South Beach Wine & Food Festival

Celebrity-Studded Miami Wine & Food Week Events

Much like Art Basel spawned Miami Art Week, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival has spurred many restaurants and celebrity chefs to plan events, parties, and dinners this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. That has given this weekend an unofficial nickname: Miami Wine & Food Week.

Some events, like 101 Gay Weddings at the James Royal Palm hotel, are held in conjunction with SoBe Fest, while others, like Eats & Beats, are offered as affordable alternatives to the festival.

From free tacos and cocktails to a star-studded radio broadcast, here are some of the best food-related events this week.

See also: SoBeWFF Goes Global: From Basque to Indian to Israeli to Spanish

Best New Restaurant Watch Party at Tongue & Cheek

The reign of Miami restaurant supremacy continues Wednesday, February 18, when Tongue & Cheek faces Austin's Porter Ale House for the Battle of the Burgers on Bravo's Best New Restaurant. The show airs at 10 p.m. and T & C chef/owner Jamie DeRosa will host a watch party. See the epic battle on a 100-inch TV screen while enjoying complimentary snacks and drinks during the episode. Afterward, stay for a late-night happy hour and live DJ. RSVP is suggested, so shoot an email to

5Cubed Dinner

Haute Dining and Brewery Ommegang have brought together 15 chefs for this beer-pairing dinner. Meat Market's Sean Brasel will host the event, held at 1111 Lincoln Rd. Wednesday, February 18, at 8 p.m. Participating chefs include Alex Chang (the Vagabond); Michael Jacobs (the Hidden Kitchen); Adrianne Calvo (Adrianne's Vineyard); Brad Kilgore (Alter); Fernando Desa (chef, Goya Foods); Johnny Sheehan (New World Tavern, Boston); Jeremy Ford (Matador Room); Cesar Zapata (the Federal Food Drink & Provisions); Jordan Marano (Rosa Mexicano); Rocco Carulli (R House); and Chef Bee (Oishi Thai and NaiYaRa).

Tickets cost $150 for the main event at 8 p.m. A special five-course sit-down dinner begins at 6 p.m. and costs $275. Tickets can be purchased at, and a portion of the proceeds benefits the Little Lighthouse Foundation of Miami.

Funky Buddha Tap Takeover at Loews Miami Beach

South Florida's flagship brewery, Funky Buddha, will head to South Beach for SoBeWFF -- and it's taking over the taps at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel's Hemisphere Lounge.

Beginning at 5 p.m. Thursday, February 19, take your pick from ten Funky Buddha creations during the Tap Enlightenment event. Brews include Funky Buddha's Floridian, Hop Gun, Crusher, Passion of the Crusher, More Moro Blood Orange IPA, German Chocolate Cake, Up Pip's Kriek, Last Snow Coconut & Coffee Porter, and the highly elusive Maple Bacon Coffee Porter. In addition, Funky Buddha has brewed a mojito blonde ale featuring hints of fresh lime and mint especially for the Loews Miami Beach. Pints of the Funky Buddha creations cost $11 each, or sample a flight of four for $15.

Books & Books Presents Matthew Kenney

Celebrity chef and vegan-lifestyle advocate Matthew Kenney will discuss his book, Cooked Raw: How One Celebrity Chef Risked Everything to Change the Way We Eat at Books & Books Bal Harbour this Thursday, February 19, at 6:30 p.m. The event is free, but you must RSVP to to attend.

Mediterranean Feast With Top Chef Mike Isabella

The Surfcomber Miami Beach will turn into that outdoor party scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding this Thursday, February 19, when Top Chef's Mike Isabella and Social Club executive chef Blair Wilson host an outdoor Mediterranean feast. New Times readers can take $25 off their ticket price by using promo code NEWTIMES.

Lambs roasting on the spit, an array of seafood, and plenty of sides will be served buffet-style along with cocktails from 9 p.m. to midnight. Tickets cost $100 per person and can be purchased at

Geoffrey Zakarian's Food Talk

If you're on a mission to spot as many celebrity chefs as you can this weekend, you don't have to run around town to catch your favorites. You just need to head to the Garden at the Thompson Miami Beach this Friday, February 20, at 2:30 p.m. for Geoffrey Zakarian's Food Talk. The dapper chef will tape his Sirius XM radio show, hosting just about every big name in the culinary world. Guests scheduled to attend include Al Roker, Rachael Ray, Marcus Samuelsson, Anne Burrell, Marc Murphy, Ted Allen, Robert Irvine, Katie Kee, Maile Carpenter, Lee Brian Schrager, Dana Cowen, and Aaron Sanchez. The event is free and open to the public.

Tongue & Cheek's Kitchen Collab Brunch With Robert Irvine

Last year, chef Jamie DeRosa hosted a collaborative brunch with chef Robert Irvine at Tongue & Cheek. Just about every industry peep, both locally and nationally, came out to enjoy a low-key, delicious nosh. Chefs played musical chairs, hopping from table to table to mingle with old friends, as glasses clinked and laughter filled the air. If you missed the first one, you have a second chance to dine with the likes of Morimoto, Geoffrey Zakarian, and Ingrid Hoffmann at this year's event. On Friday, February 20, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., enjoy a special three-course meal created by chefs Irvine and DeRosa for $125 per person. You'll also receive a signed copy of Irvine's new book, Impossible to Easy. Call 305-704-2900 to reserve your spot.

Tacos at Daybreak

If Saturday morning comes too fast, why not ease into the day with free breakfast tacos and specialty cocktails? Smithfield has teamed up with Pubbelly's Jose Mendin for the totally free Tacos at Daybreak party. Saturday, February 21, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., enjoy complimentary eats and drinks poolside at the Loews Miami Beach. The event is free, but you must RSVP to by Thursday, February 19, to attend.

101 Gay Weddings

Technically not open to the public, but if you're a same-sex couple looking to marry, chef Art Smith wants to throw you one big bash! What began as a ceremony for 101 couples seeking to wed has grown into a giant celebration of love, open to all gay couples who want to marry or renew their vows. If you'd like to be a part of the festivities, tweet a note to @ChefArtSmith using #101GayWeddings. His team will contact you with instructions. The shindig will be held at the James Royal Palm Saturday, February 21, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Eats & Beats

The self-proclaimed "answer to those looking for an amazing food and wine event without the red velvet stanchion presence," Eats & Beats brings foodie fun to the people. The event, to be held at the Moore Building this Saturday, February 21, from 8:30 p.m. to midnight, will feature a host of participating restaurants, including Red the Steakhouse, Brother Jimmy's BBQ, City Hall, Meat Market, Rusty Pelican, and Love Is Blind -- along with cocktails and entertainment. Tickets cost $99 for general admission and $250 for VIP, which includes early entry at 7:30 p.m. A portion of sales benefits Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign. Tickets can be purchased at

Sombrero Sunday at Naked Taco

Ralph Pagano's Naked Taco will launch its dog-friendly garden bar with a tequila-infused party Sunday, February 22. Beginning at 1 p.m., expect dancing girls, giveaways, DJ KGB spinning soothing Latin beats, and plenty of margaritas. A do-it-yourself taco bar filled with goodies like pork belly, duck confit, and warm-water lobster will ensure that your belly gets filled.

Feeling lucky? Play high/low for your booze. Roll the dice, and if you get a higher roll than Chef Pagano, the drinks are on the house. A lower roll means you pay the tab. If you're looking to rub elbows (and down shots) with famous people, you won't be disappointed. The guest list includes the likes of Paul Castronovo, Robert Irvine, Andre Brown, and (just maybe) Super Bowl champ Rob Gronkowski. No cover. Just enjoy.

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss