Every year, about 1,000 FIU students work hand in hand with celebrity chefs and hospitality professionals (many of whom are FIU alumni) to put on one of the biggest wine and food festivals in the nation – The Food Network South Beach Wine and Food Festival presented by Food & Wine. In 2012, FIU News followed student coordinators during the four-day festival. See their stories in the video above.
This year, FIU News is following FIU interns and alumni who run many of the events and are responsible for sponsorship, logistics and operations. Visit FIU News on Feb. 18 for the first of a two-part video series featuring their stories. The 2014 festival begins Feb. 20–23. Tickets are still available at sobefest.com.
Going into its 13th year, the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival began as a one-day festival known as the Florida Extravaganza held at Biscayne Bay Campus. For five years, from 1997-2001, the Florida Extravaganza showcased wines from national and international wineries paired with food from local restaurants and chefs working with students of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. In 2002, Lee Brian Schrager, then director of Special Events and Media Relations at Southern Wine & Spirits of America, took the reigns of the one-day festival and brought his vision for the festival to life by relocating it to South Beach.
To date, the festival has raised more than $18 million for FIU.