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EAT. DRINK. EDUCATE. AT #SOBEWFF

The Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival is a national, star-studded, five-day destination event showcasing the talents of the world’s most renowned wine and spirits producers, chefs and culinary personalities.

Hosted By & Benefiting

Hosted by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and Florida International University (FIU), the Festival benefits FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center.  Each year, more than 1,200 students and volunteers gain invaluable real-world experience with the Festival – which serves as an interactive educational platform for the future leaders of the hospitality industry.  To date, the Festival has raised more than $26 million for the School.

FIU - About The Festival
sgws - About The Festival

Our History

Having just celebrated its 16th year, the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival began as a one-day festival known as the Florida Extravaganza held at FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus.

1997
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For five years, from 1997-2001, the Florida Extravaganza showcased wines from national and international wineries paired with food from local restaurants and chefs working with students of FIU’s School of Hospitality & Tourism Management.

2002
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In 2002, Lee Brian Schrager, then director of special events & media relations at Southern Wine & Spirits of America, took the reins of the one-day festival and brought his vision for the Festival to life by relocating it to South Beach. The renamed South Beach Wine & Food Festival® was held March 15 – 17, 2002 and attracted close to 7,000 guests to a series of dinners, seminars, Grand Tasting Village, debut of the BubbleQ®, and live Auction in its first year.

2005
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The first Wine Spectator’s Best of the Best event took place at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach during the 2005 Festival.

2006
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In 2006, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival® celebrated its fifth anniversary and became one of the largest and most well-known festivals of its kind in the country.

2007
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The Festival entered into the beginning of its partnership with Food Network in 2006, during the planning stages of the 2007 Festival.  The resulting Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival, which took place February 22 – 25, 2007, attracted 30,000 guests.  The newly renamed Festival also featured the first Burger Bash® hosted by Rachael Ray.

2008
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The Festival debuted its large-scale, family-friendly program – Fun and Fit as a Family, which still takes place each year for two days during the Festival weekend at Jungle Island.  Attendance at the Festival surpassed 50,000 this year.

2009
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The Festival welcomed King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain to Miami for a special tribute to the wines and food of Spain.

2011
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In 2011, the Festival celebrated 10 years and released the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival Cookbook: Recipes and Behind-the-Scenes Stories from America’s Hottest Chefs (Clarkson Potter, November 2010), written by Lee Brian Schrager with Julie Mautner, featuring a foreword by Anthony Bourdain.

2013
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The Festival welcomed more than 60,000 attendees.

2014
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The Festival celebrated the opening of the newly constructed Wine Spectator Restaurant Management Laboratory at FIU, a state-of-the-art teaching facility built as a result of funds raised by SOBEWFF®.

2016
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The Festival celebrated its 15th anniversary with an expansion of its physical footprint into Broward County with the launch of the Taste Fort Lauderdale Series.

2017
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For its 16th year, SOBEWFF® partnered with hospitality impresario David Grutman to bring a premier music experience to its signature Goya Foods’ Grand Tasting Village event for the first time. The inaugural David Grutman Experience featured a performance of high energy beats from INGROSSO.

Looking Forward to 2018

The Festival now attracts more than 65,000 guests annually to its 85+ events throughout the five-day weekend, which take place at various locations throughout South Florida. Looking forward, the 17th annual Festival will take place February 21-25, 2018 and will once again feature internationally renowned talent and leaders of the hospitality industry at uniquely crafted events showcasing world-class wine, spirits, food, and fun.

FESTIVAL FUN FACTS

  • Benefiting FIU
    $26000000+

  • Attendance
    65000+

  • Festival Events
    90+

  • Talent
    350+

  • Ongoing Years
    17