South Beach Wine & Food Festival

SoBe Wine & Food Festival: A Simple Person's Attempt at Navigation

The Food Network South Beach Wine and Food Festival is a great big beast that seems designed for the press, the wealthy, and the social geniuses of the world, right? Even the name is long. The website appears so complicated with its many tabs. How does a normal human come up against this Goliath and find a way to enjoy it?

Let's try and figure it out together.

Where to start.
We start with the website, of course. It's like nothing exists without the internet anymore. What's the deal with this event anyway? How about we summarize the "About the Festival.

Apparently it's been around for ten years and is co-hosted by Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida and Florida International University, and raises money for FIU's School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Neat-o! Go Panthers! The festival is truly gigantic, bringing in something like 50,000 people, including Food Network addicts from out of town, and gathering together the hungry and rich of South Florida.

What the heck is going on down there during the festival? Is it expensive?

It's expensive, but there's a ton going on! There are what seem to be close to one hundred events, but are actually 46. These cost anywhere from $20 for the Kohl's Fun and Fit as a Family event at Jungle Island on Sunday to $500 for a tribute dinner to Alain Ducasse on Saturday. Most of them range from $85-$125. Not terrible if you've got a job.

What's to do?
Many of the most famous chefs in the world will be right here for this four-day extravaganza. You can watch some of the most interesting and most talented cooks of our day whip up a few dishes. Some of the more exciting events are the Fontainebleau Miami Beach's Wine Spectator's Best of the Best, the Whole Foods Market Grand Tasting Village (where you'll have to wait on line), the Amstel Light Burger Bash presented by Allen Brothers and hosted by Rachael Ray, and Thrillist's BBQ & The Blues, hosted by Tyler Florence and John DeLucie.

Many of the events are already sold out, but at least now, you'll be prepared for next year's festivities, and this big old beast will look cooperative and giving in the palm of your hand. The fest starts on Thursday, February 24 and ends Sunday, February 27. Good luck!

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Liz Tracy has written for publications such as the New York Times, the Atlantic, Refinery29, W, Glamour, and, of course, Miami New Times. She was New Times Broward-Palm Beach's music editor for three years. Now she plays one mean monster with her 2-year-old son and obsessively watches British mysteries.
Contact: Liz Tracy