2016 Guide to South Beach
Wine & Food Festival

Casamigos Tequila Presents - Tacos After Dark Hosted by Aaron Sanchez

By: Kara Franker and Jen Karetnick

SOBEWFF is returning to Miami February 24-28, 2016.

Sponsored by everybody’s favorite cooking show channel and presented by the top food magazine in the country, the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE (SOBEWFF) is one of the most highly regarded of its kind.

The Ingredients

Take several dozen celebrity chefs and culinary personalities, such as Rachael Ray, Andrew Zimmern, Guy Fieri and Giada De Laurentiis. Add twice the amount of impressive wine, craft beer and artisanal liquor makers. Toss to mix thoroughly and garnish with farm-to-table style cooking events and demonstrations. Serve to thousands of guests annually on the last weekend of February.

The festival has raised more than $18 million for the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University. The festivities include demonstrations, tastings, parties, seminars, tribute meals with famed chefs and more.

The Recipe

Concocted by Festival Founder and Director Lee Brian Schrager, who also serves as the Vice President of Corporate Communications & National Events for Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., SOBEWFF is one of the events that is most looked forward to by both locals and visitors. Now in its 15th year, the festival has also established itself as a favorite among the highly regarded chefs and other industry professionals who lead demonstrations and seminars.

Part of the festival's appeal, for both presenters and party-goers, is location, location, location: Many of the events, including the Goya Foods Grand Tasting Village featuring MasterCard Grand Tasting Tents & KitchenAid® Culinary Demonstrations, take place directly on the beach. As in, the enormous tents housing hundreds of chefs and winemakers are literally pitched on the sand. For winter-weary folks, the gentle waves and sea breezes season the bites and quaffs irresistibly.

Those gatherings not located on the beach, such as the ever-popular Wine Spectator’s Best of the Best sponsored by Bank of America, take place at iconic Miami properties. For instance, Best of the Best, which is routinely sold out as soon as tickets become available, occurs at the historic Fontainebleau Miami Beach. And you won't want to miss the Amstel Light Burger Bash presented by Schweid & Sons hosted by Rachael Ray.

The Dish

While many events are already sold out, here are a selection of tastings that you might be able to still score tickets to (while they last!).

  • Barilla's Italian Bites on the Beach hosted by Giada De Laurentiis on Thursday, February 25, 7-10 p.m.
  • Wine Spectator Trade Day presented by Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida on Friday, February 26, 1-4 p.m.
  • Amstel Light Burger Bash presented by Schweid & Sons hosted by Rachael Ray on Friday, February 26, 7:30-10:30 p.m.
  • Fontainebleau Miami Beach presents Wine Spectator's Best of the Best sponsored by Bank of America on Friday, February 26, 7:30-10:30 p.m
  • Meatopia presented by Creekstone Farms sponsored by Thrillist hosted by Michael Symon on Saturday, February 27, 7-10 p.m.
  • Badia Spices’ Fun and Fit as a Family sponsored by Carnival featuring Goya Foods Kidz Kitchen on Saturday & Sunday from 10 a.m. t0 5 p.m.
  • Goya Foods Grand Tasting Village featuring MasterCard Grand Tasting Tents & KitchenAid® Culinary Demonstrations on Saturday & Sunday from 12-5 p.m.
  • Lucky Chopsticks: An Asian Night Market hosted by Andrew Zimmern on Sunday, February 28, 6-9 p.m.

Tastings

  • Paella & Tapas by the Pool hosted by José Andrés on Thursday, February 25, 7-10 p.m.
  • Scott Conant and Michael Mina's East Meets West Party at Turnberry Isle on Thursday, February 25, 7-10 p.m.
  • Oyster Bash presented by Island Creek Oysters hosted by Josh Capon and Jeremy Sewall on Friday, February 26, 4-6 p.m.
  • Grilled Cheese Happy Hour hosted by Laura Werlin and Ms.Cheezious on Friday, February 26, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Nutrish's Yappie Hour hosted by Rachael Ray on Saturday, February 27, 4-6 p.m.
  • Chicken Coupe hosted by Andrew Carmellini on Saturday, February 27, 7-10 p.m.
  • Goya Foods’ Swine & Wine presented by The National Pork Board hosted by Lorena Garcia on Sunday, February 28, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Late-Night Parties

  • Mexico City presents Tacos After Dark hosted by Aarón Sánchez on Thursday, February 25, 10:00 p.m. to 1 a.m.
  • The Art of Tiki: A Cocktail Showdown hosted by Guy Fieri on Friday, February 26, 10:00 p.m. to 1 a.m
  • Cigars & Spirits presented by Cigar Aficionado hosted by The Betsy and BLT at The Betsy on Friday, February 26, 11:00 p.m. to 1 a.m
  • Fireman Derek's Midnight Breakfast hosted by Chrissy Teigen on Friday, February 26, midnight t0 2:00 a.m.
  • Sweet 15: A Dessert Party hosted by Duff Goldman on Saturday, February 27, 10:00 p.m. to midnight
  • Croquetas and Champagne hosted by Jean-Georges Vongerichten on Saturday, February 27, 10:00 p.m. to midnight
  • Kuro Late Night featuring DJ Felix Da Housecat Part of the Taste Fort Lauderdale Series on Saturday, February 27, 10:00 p.m. to midnight

Sit-Down Events

  • Southern Kitchen Brunch hosted by Trisha Yearwood Part of The NYT Cooking Series on Sunday, February 28, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Bloody Mary Brunch hosted by the Cast of Chopped Part of the Taste Fort Lauderdale Series on Sunday, February 28, 12-2 p.m.
  • Like Water for Chocolate Screening & Conversation with Screenwriter Laura Esquivel on Sunday, February 28, 6-8 p.m.

Seminars

  • Old World vs. New World Comparative Blind Tasting featuring Eight World Class Red Wines presented in Riedel Wine Glasses hosted by Eric Hemer on Friday, February 26, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
  • Wine Spectator Wine Seminar Wine Seminar Series A on Saturday, February 27, 10 a.m. to 12:40 p.m.
  • Bank of America Lifestyle Seminar Uvaggio's Somm Slam hosted by Tanner Gill, Heath Porter and Anthony Giglio on Saturday, February 27, 12-1 p.m.
  • Bank of America Lifestyle Seminar Past Meets Present Pairing hosted by Timon Balloo and Bar Lab on Saturday, February 27, 1-2 p.m.
  • Wine Spectator Wine Seminar Heitz Wine Cellars Legacy Tasting: Celebrating 50 years of Martha's Vineyard on Saturday, February 27, 1:15-2:15 p.m.
  • Bank of America Lifestyle Seminar Wine & Cheese hosted by Laura Werlin and Josh Wesson on Saturday, February 27, 2:30-3:30 p.m.
  • Wine Spectator Wine Seminar Wine Seminar Series B on Saturday, February 27, 2:45-5:25 p.m.
  • Bank of America Lifestyle Seminar Local Craft Beer Seminar hosted by Evan Benn on Saturday, February 27, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Bank of America Lifestyle Seminar Sip and Sea hosted by Danny Serfer and Josh Wesson on Sunday, February 28, 10-11 a.m.
  • Bank of America Lifestyle Seminar Sweets and Spirits hosted by Andrew Shotts and Anthony Giglio on Sunday, February 28, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Wine Spectator Wine Seminar Joseph Phelps Insignia Retrospective Seminar on Sunday, February 28, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Wine Spectator Wine Seminar Wine Seminar Series C on Sunday, February 28, 1-3:40 p.m.

Fun & Fit

If it seems like the SOBEWFF is all eating and no play, well, it is a lot of food. We’re not going to lie. But that doesn’t mean you have to wear the weekend on your waist afterwards. Participate in Badia Spices' Fun and Fit as a Family, sponsored by Carnival, featuring Goya Foods Kidz Kitchen. Held at Jungle Island, this two-day event teaches young and old how to live with both health and taste – which is, aside from benefiting the students of the Florida International University Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, the Festival’s point. Or check out YogArt presents Buddhas and Bellinis featuring a morning of Yoga by the pool at The Raleigh Hotel.

For more information about the festival, visit sobefest.com or call 877-762-3933.

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