This is The Gatekeepers, in which Eater roams the city meeting the fine ladies and gentlemen that stand between you and some of your favorite impossible-to-get tables. This time around, since all of South Beach is sold out, we took a few minutes of precious time to ask the only guy in town who doesn't need a ticket to get into anything a few key questions.
For those unfamiliar with the 'fest, the bigger ticket events--tomorrow night's Burger Bash, Friday's Bubble Q and Best of the Best, and Saturday's Daniel Boulud Tribute Dinner are all sold out. So is pretty much everything else except for Sunday's Grand Tasting, Saturday's Barilla Interactive Lunch with Scott Conant and Midnight Amore Saturday night at Scarpetta with Conant, Rocco DiSpirito and Alex Guarnaschelli. The point is, don't come down to the festival without tickets. Unless you know festival founder and head honcho Lee Schrager. And even then, tread at your own risk. He's a busy man, you know.
E: Ever year your credential has a nickname: Big Cheese, Big Daddy, Master SommeLEEier. What is it this year?
Lee Brian Schrager: Saint Lee---Who Dat and Chef Wrangler.
E: It's Friday night, prime time. Where will we find you?
LBS: On the way from the Bubble Q to Best of the Best.
E: How do you deal with the VIPs, when there are no more tickets to give? LBS: Tell them we love them, but we are done.
E: What about the sponsors' best friends?
LBS: Tell them we love them, but we're done.
E:What’s the most outrageous request from a Sobe VIP you’ve had to accommodate? That you couldn’t accommodate?
E:Last year Mario Batali's foul mouth made headlines, as did Paula Deen's pants on the ground. Any predictions on what may make news this year?
LBS: If I had to bet, it will involve something around the winner of the Burger Bash.
E: Other than keeping hydrated and somewhat sober, what else do you need to do your job this weekend?
E:Where will you be eating on Monday night, when this thing is over?
LBS: Club Pillow