02/25/2012 10:00 am ET Updated Apr 26, 2012

The Q: Inside South Beach Wine And Food Fest's Kickoff Party (PHOTOS)

The "bubble" in Bubble Q may be gone, but the party that's long highlighted South Beach Wine and Food Festival is essentially the same: barbecue, sand, and sinfully good drinks. "The Q," as it's now called, kicked off festivities Thurday night with a lineup of some of the best chefs in business, hammy hosts Emeril Lagasse and Guy Fieri, and small plates of fancified classics ranged from a pig-head cake with a farm egg and micro greens to crispy pork shoulder with apple mostardo, pickled onions and micro celery. Oh, and brisket, too.

While every form of meat sizzled away, so did the party. And when the band insisted the tent of sauced-up revelers join them in a sing-along of Journey's 'Don't Stop Believing', well, voices raised and so did glasses. We personally fell for The Spotted Pig Chef April Bloomfield's dry-rubbed lamb ribs with smoked tomatoes, cucumber and dill, but it was nearly impossible to try it all. One stop got rave reviews all around: the Big Gay Ice Cream from New York, New York, serving up horchata perfection and some sort of ice cream wonder whose title may have had the word 'pimp' in it -- hard to say, because by then, the name-dropped bubbly had thoroughly left its mark.



The Q At SBWFF 2012