Sunday, February 22, 2009

SoBe it! V

Hey hey hey! Well, it's over for me. I'm sitting in the airport waiting on my flight. It's a bit delayed, but I'm never the one to get mad at that. Some people are angry! Good time for me to throw up the rest of my SoBe flicks. Boy, looking back, I sure had a great time. During all the cooking demos they had volunteers that from what I understand get a grant from the festival proceeds for culinary education. I gotta say a big thanks to Stephanie for being my assistant on stage. Here we are after we finished.

It was soooooo hot and there I was frying oysters and broiling shrimp in the oven! I was sweatin' to the oldies up there! The Neely's came by to watch and support along with Jacob and a few of my girls from the promotions department at Food Network. Team solidarity! How about in all my years of radio, I have to really search for the great "teamwork moments". They are there, but few and far between. I am so happy to be where I am today. Can't say it enough and hope you know you are a part of it if you've caught the show or tried a recipe. Then to add to that the crowd there was great. Thanks to everyone that joined us under the tents!

After my cooking demo yesterday I headed into the Grand Tasting tentsssss ... yes, plural. So much terrain to tackle, but I made it through both, including the un-tented areas between the two. Everywhere you looked there was something. I just took my time sippin' and noshin' all the way. Here's a look at the scene ...
Can you see the blue waters in the background? Right on the beach, the only way to go.

On the way out, I saw a HUUUUUUGE crowd outside of stage A and knew it had to be Rachael Ray gettin' her demo-on. Here's a flick ... the crowd was boisterous and she gave them so much of herself. That's her hubby on the left ... (click to enlarge flicks)

So, the heat was killing me, I knew if I didn't retreat to the room, I'd probably be found on the beach passed out from too much wine and not enough food lol. Anywho, I went back to the room, but really wanted to get a bite. After I got fresh I headed downstairs to dine at Emeril's Restaurant within the hotel only to find out they'd just closed to reset for dinner. Boy, was that a let down. I really wanted to eat there and Emeril and his chefs all invited me to as I was heading up to my room, but I think it may have taken too long for me to come back down. So, anyway, no worries I thought, I'll make a reservation for later and go find something to eat now to hold me over.

I left the telly for a walk and about 8-9 blocks away I saw a sign on a business that simply said "Hot Dogs" in red block letters. I thought ... ok, I can do this. I have a theory, places that only do one thing tend to do them well and although I'd walked down Collins Ave. passing various upscale eateries, something about the sign caught me. I went in and was very pleased to see this small menu. My other theory is small menus are good, because chances are they really do everything well. I looked up and decided what it would be.

I decided on the "Lincoln Road Dog" with promises like - spicy mustard, onions, relish, tomatoes (a fave on hot dogs for me), pickle, sport pepper (huh?) and celery salt. After I ordered that I asked for some "chili on the side". I quickly asked her if there were beans and she said yes with such confidence that I said to myself, ok ... even though I don't like beans in my chili, I'll give it a go. So, I reiterated, I'd have it in a bowl ... she turned her back to get my order started and when she turned around, she presented me with this ...

I don't see no bowl! (excuse the double neg) But it smelled so good, I really didn't care. Do you see the cheese under there?? What dog did she make me?? So lemme tell you what was on it, and take a look at the menu and please ... tell me what you think happened lol. I had tomatoes, onions, fresh jalapenos, ketchup, cheese and chili. It was flavor overload, so I can't say that I tasted any celery salt nor the 'sport pepper' whatever that is. Lemme tell ya, the dog was BANGIN'!!!! I didn't complain ... I was hungry! I gathered napkins and a plastic fork and knife, but after sitting down at the bar/stool setup outside of the store I decided to have some hand-to-hand combat with the dog. It was finger lickin' yummy.

After that, I was zonked. I walked back to my room and made later reservations for dinner that I would later sleep through. Before I knocked out in the middle of the afternoon, I took this flick out the window cuz I thought the sky looked nice.

Ok, so I knocked out, it was totally one of those naps where your body wants it more than your mind, so it took over and before I knew it I was in dreamland. I woke up and I'd slept so hard, the dark of the room made me think I'd slept right into the next morning. I missed so much, dinner reservations, parties, etc., but my body got it's rest back. I watched television for a bit and ordered room service from the late night menu and went back to bed.

Then, today I headed back out to the tents for my last cooking demo. Before I got started though, I had to repay the Neely's for hanging out during mine. As I sat waiting for them to come on, I got a chance to meet so many people and even met people that have commented on this blog! Take a look at me and Lys, she has her own blog called Cooking in Stilettos and just has such a huge passion for food, so of course the place we'd first meet would be at a Wine & Food Fest!

She drove like 4 hours to hangout and catch the festivities. That's foodie dedication!

Here's the Neely's during their demo, they are such a great team!

The entire crowd was smiling and laughing and along the way we got to see deep-fried deviled eggs, mac and cheese and key lime ice cream courtesy of a Kitchenaid stand mixer attachment! Who knew?? I gotta get that!

Up next, my final demo ... and the cool people that they are, the entire backstage kitchen crew hooked me up with a nice little welcome at the side of the stage ...

It was a huuuuuge zen-garden-raked circle with "Welcome Sunny" in the middle ... it was sweet, I walked around it and threw some rays on it and snapped this pic. Thanks guys ... if you ever happen to stumble upon this blog ... it was a sweet thing to do.

Alright ... this was a marathon post, eh? So, I have 2 more flicks left to post, I'll drop them tomorrow ... and I'll give ya a tease ... Iron Chef Michael Symon's legs! Yes, it is totally worth the wait!


Lana said...

Welcome home! And thank you again for sharing all of your thoughts and experiences with us. It's clear your day and evening schedules were full; the time you've taken to keep us up to date was precious. And appreciated.

Just think about how easy it will be to write your memoirs in another 40 years! lol

The jaunt to the hot dog joint is classic! "Hmm I think I'll eat at Emeril's. No? Ok, I'll just have this smothered dog instead." Bonkers! You sure do roll with the punches, huh.

If you have a mind to, I'd love to hear what you made for your demo's. And, now that you're home and SoBe is all in the past, think you'll play it any different next year than ya did this year? Were there lessons learned?

Eric said...

So lucky!!I miss Florida. its freezing here in Alabama. That hot dog looks good though, Last time I was in Miami, I went to this place called Franktitude and they had a Salmon Hot dog, I tried it, but I think it was the thought of eating fish in a hot dog casing that grossed me out :)

Sunny Anderson said...

lana, no problem on the posts, i really felt lazy the last coupla weeks, so it's a way to make up for it. and about the journals, good point ... i've actually always kept a journal, the ones from high school are hilarious! and to answer your questions, i did a complete show ... the gone shuckin' menu, Deep-fried Oyster Po' Boy Sandwiches with Spicy Remoulade Sauce and No Fuss Peel n'Eat Shrimp. no swapouts, i just made it and then did q&a. i think for my first time at the ball, i did plenty of watching and learned plenty. maybe if i get to go next year, i'll pick to cook something not as sweat inducing as frying oysters and broiling shrimp lol ... i was hot up there on the stage.

eric, i miss florida too :-), just got back last night. the hotdog was reeeeeealy good, i would've done another if i wasn't saving my belly for my missed rsvp at emeril's. feel u on the salmon dog, ick ... i'd have to not think about it, but the second i did, i'd have to stop eating it. it's like that with chicken on the bone for me sometimes too.

Raj Patel said...

Hey Sunny
I met you this weekend at the SOBE food and wine festival. I have to say that you were so sweet (my was the one that asked you for a picture because my freind was so embarrased to ask). Anyway, I have the picture, you can check it out at It was a pleasure to meet you and good luck and much success on all your future endevours.
Raj and Megan

Sunny Anderson said...

raj, hey! i remember you guys! say hi to megan for me ... boy was the fest fun huh? hope to see you guys next year!

The Duo Dishes said...

Love the Neelys! Can't say it enough.

Lys said...

OMG my photo came out like such a hot mess. Yours - fab! Ugh! It was so great to meet you and, yes, the 4 hours was well worth. Lots to learn and, you know what, you were right - how can one be in Fla. and NOT go to SOBE, right? I'm sorry you had to scoot out so quick but anytime you are in O-Town (or in Philly) let a gal know. Will send you the pics from your demo as well - they came out really good.

Sunny Anderson said...

the duo dishes, yeah, they are some kind of wonderful together.

lys, can't wait for the flicks ... i'll let you guest blog if you want, lemme know.

NJDecorator said...

The hubby and I were in SoBe in November and we loved that small hot dog stand. It was just such a tasty dog.

And it was nice to eat a real casual meal for a change. But I'll tell you every place we ate was great! We can't wait to go back.

Sunny Anderson said...

njdecorator, the dog was so yummy! did you guys entertain the idea of getting a tattoo upstairs from the dog place as well? :-) i too, can't wait to return with more free time on my hands so i can get some cuban food!