It's the most delicious time of year — the South Beach Wine & Food Festival.
Each year, the five-day event attracts many of the nation's best in the food-and-beverage industry, from wine and spirits professionals to chefs and culinary personalities. Since its inception, the fest has morphed into a world of dinners, seminars, spirits and wine tastings, brunches, lunches, and late-night, celebrity-filled parties.
This year's festival offers 97 events, 33 of which are dinners — more than ever before — and expects more than 70,000 attendees. As with last year's edition, a burgeoning lineup of Crave series events represents SOBEWFF's continued expansion into Broward County, where more than ten selections will take place around Fort Lauderdale.
Though returning fans might automatically gravitate toward popular, long-standing events such as Burger Bash or spend a day exploring the Grand Tasting Village, plenty of wallet-friendly parties offer unlimited food and drinks for around $100 or less.
King's Hawaiian presents the Taste of Aloha and Art of Tiki Cocktail Showdown, hosted by Anne Burrell. If Miami Beach isn't tropical enough for you, a trip to Hawaii might suffice. At the boutique
Lucky Chopsticks, hosted by Andrew Zimmern, part of the Crave Greater Fort Lauderdale Series. For the first time, Lucky Chopsticks will head north to the W Fort Lauderdale, where James Beard Award-winning TV host Andrew Zimmern, widely regarded as one of the most versatile personalities in the food world, will take guests on a taste trip inspired by some of his favorite dishes featured on the show Bizarre Foods. Expect the small-bites menu to cover mostly Asian street-market fare, with everything from sushi, dumplings, and dim sum to some of the more exotic, colorful eats he has sampled during his travels. 8 to 10 p.m. Friday, February 23, at W Fort Lauderdale, 401 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $125 via sobewff.org/lucky.
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Bacardi presents Walshy Fire's Rum & Bass Beach Party. This late-nighter will shut it down with music, light bites, and endless cocktails. The party will feature Jamaican-born DJ Walshy Fire, along with Miami's own DJ Irie and pretty much all of the fest's celebrity chefs who head out to party after-hours. See you — and maybe chefs Janine Booth (Root & Bone) and Todd Erickson (Huahua's Taqueria) — on the dance floor. 9 p.m. to midnight Saturday, February 24, at North Venue, beachside at the Delano, entrance at 1 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Tickets cost $100 via sobewff.org/bacardi.
Rooftop Rosé Happy Hour, hosted by Kristin Cavallari, part of the Crave Greater Fort Lauderdale Series. Meet Laguna Beach reality star Kristin Cavallari during this all-new
Goya Foods' Swine, Wine & Spirits, presented by the National Pork Board, hosted by Giorgio Rapicavoli, featuring Chefs Found in Miami. Pork might be the main focus of this Sunday dinner, but it won't be the only one. This year, Swine will also become a celebration of South Florida's homegrown culinary scene. Spend the night dancing, drinking, and dining at the historic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables while favorite local chef Giorgio Rapicavoli mixes and mingles with the crowd. The event will offer Latin-inspired cocktails curated by the same team that delivers Drink Miami each year. From there, some of Miami's best chefs will create their favorite Latin dishes containing flavors from countries such as Venezuela and Peru for a perfect pairing of music, culture, food, and drinks. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday, February 25, at the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables. Tickets cost $105 via sobewff.org/latin.