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The 17th annual SOBEWFF will host more than 95 events.

By Bianca Herron

The 2017 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF) drew more than 65,000 attendees. This year’s festival aims to draw even more with more than 200 partners, and more than 400 participating chefs, winemakers, spirits producers and culinary personalities.

Held Feb. 21-25 in Miami Beach, Fla., the 17th annual SOBEWFF is sponsored by the Food Network & Cooking Channel, and hosted by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. All of the festival’s proceeds benefit the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University.

To date, SOBEWFF has raised more than $26 million to support the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University. In addition to raising funds for the school, the Festival serves as an interactive educational platform, providing more than 1,200 students a year with the opportunity to gain real-world experiences alongside world-class talent and industry professionals. 

Festival Highlights

SOBEWFF will feature more than 95 events that take place at various locations throughout Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. This year’s five-day festival include something for every gourmand to sip and savor for a great cause including:

Women of Syria Dinner hosted by Alon Shaya and Ingrid Hoffmann (Feb. 23).  Renowned chefs Along Shaya and Ingrid Hoffmann come together to bring the festival a one-of-a-kind heritage food experience at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. A carefully curated family-style dinner will be prepared by women representing two organizations dedicated to supporting Syrian refugees that Shaya and Hoffmann work with – Denver-based Comal Heritage Food Incubator and Miami-based Zaytouna and Syrian Supper Club. 

Together, the two will collaborate on a menu rich with their cultural influences to satiate taste buds and stories about their journey to America to satisfy the soul.

Barry’s Bootcamp and Bites hosted by Robert Irvine (Feb. 24). In addition to being a chef and popular television personality, Robert Irvine is also the founder of Robert Irvine Foods – and he’s bringing his expertise straight to the sands of South Beach for this first-time festival event. Irvine will be joined by co-instructor Derek DeGrazio, partner and head trainer for Barry’s Bootcamp Miami, to lead guests through the ultimate morning workout followed by healthy bites and refreshing libations.  

SOBEWFF GoyaYappie Hour presented by Fetch My Vet hosted by Katie Lee (Feb. 24).  It’s no secret that Katie Lee, celebrated cookbook author and co-host of the hit Food Network show The Kitchen, is head-over-heels for her new chihuahua rescue, Gus.  She’s bringing him to experience the festival for the first time, as they host this pooch-friendly afternoon happy hour at Loews Miami Beach Hotel featuring libations for the two-legged species and plenty of snacks for canines and humans alike.  

Midnight Munchies presented by Thrillist hosted by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Action Bronson (Feb. 24). World-renowned Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten serves as the evening’s host while recognized DJ and cookbook author Action Bronson dishes up his signature beats on the two-block oasis known as Española Way in South Beach’s Art Deco district.  More than a dozen homegrown joints will satisfy all your sweet and salty late-night cravings while you sip on specially crafted libations and dance the night away at the ultimate Miami Beach block party.  

Family Ice Cream Social hosted by Duff Goldman (Feb. 25).  A brand-new addition to this year’s Festival line-up, fans of all ages are welcome to join all-around dessert authority Duff Goldman for this afternoon soirée at Loews Miami Beach Hotel. More than a dozen creameries and parlors from throughout South Florida will serve up their most decadent treats for the whole family to enjoy, with specially-crafted libations available for the adults.

Additional show highlights also include a significant expansion of SOBEWFF’s featured CRAVE Greater Fort Lauderdale Series, which includes a Dinner hosted by Michael Schulson and Chris Cosentino, Grand Bloody Mary Brunch hosted by Geoffrey Zakarian and Aarón Sánchez, Clambake hosted by Emeril Lagasse and Jorge Ramos and Rooftop Rosé Happy Hour hosted by Kristin Cavallari.

The 2018 Festival will also feature a number of musical talent throughout the weekend, including:

* The multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated group Smash Mouth performing on Feb. 22 at Barilla's Italian Bites on the Beach sponsored by HCP Media and the Miami Herald Media Company. This event is hosted by Giada De Laurentiis.

* Hit Caribbean DJ Walshy Fire performing on Feb. 24 at BACARDÍ presents Walshy Fire’s Rum & Bass Beach Party.

* Action Bronson serves up the beats on Feb. 24 at Midnight Munchies: An Española Way Block Party presented by Thrillist, and hosted by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Action Bronson.

* HBFIT founder and popular DJ Hannah Bronfman providing the beat on Saturday, Feb. 24 at Sweet-Moves: Late-Night Desserts & Dancing hosted by Bobby & Sophie Flay.

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