South Beach Wine and Food Festival 2011 -- Grand Tasting

Cooking Channel staff ate their way through a sea of local Miami restaurant stalls and sipped on world-class wine during this year's Wine and Food Festival Grand Tasting -- all on the white sands of South Beach, Miami.  Until next year...

Beef Pastelillos

!Move over, empanadas! These savory bites from Alain Ducasse and his mix on the Beach in Vieques were inspired. Is he really French? Pass a cold malta, please.

Chilled Avocado Soup with a Lime-Marinated Shrimp Salad

Good concept, but in a sea of flavors and trial-sized bites, seasoning was too bland here. Verdict: Whip up some creamy guacamole at home and dip your shrimp.

Mini Applewood Smoked Bacon Pancakes, Spiced Butter, Vermont Maple & Mismosa Jello Shot

These pancake-lets would be perfect for any meal from brunch to breakfast-for-dinner. Have Applewood smoked bacon and jello shots ever steered you wrong?

Florida Red Snapper Ceviche

Ceviche was ubiquitous at the Grand Tasting and though the idea is refreshing, sometimes the execution simply is not.

Salmon Tartar

Pass. One half bite of this tartar in the Miami sun was plenty. But watching people attempt to scoop salmon and roe with an ornery corn chip was priceless.

Peruvian Amuse Bouche - Yukon Golds, Shrimp and Huamcaina Sauce

Our bouches were not amused on this one. Cold Yukon golds and a sauce that just didn't hit the right notes for this little bite.

The Burger & Beer Joint's BBQ Bacon Burger

Friends warned us about the lines for this one. One of THE places to go in South Beach for burgers, we were glad to brave the crowds. Even stuffed, this juicy bacon cheeseburger was worth it.

Cod Frittas with Coconut Curry Coleslaw

We DEFINITELY missed the boat on this soggy cod piece. Our advice: just get bacalaitos at Pubbelly in Miami (or head to Puerto Rico).

Caviar on a Saucy Tortilla Chip

Sometimes even caviar can't save you. We heard this restaurant, Sawa, wasn't bad but the components here were.

Per Se Caviar with Crème fraiche and Smoked Salmon

Simple. Elegant. Tasty. If the wait has been shorter here, we would have gobbled up another one (or 50). If we only had a little sparkly...

Lamb Stew with Lavash

A rich, savory bite -- despite the blazing Miami sun. If we tried this at the home office in chilly NYC, we would have liked it even more...

Fogo de Chão, Churrascaria

Wait -- weren't these guys on Unique Eats? Prepare for a bold, meaty experience if you visit the restaurant. Samples here were decent but not THAT Unique.

Susie's Scrumptious Sweets

Let's just say that Susie has all the boys coming 'round the yard for her sweets. Some solid sweets on this tasty, little plate.

Pan-Roasted Potatoes

Too hot to stand near this pan, but we thought it looked like a good shot. By this point, we could barely eat another bite.

Bloody Marys in Sippy Cups

Nothing is better at a Grand Tasting than a little Blood Mary -- unless you've sampled every other cocktail as well. Nice but a Bloody Mary Bar is so much more fun.

Spicy Cucumber Margarita

This cool, summer twist on a margarita is worth cracking at home. The spicy chili rim of the glass will delight and amaze your friends.