Happy Friday! If you're like most of Miami's food-obsessed population, this weekend is all about scoring tickets to some of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival's parties and dinners.
The festival, which swung into life last evening, is filled with events. That also means that most every bar and restaurant is hosting some kind of special or dinner.
If celebrity spotting is on your radar, follow your favorite chef on Instagram to see if they're hanging out. Chef favorites include Joe's Stone Crab, Broken Shaker, and Izzy's Fish & Oyster. Whether you've got tickets to every event or you're just grabbing a cocktail, there's a lot going on in Miami for foodies to love.
The weekend starts now!
The South Beach Wine & Food Festival
This weekend's premiere event is the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. This mega-event features over 75 different parties, seminars, dinners, and brunches in venues across Miami, Miami Beach — and even Fort Lauderdale! Tonight's top events like Burger Bash and Best of the Best are sold out, but tickets still remain for some great events that cost $100 — or under! On Saturday, February 27, party with your pooch at the Yappie Hour, hosted by Rachael Ray. This howling good time happens from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Standard Spa (Tickets cost $95). The best SOBEWFF value is the 3-5 On Ocean Drive, which allows you access to the Grand Tasting Village on Sunday, February 28 for two hours of blissful eating and drinking for $100 (from 3 to 5 p.m., of course). While you're at the Grand Tasting Village, stop by Miami New Times and vote for your favorite bite on the beach and pick up a Liqs shot! Tickets for all SOBEWFF events can be purchased at SOBEWFF.com.
Spike the Pool and Other Unofficial SOBEWFF Events
Top Chef alum and Sunny's partner, Spike Mendelsohn hosts his annual free chefs' gathering today, Friday, February 26, at the Hall in South Beach. Starting at noon, enjoy wine cocktails and bites courtesy of Sunny's. At 2 p.m., your favorite celebrity chefs from Miami and around the country jump in the pool for the chef vs. chef aquatic games. This is your best opportunity to see America's top toques wet and shirtless (well, some of them) and get some very interesting pictures for your Instagram feed. #wetchef
Participating chefs include Adrianne Calvo, Alon Shaya, Eden Grinshpan, Franklin Becker, Jeremy Ford, JJ Johnson, Justin Warner, Marc Murphy, Michael Solomonov, Pat LaFrieda, Mendelsohn, Tim Love, and Todd Erickson. Admission is free, but shoot an email to RSVP@thedooronline.com to get on the list.
Festival weekend also attracts a lot of other events and freebies. For a list of the most interesting parties, food trucks, and fun around town, check out New Times' unofficial guide to this weekend.
Martha Stewart at Macy's
If you didn't score a ticket to Martha's rose brunch during SOBEWFF, the domestic diva will be at Macy's at Aventura Mall today, February 26, at 5:30 p.m. at the home department on the third floor. Martha will sign copies of her latest book, Martha Stewart Weddings: Ideas and Inspiration. If you're getting married, get tips from Martha, herself, for planning the big day, while enjoying refreshments. Make a Martha Stewart Weddings book purchase of $60, and you'll have the opportunity to receive her autograph.
Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Company
The South Beach bar and restaurant that invites you to "pursue happiness" celebrates SOBEWFF with a weekend filled with music. Tonight, February 26, enjoy live performances by Brendan O'Hara and Reid Waters from 6 to 10 p.m. On Saturday, February 27, enjoy King Cut., followed by Retrokidd on Sunday, February 28. Take a break between SOBEWFF parties at Sweeet Liberty's happy hour, from 4 to 7 p.m., daily (even weekends).
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Decadent Afternoon of Chocolate and Cocktails at Drinkhouse Fire & Ice
If your favorite SOBEWFF events are already sold out, come out to Drinkhouse Fire & Ice for an aptly named Decadent Afternoon of Chocolate and Cocktails. On Sunday, February 28, from 2 to 5 p.m., drink cocktails created by the Cocktail Guru's Jonathan and Jeffrey Pogash, paired with tastings of Valrhona Single Estate chocolates. The decadence continues with pastries and confections created by Odille Arias (Coya Restaurant and Members Lounge), Keith Wallace (The Cupcake Galleria), Stephanie Frei (The Palms Hotel & Casino), Gina Sansonia (Cucina Bambina), Jenniffer Woo (So Woo Cakes), and Paola Levy (Paola Cake Atelier).
Top Chef Just Desserts' Johnny Iuzzini hosts the event, which includes an interactive blindfold mixology sensory experience. Tickets are $55 for VIP and $40 for general admission and can be purchased at eventbrite.com or chocolateandcocktails.com.