Lee Schrager, mogul-meister of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, has been heralded and lauded by multi-thousands who would die of excitation if he would clink wine glasses with them.
He's the force of nature -- a one-man sensation behind the famous festival -- who merits a spread of slick pages lauding his disarming charm. What we didn't know: he was all of eight years old in his native Long Island, N.Y. "where I had a Suzy Homemaker oven in the basement and used to make pies. I'd go door to door in the neighborhood sellling them. So when other kids were playing baseball or football, I had a pie-selling business going."
The famous face of Lee sports a sly shy smile -- ever the gallant conversationalist. Still another "scoop" about His Handsomeness: he doesn't eat seafood. But he's in the habit of going to Joe's Stone Crab, one of his all-time favorite restaurants, where he orders...fried chicken.
"I'm just not a big stone crab eater. Still, there's nothing liek going to Joe's on a Friday afternoon. -- especially on the Friday afternoon of Art Basel -- ordering the fried chicken, the chopped salad and a slice of key lime pie and sitting back to watch the entire world walk by."
Everybody who's anybody will squeeze into the crowd as the South Beach Wine & Food Festival celebrates its 12th anniversary. Lee masterminded this affair when he joined Southern Wine & Spirits; he admits he didn't know what to do there (nor did they) but he was a great idea man. He knew Miami Beach could provide a spectacular backdrop for a weekend of deliciousness.
Read the Herald's Indulgences magazine to get the whole scoop on Lee, who was interviewed in his two-story Bay Point oceanfront home he bought 19 years ago. Writer Betty Cortina-Weiss dug up plenty of secrets.