The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One (SOBEWFF®) is a national, star-studded, four-day destination event showcasing the talents of the world’s most renowned wine and spirits producers, chefs and culinary personalities.
All net proceeds from the Festival benefit the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University (FIU).
SOBEWFF® takes place February 23-26, 2023
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Our Festival is hosted by the world’s preeminent distributor of beverage alcohol and benefits hospitality students at Florida International University.
Hosted by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and Florida International University, 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 $34 million for the School.
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Having just celebrated its 21st year, the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One began as a one-day festival known as the Florida Extravaganza held at FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus.
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.
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 it to life by relocating it to South Beach. The renamed South Beach Wine & Food Festival® was held March 15-17, 2002 and attracted nearly 7,000 attendees to a series of dinners, seminars, the signature Grand Tasting Village, debut of the BubbleQ®, and a live auction in its first year.
The first Wine Spectator’s Best of the Best event took place at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach during the 2005 Festival.
In 2006, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival® celebrated its fifth anniversary and became one of the largest and most recognized food and wine festivals in the country.
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 took place February 22-25, 2007, attracted 30,000 guests. The newly renamed Festival also featured the first ever Burger Bash® hosted by Rachael Ray.
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. Attendance at the Festival surpassed 50,000 this year.
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.
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.
The Festival celebrated the opening of the newly constructed Wine Spectator Restaurant Management Laboratory, a state-of-the-art teaching facility built as a result of funds raised by SOBEWFF® at FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management.
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.
The Festival collaborated with the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Research Division to report that the 2018 Festival had an estimated economic impact of more than $34 million on Miami-Dade County.
The 19th annual edition of the Festival attracted more than 65,000 guests to its 100+ events throughout the five-day weekend, which took place at various locations throughout South Florida. To date, the Festival has raised more than $31.8 million for FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management.
The Festival took place May 20-23, 2021 becoming the first major food and wine event to take place in the country since the pandemic unfolded in March 2020. It implemented leading industry standards for health and safety and saw a culmination of 20 amazing years on the sand featuring a diverse roster of talent, with a special focus on spotlighting the local restaurants and chefs that are the backbone of the South Florida hospitality community.
Pop the bubbly! SOBEWFF® celebrated 21 years in style February 24-27, 2022, alongside 60K+ attendees. Celebrities like Kate Hudson, Adam Levine, Dwyane Wade, Eva Longoria and more joined chefs, restaurants, and wine and spirit brands on the sands of Miami Beach to celebrate all things delicious.
Looking Forward to 2023!
Looking forward, the 22nd annual Festival will take place February 23-26, 2023 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. We invite you to raise a glass to 22 years on the sand and join us on our mission to EAT. DRINK. EDUCATE. in support of the future leaders of the hospitality industry!