurentiis, host of multiple shows on Food Network and Meatopia presented by Creekstone Farms sponsored by Thrillist and hosted by the King of Carnivores, Michael Symon, returned to thrill foodies attending the South Beach Wine and Food Festival.
Meatopia some of the nation's top specialists in good meat preparation. Using grills that only burned either hardwood or charcoal to slow roast all of the meats over an open flame, the resulting meat was flavorful and tender and covered with some of the most interesting marinades and sauces imaginable. Chefs from such well known nationally known restaurants such as Joe's Stone Crab, which is a Miami Beach legend, and culinary icon Michael White's eponymous Franco/Italo joint Ai Fiori slung ribs and chops along local favorite's like Shorty's BBQ, a South Florida catering giant with 60 years experience behind a smoker, and The Forge, an upscale restaurant and wine bar where dry-aged steaks served hot from the grill are a nightly specialty. Sparky's Roadside Barbecue got big props for its signature spice rubbed ribs with a sauce that drives downtown Miami diners wild. PAO from Austin, Texas brought a Spanish-Filipino-Japanese-French fusion touch to the white sands of South Beach. Dinosaur BBQ, the national rib powerhouse that grew from humble beginnings on a street cart, showed they haven't lost contact with their smoky roots. James Beard Award-winning chef Alon Shaya brought meaty Israeli-inspired eats from the culinary capitol of the U.S., New Orleans. Martin's Bar-B-Cue's pitmasters literally went 'whole hog' with inspired cooking over the open fire.
The great Gregg Allman in concert
BARILLA ITALIAN BITES ON THE BEACH
Giada De Laurentiis was personally on hand with her culinary team from GIADA at the Cromwell in Las Vegas to host Barilla's Italian Bites on the Beach. Everything from fire-grilled pizza from the wood burning oven to delicate tagliatelle smothered in truffles was served as 30 of the top Italian-inspired chefs from around the country presented food from every region of Italy. Arancini to rival anything in Puglia, Parma ham direct from the foothills of Tuscany and tortellini filled with ricotta and smothered with bufala cream sauce like that served on the terraces along the Grand Canal in Venice filled the night air with pleasant aromas.