It’s the Ultra Fest for food lovers. South Beach Wine & Food Festival, presented by Food & Wine, is officially less than a week away, and we’re dishing out the highlights. What was once a one-day festival held on FIU’s campus has grown into one of the most well-known wine and food festivals in the country.
According to the Festival’s website, “In 2013, the Festival broke three of its own records, with attendance growing to over 65,000, bringing in more than $5.1 million in ticket sales, and exceeding $4.1 million in sponsorship sales. An integrated marketing and public relations program garnered over three billion media impressions and proceeds totaled $2.1 million for FIU.”
So Much to Chow, So Little Time
With more attendees expected this year, you’ll notice an array of new events such as the Barilla Interactive Dinner hosted at the historic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. This event will give guests an intimate culinary lesson from the winner of Food Network’s Next Iron Chef (Season 3), Chef Marc Forgione.
Some other new events recommended by SOBEWFF Creator Lee Schrager, include Botran’s Medianoches & Mixology, presented by Smithfield at Wynwood Walls and hosted by Anne Burrell and Emilio Estefan. As if Miamians needed a reason to go to an event focused on medianoches and cocktail, there will also be music, art, cortaditos, hot chocolate, churros and desserts from Azucar Ice Cream Company.
Don’t get a tummy ache if some of these events are already sold out – there are many others still open for purchase, such as the Splendid Ice Cream and Dessert Party hosted by Jeni Britton Bauer and Friends for those looking for late night sweet satisfaction. Other events still open include the Dolce Brunch, Bank of America Lifestyle Seminar Fried & True, hosted by Schrager and friends, or the Goya Foods’ Swine & Wine hosted by Michelle Bernstein.
What many don’t know is that there are several events that are budget-friendly, ranging from $20-$95, like Emeril Lagasse and Sammy Hagar’s Rockin’ Beach Party. Also, for the second year, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival is offering a lower priced Afternoon Fix ticket to the Grand Tasting Village on the beach.
Good Fun, Great Cause
What we love most about this event is the wonderful collaborations between Miami’s local chefs, restaurateurs and foodies. “You can try 40 different Miami restaurants at the Whole Foods Market Grand Tasting Village!” exclaimed Schrager. More importantly is the immense donation collected for our very own Florida International University’s School of Hospitality. This event has not only helped the university, but it’s brought national attention to the culinary greats that are sprouting in our very own neighborhoods. When asked where he saw the South Beach Wine and Food Festival in 10 years, Schrager responded, “Constantly evolving – I see us still creating unique lifestyle experiences and raising more funds for FIU School of Hospitality.”