76 // LET­TER FROM THE ED­I­TOR-IN-CHIEF

Ocean Drive - - Contents - Jared shapiro

It goes with­out say­ing that the food scene in Mi­ami has evolved im­mensely in the last few years. Gone are the clichéd desserts with sparklers spew­ing fire to the ceil­ing (okay, fine, we still have those) and the lob­ster caked in foam, washed down with neon-col­ored fruity drinks jammed with um­brel­las. They’ve been—for the most part— re­placed with dishes from James Beard Award-win­ning chefs, culi­nary ex­perts whose tal­ents have not only come to South Beach, but in many cases were born here and now are be­ing ex­ported to other parts of the coun­try or the world.

So it’s no sur­prise that this na­tion’s great­est food fes­ti­val— at­tract­ing top chefs, culi­nary in­no­va­tors, and le­gends of the kitchen—hap­pens to take place right here on the sandy beaches of South Florida. The South Beach Wine & Food Fes­ti­val re­turns in all its glory for its 16th year this month. And I am not ashamed to ad­mit that I’ve been caught mul­ti­ple times over the last few years re­fer­ring to its “Best of the Best” event as my favorite night in Mi­ami. Picture this: an ex­clu­sive tast­ing of many of the world’s toprated wines (hun­dreds of them scat­tered through­out the ball­room of the Fontainebleau Mi­ami Beach) ac­com­pa­nied by de­light­ful del­i­ca­cies from some of the great­est restau­rants in the coun­try. It’s an evening not to be missed and cer­tainly lives up to its name. For more on the many tast­ings and other events of the SOBEWFF, check out Se­nior Ed­i­tor Carla Tor­res’s ex­clu­sive interview with founder Lee Brian Schrager (page 110).

This month also hap­pens to be a sort of re­turn to our roots, as we wel­come for­mer-mi­ami-girl-turned­hol­ly­wood-ac­tress Char­lotte Mckin­ney onto our cover. (Spe­cial thanks to the SLS Bev­erly Hills—sis­ter ho­tel to our SLS South Beach and SLS Brick­ell—for host­ing our gor­geous cover shoot!) Mckin­ney went from Mi­ami-based model to Carl’s Jr. poster girl to star of five movies in the com­ing year—in­clud­ing the much-an­tic­i­pated Bay­watch, which filmed al­most all of its beach scenes right here in Mi­ami. Isn’t it fit­ting that this month we fea­ture a woman known not only for her oneof-a-kind beauty but also her abil­ity to scarf down a juicy ham­burger? Sexy and sa­vory, all in one.

from left: With our De­cem­ber cover star, Heidi Klum, at Ocean Drive’s an­nual Art of the Party at Roche Bobois Wyn­wood; pos­ing with Venus Wil­liams at Ocean Drive’s an­nual Art of the Party.

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