Housed at the Raleigh Hotel in South Beach, the 2014 LuckyRice Miami feast was an event for those looking to indulge in Miami’s best food and mixology. Adopting the South Beach lifestyle, the festival was complete with a beach-like vibe and provided an atmosphere that made for a lively event worthy of being compared to occasions like the South Beach Wine and Food Festival. The old-school hip hop and varied music complimented the asian-themed décor perfectly, making for an event reminiscent of a party. This was the case especially with the use of asian-props, such as the entrance of Chinese parade dragons followed by costumed drummers banging a marching beat.
Miami’s culinary all-stars were abound at this feast, including Azucar Ice Cream, La Mar, The Federal, Khong, Barley and Wich, and Finka amongst others. All the restaurants offered small bites fusing Asian cuisine with Hispanic flare. None did it as evidently as Barley and Wich, who served an impromptu Miso Tamal en Cazuela with lemongrass chimichurri, asian glazed brussel sprouts, crispy pork skin, pickled radish and kale sprouts. Labeled the “Miso Porky,” this dish replaced the Pan con Bistec and Elena Ruz sandwiches that they were originally supposed to serve. Another standout was Azucar’s Calabaza Pumpkin Ice Cream with Sriracha Five Spice Pecans. The candied pecans were a pleasant deviation from the standard snacking option, as it provided a welcomed heat and savory aspect to the ice cream. The pumpkin ice cream actually tasted like the aforementioned fruit, instead of a variety of fall-like spices that have come to overpower anything labeled as pumpkin-flavored.
Along with food, carefully crafted drinks were available at the festival. It’s hard to decide what to drink when you have options from The Regent, Juvia, Finka, Hakkasan, and newcomers such as Cleo. There was something for all tastes, my favorites including Cleo’s Lotus Flower, made from Bombay Sapphire East Gin, St-Germain Liqueur, Watermelon, Lemon, Simple Syrup, Sierra Mist Splash, Garnished with Watermelon Slice and The Regent’s Le Coq, made from D'USSE Cognac, Apricot Syrup, Peach Bitters, Angostura Bitters, Apricot Slice.
Everything at the festival was absolutely delicious, and I hope this is an event that turns into an annual occurrence. I see it becoming one of my favorite culinary events in Miami, as the atmosphere is lively, the food is delectable, the drinks are expertly made, and it is not oversold. Because of all these reasons, I cannot wait until the 2015 LuckyRice feast.