Suzy Buckley with chef John DeLucie of The Royal, whom Lee Brian Schrager interviewed for this month’s “In the Kitchen”

While graceful subtlety has its place in Miami, more often it feels like a go-big-or-go-home kind of town. Consider Art Basel Miami Beach, which is now easily on par with the Cannes Film Festival and the Kentucky Derby as one of the world’s most elite annual destination events. In our recap of this year’s fair, photographer Jennifer Robbins shot stunning portraits of the most fabulous bright young things who swooped into town for all the art, glamour and Champagne.

And look at the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival, which Ocean Drive contributor Lee Brian Schrager launched as the one-day “Florida Extravaganza” back in 1997. Now it’s one of the premier culinary weekends in the nation. Among the many decadent gatherings happening February 24 through 27, I’ll be at the Burger Bash and Let Them Eat Cake—the Festival’s 10-year-anniversary party we’re hosting with Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse… after which I’ll likely order a Blueprint Cleanse.

Even if all the star-chef hype and hoopla lured you here, true foodies always want to eat with the locals: If you’ve never heard of Cerro Negro or Panther Coffee, read Maria Argüello’s “Eat Like a Local” to see which spots we really love.

By the way, when it comes to restaurants, socialites, neighborhoods and even royalty, we citizens of the sixth borough hold more than a candle to our northern neighbor. Just turn to this issue’s “Miami vs. NYC.” John Updike once said, “The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding.” If this is true, then Miami is definitely in on the joke.


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