Famed ex-Miami sugarsmith Hedy Goldsmith was back in South Beach Saturday night at Sweet 15, a South Beach Wine & Food Festival dessert party hosted at the former Versace mansion by Ace of Cakes Duff Goldman. Goldsmith, who left Miami for Los Angeles last year, whipped up a Thai lemongrass popsicle with basil that stood out among the sweet treats on offer.
Our grade: B (Would go back next year, with improvements).
What worked: The opulent courtyard at the former Versace mansion on Ocean Drive (now Villa Casa Casuarina) offered guests plenty of space to mingle, munch and admire the palm-fronded pool and open-air shower replete with golden shower heads.
What didn't work: A lack of between-table palate cleansers -- with the intoxicating exception of alcohol -- meant sweet tastes built up on each other into a cloying overload. Some well-timed sorbet or cheese would have helped. But hey, it's a dessert party.
Best thing we ate: Chicago chef Mindy Segal's fleur de sel shortbread cookie dipped in milk chocolate and lightly drizzled with hibiscus syrup.
Quote of the night: "I just bake. It's what I do." (Hedy Goldsmith)
Craziest thing we saw: A Kahlua cam photo booth for guests to snap the perfect Versace Mansion selfie.
Podcast: Listen to Hedy Goldsmith talk about making desserts with California medicinal marijuana, about her famed Junk in the Trunk Cookies and more in our Miami.com Uncorked Podcast.
BY NICHOLAS NEHAMAS | firstname.lastname@example.org | @NickNehamas