#SOBEWFF (The Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival)


Food and animals. There can’t be anything better, right? Wrong. Meet the #SOBEWFF or the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, this year at, that’s right, Jungle Island. Let me tell you: It was nothing short of magnificent.


The line to get in was enormous. It appeared to be made up of about 100 people, but surprisingly moved along quite quickly. The weather was nice to be outside because after a few chilly days the temperature finally rose. Even in the line people were excitedly talking and dancing all around, because in the center, there were activities such as face painting, music, etc. When you get the map, you see that certain parts have been added stating where activities such as where the Goya Kids Kitchen are.


After about half an hour of food and fun, we went to go see a cooking demonstration starring Sugarcane chef Timon Balloo and his little helper chef Kiaria Balloo, who wants to be a chef when she grows up and loves her dad’s cooking. Their father-daughter relationship, as quoted, goes like this: “As a chef, I eat all the bacon and she eats all the carrots and peas.” Not to mention, he was wearing a “Bacon Makes Everything Better” shirt under his chef’s jacket, on an unrelated note. He also says that the way he incorporates dairy into his daughter’s diet is by cheese, but today, he was making Moroccan Spiced Turkey Meatballs. He noted that while people eat meatballs with pasta usually, he eats his with couscous, which he prefers over rice or pasta because it is healthier.


The crowd was small, even though every seat was full and some people were standing, but what can you expect, it was under a tent. The breeze blew just under the tent which, along with the fun, relaxed presentation, brought a sense of calmness over the people sitting inside.


When the presentation was over and it was question-&-answer time, I took it upon myself to ask that question for all you future chefs: “What advice do you have for kids who want to grow up to be chefs?” He said to start at home. Whether it’s preparing a meal, to just plain experimenting. Just take it step by step. Start out easy, then increase the difficulty as you go. Most of all, practice. Timon would know. He’s been cooking since 1997, for 18 years now. He was first interested when a show called “Yan Can Cook” was introduced to him as a kid.


After that presentation we pretty much just played about, ate more food, and had more fun. Kids, I hope more of you will go to next yeas #SOBEWFF because I don’t know about you, but it was a hit for me. Three Little Forks, Elise signing off from my first report as “official media.” Stay tuned for our next report real soon.

More Photos:


Parrots from when we were hanging out after.


The Morrocan Spiced Meat Balls we ate. They were absolutely scrumptious.

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