The Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE (SOBEWFF) announced its event lineup for the festival’s 15th anniversary, taking place February 24-28. The festival has raised more than $22 million to date for the Wine Spectator Restaurant Management Laboratory and Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center at the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management located on Florida International University’s Biscayne Bay campus.
“We are excited to unveil our event program for our 15th year,” says Lee Brian Schrager, festival founder and director, who also serves as vice president of corporate communications and national events for Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. “With the introduction of the Festival’s new Taste Fort Lauderdale Series and the 10th birthday of our iconic Burger Bash hosted by Rachael Ray, we’re looking forward to celebrating with everyone.”
The inaugural edition of the festival’s new Taste Fort Lauderdale Series will begin on February 24 with Seaside Eats hosted by Robert Irvine at the historic Bonnet House Museum and Gardens, featuring pours from Chȃteau D’Esclans. The series will include a selection of intimate dinner experiences taking place at various Fort Lauderdale restaurants and featuring renowned chefs and culinary personalities like Todd English, Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos, Marc Vetri, and Auberge Resorts’ Robert Curry and Paul Lemieux. Culminating with a Bloody Mary Brunch hosted by the Cast of Chopped at The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale on February 28, the introduction of the Taste Fort Lauderdale Series marks a natural evolution of the Festival in its 15th year.
SOBEWFF’s signature white tent nestled on the sands of South Beach will house this year’s PMG North Venue events. Kicking-off on February 25 with Barilla’s Italian Bites on the Beach hosted by Emmy Award-winning Food Network personality, New York Times bestselling author and restaurateur Giada De Laurentiis, 30 of the nation’s best chefs will take attendees on a culinary tour of authentic Italian fare while they enjoy samplings from Folonari and Campari Italian spirits portfolio. The Festival’s fan-favorite Amstel Light Burger Bash presented by Schweid & Sons hosted by Rachael Ray will reach a decade of bringing the country’s leading burger maestros together to compete for top honors on February 26, where guests will also enjoy samplings from Meomi. The second edition of Meatopia presented by Creekstone Farms hosted by Michael Symon will take place on February 27. This event, originally created and envisioned by the late carnivorous visionary, longtime festival friend, and renowned food writer Josh Ozersky, will feature meaty dishes from more than 25 chefs. SOBEWFF will closeout with LUCKY CHOPSTICKS: An Asian Night Market hosted by Andrew Zimmern on February 28.
New Festival events in 2016 also include: Grilled Cheese Happy Hour hosted by Laura Werlin & Ms. Cheezious; Midnight Breakfast hosted by Chrissy Teigen & Fireman Derek; Dessert Party hosted by Duff Goldman; Croquetamania hosted by Jean-Georges Vongerichten; Like Water for Chocolate Screening & Conversation with Screenwriter Laura Esquivel.
The Festival’s iconic tents on the beach stretching between 10th and 13th Streets off Ocean Drive house Goya Foods Grand Tasting Village featuring MasterCard Grand Tasting Tents & KitchenAid Culinary Demonstrations, which continues to capitalize on the revamped setting and programming structure successfully introduced during last year’s Festival. This gourmet sampling features the finest pours from the Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida portfolio, and a tri-county array of restaurants, led by this year’s Culinary Captains representing neighborhoods across South Florida.
Popular returning events for the 15th year include: Wine Spectator Wine Seminars, highlighting Heitz Wine Cellars, Joseph Phelps Winery, Opus One Winery, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, and more;Bank of America Lifestyle Seminars; Paella & Tapas by the Pool hosted by José Andrés, featuring pours from Vibrant Rioja; Tacos After Dark hosted by Aarón Sánchez; Oyster Bash hosted by Josh Capon, paired with samplings from HENRIOT Inc.; The Art of Tiki hosted by Guy Fieri; YogArt presents Buddhas & Bellinis, accompanied by Cavicchioli Prosecco; Yappie Hour hosted by Rachael Ray, with sips from Chateau La Paws Wines; Chicken Coupe hosted by Andrew Carmellini, including bubbles from Champagne Bligny, Pol Roger and more; Goya Foods Swine & Wine hosted by Lorena Garcia, showcasing samplings from the Frederick Wildman and Sons, Ltd.
The Festival is also paying tribute to chef, restaurateur, and author Jonathan Waxman and Constellation Brands’ chairman of the board Richard Sands and president and CEO Rob Sands. The 15th anniversary Tribute Dinner presented by Bank of America will take place at the Festival’s host hotel Loews Miami Beach, as it has since SOBEWFF’s inception in 2002. Master of Ceremonies Tom Colicchio will oversee the evening as guests honor the contributions of this extraordinary group of gentlemen.
Additional intimate dinner experiences at the Festival in 2016 feature SOBEWFF’s first Glatt Kosher dinner, and world-renowned culinary talent; including Gastón Acurio, Dario Cecchini, Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook, Alain Ducasse, Stephanie Izard, Nigella Lawson, Francis Mallmann, Enrique Olvera, Paul Qui, Joël Robuchon, Marcus Samuelsson, Michael Solomonov, and many more. The chefs featured at Fontainebleau Miami Beach presents Wine Spectator’s Best of the Best sponsored by Bank of America, Dolce Brunch hosted by Alex Guarnaschelli, Rosé Brunch hosted by Martha Stewart and Jean-Georges Vongerichten featuring Chȃteau D’Esclans, lunch hosted by Nobu Matsuhisa and Jose Garces paired with Pascal Jolivet, Southern Kitchen Brunch hosted by Trisha Yearwood, and more further round out the Festival’s events featuring world-class talent.