SOBEWFF aims to shine a light on Miami and its culinary scene, boasting an annual economic impact to the metro area of about $34 million. Last night, though, one of the festival's celebrity guests made an economic impact on a local restaurant — to the tune of five grand.
Earlier today 9Beach Latin Restaurant shared on social media that Food Network star Guy Fieri — he of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Flavortown, and more — paid a visit last night and dropped a $5,000 tip.
"A shout-out to celebrity chef Guy Fieri from the Food Network...he left a $5,000 tip @ 9beach Latin Restaurant 'to be divided by all the staff and kitchen personnel,'" 9Beach shared on Facebook. "Outstanding and greatly appreciated by all. Thanks!"
New Times has a call in to the management at 9Beach to find out what Fieri ordered at the restaurant, which is located on Collins Avenue between 16th Street and Lincoln Road. Given that the restaurant, just a stone's throw from SOBEWFF's party tents, is open until the wee hours of the morning, Fieri may have stopped by for a Cuban sandwich ($12) and a Cuban coffee ($2) after the festival folded its tent for the evening.
Let's see...20 percent of $14 is...$2.80. So $5K would seem pretty generous.
That's not out of character, though. This past year, the Food Network celeb stepped up to help independent restaurateurs during the pandemic. Last August, he partnered with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation to launch the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, which awarded grants to restaurant workers impacted by COVID.
Fieri is hosting several SOBEWFF events this weekend, including a Sunset Happy Hour tonight (Friday, May 21) and the Bubble Q tomorrow (Saturday, May 22). He'll be at the Grand Tasting village tomorrow, as well.
The South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Through May 23 at various locations. Tickets cost $15 to $600 via sobewff.org.