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 winemakers, spirits producers, chefs and culinary personalities. Hosted by Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida and Florida International University (FIU), the festival benefits the Teaching Restaurant and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center, both located at FIU.
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 six years, 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, reinvented the Florida Extravaganza. Relocating to South Beach, the renamed South Beach Wine & Food Festival attracted close to 7,000 guests to a series of dinners, seminars and the Grand Tasting & 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 during the planning of the 2007 festival, Food Network entered into partnership with the South Beach Wine & Food Festival to become its title sponsor. The resulting Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival elevated itself to new heights with Food Network’s endorsement as well as support from some of the industry’s biggest names.
Now in its eighth year, the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival is one of the largest and most well-known festivals of its kind in the country and combines the international appeal of top-quality libations from around the world with the international appeal of the worlds most celebrated chefs and culinary personalities set against the backdrop of America’s Riviera, South Beach.
Martha will be attending the event this year, participating in a tribute dinner honoring Emeril Lagasse on Saturday evening. Martha will also be conducting a cooking demonstration earlier in the day at the Whole Foods Grand Tasting Village and hosting a book signing event.
The 2007, the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival honored Martha Stewart with a lifetime achievement award.