South Beach Wine & Food Festival Returns in February!

South Beach Wine & Food Festival Returns in February!
Experience the highly anticipated return of South Beach Wine & Food Festival in February! Indulge in extraordinary flavors and culinary delights.
The event that put us on the map is back and better than ever as Festival favorite Emeril Lagasse takes center stage to present the most epic burger showdown to date – BAM! Join the larger-than-life chef and television personality under the North Venue's iconic white tents – along with a passionate panel of judges including Robert IrvinePhil RosenthalNicole GatesJawan StraderMing Tsai, and Dave Portnoy – who'll be on hand to crown one very talented chef with the coveted Schweid & Sons® The Very Best Burger Award. But that's not all – YOU get to decide who wins the equally prestigious People's Choice Award after indulging in this year's carefully curated menu of over 30 mouthwatering burgers and side dishes prepared by some of South Florida's most acclaimed chefs and restaurants. The vibe, you ask? Smooth country, thanks to a special performance from Midland, the Grammy-nominated group known for their signature sound, which Rolling Stone calls "a mix of George Strait, 'Urban Cowboy' and Seventies yacht rock." Remember, it's a marathon – not a sprint – so grab a drink, take a breath, and let your taste buds be your guide!

Spend the day with top food and lifestyle influencers.

What happens when you combine social media's most notable food-loving personalities and a unique "offline" food experience? You get FoodieCon®! Taking place at our headquarter hotel, Loews Miami Beach, this is the first-of-its-kind celebration of the most influential digital content creators in the food and beverage community. SOBEWFF® has partnered with Digital Brand Architects (DBA) for a full day of programming including social media-worthy cooking demos, interactive panels with digital thought leaders, immersive activations and photo opportunities, and book signings with digital trailblazers The Golden BalanceCooking With LynjaNick DiGiovanniOwen HanWishbone KitchenSalt HankThe Sweet ImpactEverything DelishThe Pasta QueenBlack ForagerSucculent BiteBinging with BabishScheck Eats, and Jessica Woo. There will also be a Q&A, meet & greet, and book signing with Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest, and special guest appearances by Guy Fieri, Andrew Zimmern, and David Grutman. It all culminates with a poolside reception with the culinary industry's top creators. FoodieCon® will be the definitive insider's mecca for food culture, content creation, and engagement. It's time to make foodie history!

Of all the great food and drink pairings, tacos and tequila just might be the one to beat. For this year's fiesta, we're bringing back veteran actor, restaurateur, and author of "Trejo's Tacos," Danny Trejo, to bump up the spice factor at the Festival's expansive North Venue. Join the tattooed, taco-loving "tough guy" (don't be fooled, he's actually the nicest!) at this mood-boosting walkaround tasting that captures our favorite flavor-packed pairing with spirited style. You'll sample every type of taco under the sun – from authentic barbacoa to veggie-forward favorites – and thanks to Tequila Cazadores, there'll be margaritas and a gogo to keep you dancing all night long! We've rounded up some of the country's most acclaimed chefs to deliver their signature spins on this classic Mexican dish so whether you prefer sweet or spicy, crunchy or soft, saucy or herby – or all of the above! – you're guaranteed to leave SOBEWFF®'s beachside cantina seeing stars!

SOBEWFF®'s annual ode to fried chicken and champagne is getting a facelift and folks, WE ARE HERE FOR IT. Join Miami favorite and fried chicken aficionado Michelle Bernstein as she hosts this epic event celebrating one of the most beloved dishes in the culinary canon. (Fun Fact: You can find Bernstein's famous fried chicken recipe in Festival Founder and Director Lee Brian Schrager's best-selling cookbook, "Fried & True.") For this year's iteration, taking place in Miami Design District's expansive Jungle Plaza, we've curated an exceptionally impressive roster of more than a dozen chefs eager to serve up their shatteringly crisp creations alongside a host of heavenly homestyle sides and desserts. When it comes to flavors and textures, be prepared to sample it all – from crunchy classics to newfound favorites inventively spiced, battered, fried, and sauced to gleaming golden perfection. And don't think for a second that we've forgotten about the bubbles! This year, we're showcasing six high-end champagne houses to ensure that free-flowing bottles of bright, effervescent bubbly are never in short supply. You'd be wise to top off your Saturday evening with this Festival staple that brings delicious new meaning to the term, "golden hour."

When it comes to tallying up the highlights of our robust and diverse program, this Sunday brunch at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel definitely makes it to the top of the list. It's just one of those events that feel like Festival weekend. This year, we've decided to up the ante even further, tapping Mashama Bailey, hailed by the Financial Times as "the most important chef in America," to help us curate a diverse lineup of chefs – Christopher Aguirre (Loews Miami Beach Hotel), Suzanne Barr (Suzanne Barr Food), Angel Barreto (Anju), Kardea Brown (Food Network star), Valerie Chang Cumpa (Itamae), Paula DaSilva (Burlock Coast)Adam Evans (Automatic Seafood and Oysters), Karla Hoyos (Tacotomia), Kyle Jacovino (Vittoria Pizzeria Napoletana), Cheetie Kumar (KINGS & Neptunes Parlour), Pierre Serrao (Ghetto Gastro), Josie Smith-Malave (Bubbles & Pearls), Paola Velez (Bakers Against Racism), and Akino West (Rosie's) – that cover a far-reaching range of cultures and cooking styles. That's right – the boundary-breaking Bailey, who recently took home the James Beard Foundation's top honor (Outstanding Chef), is heading to South Beach for this feel-good feast of the highest order. Bailey learned to cook from the very best – that is, her mother, grandmothers, and aunts, all of whom imparted a kind of wisdom and know-how that have been harnessed – to glorious effect – at her sensational Savannah restaurant, The Grey, which she co-owns with her business partner, John O Morisano. So it's no surprise that for this year's iteration of our classic buffet-style brunch, Bailey and Morisano have invited some of the most talented chefs working today to deliver their quintessentially American perspectives on traditional brunch fare, complete with a side of old-school hospitality (and a few cheeky cocktails too) and musical entertainment by jazz artist, LaVie. Together, they'll get to the heart of what it takes to write America's definitive recipe book and in doing so, bring an exceptional amount of skill and soul to this well-loved Sunday afternoon staple.

Proceeds from Our Sunday Table: Brunch with The Grey and Friends hosted by Mashama Bailey will support the Coastal Bounty Scholarship presented by The Grey at FIU's Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and will be specifically designated for scholarships funding student externships.

Hospitality titan David Grutman is back for another round of our iconic 3 to 5 ON OCEAN DRIVE! Miami's resident merrymaker and Groot Hospitality founder are pulling out all the stops – and turning the volume WAY up! – to curate a David Grutman Experience that no passionate foodie, music lover, or partygoer should miss. For this year's ultimate Sunday Funday, the courtyard of our signature Goya Foods' Grand Tasting Village will transform into a mini music festival with high-energy beats coming to you courtesy of DJ Khaled and Cedric Gervais. These two headliners will create the perfect vibe for this 360-degree experience featuring interactive brand activations, and inspired cocktails curated by renowned brands such as Belvedere Vodka, Volcan Tequila, Hennessy, and Moët & Chandon champagne! All are paired with tasty bites from over 40 of South Florida's most acclaimed restaurants. As the saying goes, "Go big or go home." Rest assured that with Grutman as our ringmaster, parties don't get much bigger or buzzier than this one.

If you purchase the 3-5 PM ON OCEAN DRIVE ticket, you will be permitted entry into the Goya Foods' Grand Tasting Village starting at 3 PM on Sunday, February 26. See all of your favorite chefs scheduled for Sunday afternoon's Publix Culinary Demonstrations sponsored by Sub-Zero Group Southeast, plus you'll get to take a refreshing stroll through an unending array of scents and tastes in the Grand Tasting Tents while celebrating all areas of Miami – from South Miami and Coral Gables to Brickell, Wynwood, South Beach and on into Fort Lauderdale.

Before creating SOBEWFF®, Festival Founder and Director Lee Brian Schrager made his mark on Miami Beach in the late 1980s and early '90s as the owner of Torpedo (the legendary gay bar known for its Tuesday and Thursday night parties and Sunday afternoon tea dances), The Spot on Española Way (the equally legendary bar co-owned by actor and former boxer Mickey Rourke) and CHOW (the popular health food restaurant next door to Torpedo). Frequented by designers like Gianni Versace, Thierry Mugler, and Jean Paul Gaultier, and fresh-faced supermodels in town for photographer Bruce Weber's iconic fashion shoots, Torpedo became both a Miami Beach institution and a haven for the LGBTQIA+ community.

For this 40-year reunion tea dance and drag show, we're bringing the good times back thanks to Athena Dion, the host and producer of R House Wynwood's show-stopping weekend drag brunches, and Grammy-winning Motown legend Thelma Houston, who's slated to perform a set of chart-topping hits, including:
– "Sweet Soul Music/ I Got The Music In Me"
– "Saturday Night, Sunday Morning"
– "Disco Heat / Mighty Real"
– "Last Dance"
– "Don't Leave Me This Way"

Dion and Houston will be pulling out all the stops for what promises to be a dazzling drag show that harkens back to the glory days of Kitty Meow. And to tie everything together, we've called on social media star and TV personality Kalen Allen to provide his signature sass and fun-loving spirit (Cue the cocktails…it is happy hour after all!) The mics are on and the volume's up for what is hands-down the most fabulous way to close out the Festival weekend.

Sunday Funday…but make it Latin! That's the unofficial tagline of this Festival favorite that pays tribute to the vibrant Latin food culture whose roots run deep throughout South Florida. Spend the evening dancing, sipping, and sampling swine-centric dishes and drinks alongside Miami's favorite radio host, Enrique Santos, and Goya Foods' Executive Chef Fernando Desa, both of whom will be on hand at the historic Biltmore Hotel to present an elite lineup of local chefs eager to dish out their tastiest Latin pork preparations – one saucy, succulent, and seriously delicious bite at a time.

We're teaming up with our friends at BACARDĺ once again to deliver the ultimate closing party on the sand! Join Emmy and four-time James Beard Award-winning chef and TV personality Andrew Zimmern as he returns to host this pop-up funfair by the sea, showcasing craveable bites from more than 30 of South Florida's first-rate chefs! And this is a BACARDĺ party after all so you bet they'll be expertly crafted cocktails shaken and served using high-quality spirits from their expansive portfolio of brands. A whimsical collection of games, prizes, and musical performances complete the party's good-vibes-only energy, which is exactly what we'll all crave as the sun sets on another successful SOBEWFF® weekend.

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