76 // LETTER FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
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.