SOBEWFF® is right around the corner, save on select events


It’s happening.

After much waiting, the 18th annual Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival will be taking place this Wednesday, Feb. 20, until Sunday, Feb 24. More than 100-plus events will be spread across South Florida at venues like the Loews Miami Beach Hotel and Fontainebleau Miami Beach.

Here are some Festival highlights from years past.  

1997-2001

Before it became SOBEWFF®,  the Festival was known as the Florida Extravaganza, the one-day event taking place at Biscayne Bay Campus.

A star-studded occasion from the very beginning, stars like singer Julio Iglesias and actor George Hamilton attended its first installment.

Singer Julio Iglesias and actor George Hamilton at the 1997 Florida Extravaganza at BBC.

2002-2006

In 2002, the one-day tasting event was reimagined through the vision of Lee Brian Schrager — founder and director of SOBEWFF® who, at the time, was director of special events and media relations at Southern Wine & Spirits of America. And so, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival® was born, relocating to South Beach and expanding into a multi-day culinary spectacle.

Journalists Al Roker (left, in blue shirt with New York City restaurateur Drew Nieporent) and Star Jones (above, right, with celebrity chef Bobby Flay) were two of the famous guests at the second annual 2003 SOBEWFF®.

2007-2017

After entering a partnership with Food Network, 2007’s Festival was the first under its new name. Since then, celebrity chefs like, Rachael Ray, Guy Fieri and Anne Burrell have become a staple attraction.

Clockwise from top, left: Chefs Guy Fieri, Anne Burrell, Sunny Anderson and Rachael Ray pose with student volunteers at the 2010 Festival.

2018 and today

This year’s Festival comprises the most events yet, with more than 110 scheduled during its five-day run. Over the years, students have played a huge role in the success of its various events, volunteering their time and gaining professional experience while at the festival.

Speaking at the 2018 Festival, celebrity chefs Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis expressed their gratitude for the nearly 1,200 FIU students who volunteer at the festival each year.

“When we’re trying to feed hundreds, if not thousands of people, the students at FIU — they’re lifesavers for us,” said Flay.

“FIU students and alumni make this all happen,” added De Laurentiis.

This week, the anticipated and biggest yet 2019 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival will finally take off.  And there is still time to save on the purchase of tickets.

Members of the FIU community can save 20 percent on the following select events with the promo codes FIUSTAFF19 and FIUALUMNI19:

SOBEWFF® benefits the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center. To date, the Festival has raised more than $28 million for the school.

To buy tickets for other events, click here.

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