Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival 2013

Miami is abuzz with excitement. In just a few days, from February 21st-24th,  we will be kicking off the annual Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival, presented by Food & Wine. Going on its 12th year, it has become one of America's grandest gourmet events, thanks to the vision and commitment of Lee Brian Schrager, who has made this phenomenon what it is today. In star-studded Miami style, the festival showcases the talents of the world’s most renowned wine and spirits producers, chefs and culinary personalities. From its origins as a one day event in Florida International University's Biscayne Bay Campus known as the Florida Extravaganza, to its current global status as a four day international sensation featuring close to 50 culinary events, over 150 chefs, and 250 wine, spirits and non-alcoholic drink suppliers, people from around the world will be coming to Miami to partake in this gastronomic feast. This year's line-up of culinary talent includes big names such as Food Network's Season 3 Next Iron Chef winner Marc Forgione, Chef Emeril Lagasse, Anthony Bourdain, Ingrid Hoffman and Rachael Ray. Events include the traditional Grand Tasting Village as well as a series of seminars, brunches, dinners and parties held all around town. While many of the events are already sold out, there are still some tickets available. To see a full listing of events, visit the SOBEWFF site at http://www.sobefest.com/index.php.  In the meantime, I will be covering several of the events and keeping you up-to-date with a behind-the-scenes look at what's going on in one of the most anticipated culinary events of the year. Be sure to check this page often for links to my posts and latest news on the festival.


Click on the links below for each post:

Evian Natural Spring Water  & Chef Richard Blais Bring the SOBEWFF fun to you via Instagram. Submit your own tasty pictures and get a behind-the-scenes look at the festival through Chef Blais, as he takes us through the ins and outs of the excitement.

Let’s Get Spiked! Celebrity Chef Volleyball Tournament:

There's nothing quite like Miami weather and what better way to enjoy it than watching celebrity chefs battle it out on the sand? “Top Chef”-alum Spike Mendelsohn and Florida Cookery’s own Kris Wessel will host the first ever “Let’s Get Spiked!” celebrity chef volleyball tournament, located behind The James on the sands of Miami Beach. Mendelsohn, Wessel and 14 of their compatriots including Chuck Hughes, Alex Guarnaschelli, Andrew Zimmern, Tim Love, Pat LaFrieda, Marcel Vigneron, Adrianne Calvo, Jeff Mauro, Johnny Iuzzini, Stephanie Izard, Todd Erickson, Justin Warner and Alberto Cabrera, will be broken up into teams of four to battle in a series of fast-paced volleyball matches. It’s one of the only chances for the public to get up and close personal with their favorite chefs free of charge during SBWFF.

When: Friday, Feb. 22
Time: 12 to 2 p.m.
Where: The James Royal Palm - 1545 Collins Avenue
 Open to Public


Amstel Light Burger Bash

The Truffle Burger at The Forge

We all know gourmet burgers are the new "in" food and the SOBEWFF is no exception.  Rachael Ray is back to host the Amstel Light Burger Bash, presented by Pat LaFrieda Meats, on Friday, February 22nd from 7:30 to 10:30. Event-goers will get to taste the country's most creative burgers and innovative side dishes while sipping Amstel Light Lager beer on the sand behind the Ritz-Carlton South Beach hotel. Along with a group of fellow foodies, I had the opportunity to sample a variety of the burgers The Forge Wine Bar, located on 432 41st Street on Miami Beach, was planning on entering at the Burger Bash. They were all unique and each had a distinct quality and characteristic that stood out for each of us. At the end, the tasty treat The Forge decided to showcase at the Burger Bash is the Truffle Burger, featuring an Angus Burger with Oregon Cheddar Sauce, Crispy Truffles and Heirloom Tomatoes. It will be served with a Smokey Lobster Mushroom Slaw topped with Crispy Pork (by the way, the slaw totally took my breath away when I had it). If you're attending this event, (it is currently sold out) come hungry and get ready to be burgerized. Oh and make sure to check out the Truffle Burger from The Forge! 


Three....Two....One... Blast off!!

It's here! It's here! It's finally here! Today marked the start of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival and there was all sorts of action going on around town. Lee Brian Schrager held the Director's Welcome Happy Hour at the rooftop of The Betsy South Beach hotel, kicking off this year's gastronomical festivities. Everyone enjoyed delicious cocktails and wine, along with a slew of appetizing passed hors d'oeuvres. Later in the evening, the heat went up a notch with vegetarian and wine dinners, a San Francisco experience called Best of the Bay, and Moet Hennesy's The Q Party. Stay tuned for tomorrow's adventures where I'll be sipping and swallowing with The Wine Spectator.


Fun and Fit as a Family Sponsored by Carnival

Want to go to the SOBEWFF on Saturday, February 23rd and enjoy an awesome event for the entire family? I am giving away 4 tickets to the Fun and Fit as a Family event sponsored by Carnival and presented by Florida Blue. Just enter through Twitter at @mariasgoodtaste and RT any of my SOBEWFF Fun and Fit as a Family contest tweets before 6 pm today to win. Winner will be chosen randomly and notified after 6 pm. Good luck! 


Wine Spectator's Trade Day

On Friday, February 22nd from 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m., Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida's most valued customers were treated to a special day: the Wine Spectator Trade Day at the Whole Foods Market Grand Tasting Village.  Aside from giving insiders the opportunity to learn about new trends and products in the beverage industry, this invitation-only event offered a sneak peek into the Grand Tasting experience and guests got to sample a variety of rare vintages, unique spirits and select tastings from the participating exhibitors and suppliers. For me, it was a great opportunity to catch a preview of what was to come while meeting some experts in the industry. Cheers!

Whole Foods Market Grand Tasting Village

An on Saturday off I went to what I consider the mac daddy of the SOBEWFF: The Whole Foods Market Grand Tasting Village. Here is where you can spend seven hours sipping and tasting delicious food, wine and spirits, while interacting with celebrity chefs and culinary personalities. Read all about my adventure here Whole Foods Market Grand Tasting Village.


SOBEWFF Official Festival Closing Party
Guy Fieri's Reggae Jam with Ziggy Marley Live

It's hard to believe that only a few days ago we were kicking off the most anticipated gastronomical event of the country. But just as all good things must come to an end, so must the SOBEWFF....for 2013 anyway. This year's Official Festival Closing Party was held on the sands of The Ritz-Carlton South Beach, teaming up culinary rockstar Guy Fieri with reggae legend Bob Marley's son, Ziggy Marley, for a reggae jam of huge proportions. The party featured volleyball with celebrity chefs, Vodka and Rum punches that made you crave the Caribbean, and Yeah Mon, hot and spicy Jamaican "Cuisine of the Sun" from Ortanique and Friends, among others. The party rocked, although the long lines to taste the bites (and I do mean long) got a bit uncomfortable at times. Nonetheless, in true Miami style, everyone made the most of it and enjoyed another memory in the epicurean feast. Here are some highlights of the night.

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