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.
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.
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.
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.
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 :
- 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
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.