2009 South Beach Wine and Food Festival Pictures
Food Industry's Elite Party in South Beach

While the entertainment industry turned to LA for the glitz and glamour of the 81st Academy Awards, the best and brightest stars of the culinary world gathered in Florida over the weekend for the South Beach Wine and Food Festival.

The four-day festival kicked off on Thursday night with the highly anticipated Burger Bash. Reigning Burger Bash queen, Katie Lee Joel, handed her crown over to the new king, Top Chef four's Spike Mendelsohn. His Coletti's Smokehouse burger (with Applewood bacon, sharp Vermont cheddar, fried Vidalia onion rings, and chipotle BBQ sauce) swept the competition.

Other highlights included a special dinner with the king and queen of Spain, a barbecue hosted by Tom Colicchio, a tribute to Emeril Lagasse, an Oscars viewing with Bobby Flay, several grand tastings, and countless demonstrations.

To check out a huge gallery of images of all your foodie favorites,