02/25/2012 03:36 pm ET Updated Feb 26, 2012

The Best Of 'Best Of The Best' At South Beach Wine & Food Festival 2012 (PHOTOS)

One of the hottest (and, at $350, most expensive) tickets of this year's South Beach Wine & Food Festival was Best of the Best, hosted by Wine Spectator magazine in the ultramodern Fontainebleu hotel. The idea was to pair exquisite, refined dishes by some of the country's top chefs (many of them James Beard Award-winners) with wines that had scored at least a 90 in Wine Spectator.

In practice, the room was too packed with tanned, prosperous-looking couples to be able to pay much attention to drinking the right wine for each dish. (At least beyond the grossest categories: red with beef, white with fish, sweet Riesling and port with dessert.) But the chefs and winemakers in attendance were so extraordinary that it didn't matter. It's hard to extract many solid trends from the food and drink they served -- they were too diverse for that -- but we noticed a good deal of offal and an unusually large variety of seafoods.

Click through below for pictures of some of HuffPost Food's favorite dishes from Best of the Best:



Best of the best