The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festivalpresented by FOOD & WINE 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. Hosted by Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida and Florida International University (FIU), the Festival benefits FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center. Going into its 12th year, the Festival has raised approximately $17 million to date for FIU.
Now one of America’s most prestigious gourmet gatherings, the Festival began as a one-day event 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 and Tourism Management. In 2002, Lee Brian Schrager, current vice president of corporate communications & national events at Southern Wine & Spirits of America, took the reins and relocated the event to South Beach. The renamed South Beach Wine & Food Festival® attracted close to 7,000 guests to a series of dinners, seminars, a Grand Tasting Village and live Auction in its first year.
In 2006 the South Beach Wine & Food Festival celebrated its fifth anniversary and gained recognition as one of America’s premier wine and culinary events. In 2007 Food Network entered into a partnership with the South Beach Wine & Food Festival to become its title sponsor. The resulting Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE combined the international appeal of the finest wines and top-quality libations from around the world with the national appeal of Food Network and its celebrity chefs and culinary personalities.
In 2012, more than 60,000 guests attended nearly 50 events featuring more than 150 celebrated chefs and over 250 wineries, spirits producers, and non-alcoholic beverage suppliers. The Festival is made possible by more than 1,000 FIU students thru its Student Associate Program. Plans are already underway to introduce new events and bring back Festival favorites February 21-24, 2013. Read more ....