Did you know that the James Bond franchise is the reason why vodka is America’s spirit of choice? Or that the Champagne Cocktail dates back to the Civil War era?

Standing behind the bar at The Cypress Room, Wine Director Eric Larkee pours the group a glass of Müller-Catoir Riesling. A hard-to-find wine and personal favorite of Michael Schwartz’s, the restaurant’s owner and executive chef.

Tucked away in a former house at the edge of the Design District is BSweet Coffee Shop, the cozy year-and-half old, cottage-like restaurant and pastry outpost. Encompassing a truly unique neighborhood feel, the restaurant serves up handmade desserts, coffee, sandwiches and salads every week day.

The Embassy of Well-Being and Debauchery sounds more like the title of a whimsical independent film than a welcoming restaurant. But in fact it’s the charming 40-seat restaurant from admired chef Alan Hughes, located just north of the Design District in Buena Vista.

Heat-ing up this year’s South Beach Wine and Food Festival was an epic culinary showdown between between two of the Miami Heat’s star players, Shane Battier and Chris Bosh, who put their culinary skills to the test with their favorite chefs for the first ever Kitchen Heat cooking competition.