2016 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival Presented By FOOD & WINE

SOBEWFF North Venue before guests arrived

No One Does Wine, Spirits, Food and Fun Like SOBEWFF!

Imagine this: Incredible selections of wine, spirits, and food. Now, dream about the white sandy beaches and crystal clear blue waters of Miami’s South Beach. Put them altogether, and you’ve got SOBEWFF 2016!

The Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE established the 4 day event and just celebrated its 15th anniversary. And what a celebration it was! The festival hosted by Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida and Florida International University (FIU) attracted some 60,000 people and featured many famous faces at its variety of events.

To date, SOBEWFF has raised over $22 million benefitting FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center.

Here are some of the exciting events we had the pleasure of attending:

Barilla’s Italian Bites on the Beach hosted by Giada De Laurentiis
The Queen of Italian Cuisine wowed the crowd as her PMG North Venue event kicked off the 2016 South Beach Wine and Food Festival on Thursday night, Feb. 25, 2016.
Highlights offered bites from Giada’s own restaurant in Las Vegas, Top Chef Runner-up and fan favorite Nina Compton from New Orleans, and Michael Mina chef owner of 25 award winning restaurants…  Other wonderful tastings included: Rice-balls stuffed with ragu and melted mozzarella, endless glasses of red and white wines, elegant pasta and chocolate-dipped almond biscotti, and many more delicious foods were served at the spectacular venue.

Giada DeLaurentiis and Ana Quincoces
Giada DeLaurentiis and Ana Quincoces

Wine Spectator’s Trade Day presented by Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida
Guests were delighted to get in on the spirit with a wonderful variety of cocktail brands, wineries, and craft beer stations to check out along the beach. Chef Katie Lee concocted easy DIY cocktails blended with Silk Nutchello. Yum.

Amstel Light Burger Bash presented by Schweid & Sons hosted by Rachael Ray

For the Boys and Girls who love a great burger, The 10th Annual Burger Battle was another must-taste event. Who doesn’t enjoy a luxury burger from top chefs? Guests indulged in mouthwatering samples from Red Robin Gourmet Burgers to Iron Chef Legend Morimoto’s deep fried Asian fusion burger, and refreshing Amstel Light lager beer and Meiomi wines all night long. The event included amazing sounds and Yes dessert burgers.  Judges included David Burtka, Neil Patrick Harris, Natalie Morales, George Motz, and Marcus Samuelsson helped decide the Schweid & Sons Very Best Burger Award. What more can you ask for?

Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto
Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto

Fontainebleau Miami Beach presents Wine Spectator’s Best of the Best sponsored by Bank of America
The gorgeous evening was hosted by Alex Guarnaschelli at the historic Fontainebleau Miami Beach. Chefs like Todd English and Scott Conant showed off super chef skills and culinary masterpieces at the Rolls-Royce of food tastings.  From Caviar to Sushi,  Lobster raviolis to duck sliders with incredible wine and spirit offerings that elevated each bite.

Chef Scott Conant with Fans
Chef Scott Conant with Fans

Goya Foods Grand Tasting Village featuring MasterCard Grand Tasting Tents & KitchenAid® Culinary Demonstrations.
What a blast, as stars like Neil Patrick Harris got in on the fun, and Cake Boss Buddy Valastro demonstrated the proper way to ice a cupcake. All the latest cooking and baking gadgets were debuted and tons of great food and drink were served up in two huge venues with an outdoor stage with a DJ and Dancers from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.  Wow!  That was fun…

Bartender Mixing Drinks for the Seminole Hard Rock Casino

Meatopia presented by Creekstone Farms sponsored by Thrillist hosted by Iron Chef Michael Symon
The Chew’s Michael Symon grilled it to perfection and the aromas were heavenly, following you wherever you went. This was a meat lovers haven and we fit right in… Braised short ribs, Hawaiian spiced chicken drums, bacon, pork belly, smoked meats and barbecue were served throughout beach-side at the Delano.  While enjoying all the great food and drinks we rubbed shoulders with celebrities like Justin Warner, Al Roker, and Chef Sandra Lee…

Edge Steak and Bar, Miami, FL
Edge Steak and Bar, Miami, FL

Bloody Mary Brunch hosted by the Cast of Chopped
Part of the Taste Fort Lauderdale Series, the event was held at the Ritz Carlton on the 4th floor overlooking the pristine beach with a beautiful breeze.  It was a perfect day for Bloody Mary’s and delicious tastings of the breakfast variety.  And who could forget the Cast of Chopped was there mingling with guests and taking photos.

Cast of Chopped including: Marcus Samuelsson, Aaron Sanchez, Maneet Chauhan and Chris Santos
Cast of Chopped including: Marcus Samuelsson, Aaron Sanchez, Maneet Chauhan and Chris Santos

LUCKY CHOPSTICKS: An Asian Night Market hosted by Andrew Zimmern
What a night tasting great Asian bites like sushi, dim sum and dumplings, washing it all down with sinfully delicious drinks from Gekkeikan Sake, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, and Ron Viejo de Caldas Rum.

Hannya Restaurant, Miami, FL
Hannya Restaurant, Miami, FL

The South Beach Food and Wine Festival was The Best Culinary Event of the Year, and we are already looking forward to next year…

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