Was your New Year’s resolution to be more adventurous? The Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival can help you achieve your goal.
With more than 100 events spanning Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties, the 18th annual Festival is the biggest one yet. Marylin Fontanilles-Castro — coordinator of Administrative Services in the Division of External Relations, Strategic Communications & Marketing— has been taking advantage of FIU’s staff perks since the early days of the Festival, when it was called the Florida Extravaganza held at Biscayne Bay Campus.
Employed at FIU for 21 years, Fontanilles-Castro has been attending the Festival since then and has watched it evolve. She and her husband have made it a tradition to take someone every year who’s never gone.
FIU faculty, staff, alumni and parents receive exclusive 20 percent discounts to the following events:
- Coca-Cola Beachside BBQ presented by The National Pork Board hosted by Guy Fieri – Saturday, Feb. 23
- Craft-y Happy Hour hosted by Robert Irvine – Thursday, Feb. 21
- Barilla’s Italian Bites on the Beach sponsored by HCP Media and the Miami Herald Media Company hosted by Giada De Laurentiis – Thursday, Feb. 21
- Dinner hosted by Karen Akunowicz, Abraham Conlon, Jeremiah Langhorne and Steve Rhee – Thursday, Feb. 21
- Mixing It Up on the Miami River: Best Bars, Bites & Beats hosted by Adam Richman – Thursday, Feb. 21
- Rock ‘n Roll: An Asian Night Market hosted by Adam Richman part of the CRAVE Greater Fort Lauderdale Series presented by Capital One – Friday, Feb. 22
- Mangia! A Taste of Italy After Dark hosted by Marc Murphy – Friday, Feb. 22
- Nulo Pet Food’s Yappie Hour hosted by Katie Lee – Saturday, Feb. 23
- Goldbelly presents Sweets & Beats hosted by Cake Boss Buddy Valastro and Joe Ariel – Saturday, Feb. 23
- Midnight Eats: An Española Way Block Party hosted by Bar Lab, Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos featuring Music by Rev Run – Saturday, Feb. 23
- Goya Foods’ Grand Tasting Village featuring Mastercard Grand Tasting Tents & Publix Culinary Demonstrations sponsored by Sub-Zero Group Southeast – Sunday, Feb. 24
- Gerard Bertrand: How Biodynamics Magnifies the Expression of Terroir Wine Spectator Wine Seminar presented by Bank of America – Sunday, Feb. 24
- BACARDI’s Beach Carnival hosted by Andrew Zimmern – Sunday, Feb. 24
Faculty and staff, use promo code FIUSTAFF19.
Alumni, use promo code FIUALUMNI19.
Parents, use promo code FIUPARENT19.
*FIU savings cannot be combined with Mastercard offers at these events.
FIU students can also volunteer for SOBEWFF®; it’s open to all majors. So whether you’re volunteering or participating in the Festival, this is your chance to get out of your comfort zone and be immersed in the biggest names in cooking and some of the best food in the world.
All proceeds go to the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. To date, the SOBEWFF® has raised more than $28 million for the School.
“We love the variety of foods, wine, drinks, recipes,” Fontanilles-Castro says. ”We enjoy meeting some of the Food Network personalities that we have seen on TV and taking pictures and selfies with them. Learning new things in the culinary world and a bonus is all the free goodies that some of the sponsors hand out!”
Her favorite event of the whole festival is the Grand Tasting Village, and she has seen many celebrities from the food world including Guy Fieri, Rachel Ray and Paula Deen.
“One year Emeril and Rachel Ray had a bet and they agreed that if she lost she would have to show up to the festival in a bikini. She lost and the next year we saw her cooking in a bikini,” Fontanilles-Castro recounted.