The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Food & Wine is a national, star-studded, four-day destination event showcasing the talents of the world’s most renowned wine and spirits producers, chefs and culinary personalities. Hosted by Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida and Florida International University (FIU), the festival benefits FIU’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management Teaching Restaurant and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center. To date, the Festival has raised more than $12 million for the School.
Now going into its 10th year, the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Food & Wine began as a one-day festival known as the Florida Extravaganza held at FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus. For five years, from 1997-2001, the Florida Extravaganza showcased wines from national and international wineries paired with food from local restaurants and chefs working with students of FIU’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. In 2002, Lee Brian Schrager, director of Special Events and Media Relations at Southern Wine & Spirits of America, took the reigns of the one-day festival and brought his vision for the festival to life by relocating it to South Beach. The renamed South Beach Wine & Food Festival attracted close to 7,000 guests to a series of dinners, seminars, a Grand Tasting Village and live Auction in its first year. The following year, the festival grew, attracting close to 10,000 people and garnered extensive national media coverage. In 2004, with the addition of a number of events and a revamping of the program, the festival doubled in size and attracted more than 20,000 guests to the three-day event.
In 2006, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival celebrated its fifth anniversary and became one of the largest and most well-known festivals of its kind in the country. During the planning of the 2007 festival, Food Network entered into a partnership with the South Beach Wine & Food Festival to become its title sponsor. The resulting Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Food & Wine combined the international appeal of top-quality libations from around the world, the national appeal of the Food Network and its celebrity chefs and hosts, and the appeal of Latin and Caribbean-inspired regional cuisine.
The 2008 and 2009 Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festivals each attracted close to 50,000 guests over four days and garnered an unprecedented amount of media coverage. The Festival earned more than 1 billion media impressions in both years through its integrated marketing and public relations plan.
The 2010 Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Food & Wine welcomed over 50,000 wine and food lovers and paid respects to Daniel Boulud at its annual Tribute Dinner. 2010 was another banner year as the Festival raised more than $2.2 million for beneficiary, FIU’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and garnered more than two billion media impressions.
Thursday, February 24 – Sunday, February 27, 2011 will mark the 10th year of the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Food & Wine. The 2011 Festival will also celebrate the release of the official Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival cookbook.