EAT. DRINK. EDUCATE. at #SOBEWFF
More than 65,000 passionate fans and hospitality industry leaders descended upon South Florida in February for the 16th annual Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF®), raising more than $2 million for the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University (FIU). Attendees enjoyed more than 90 events taking place throughout two counties with the continued growth of the Taste Fort Lauderdale Series, featuring more than 400 chefs, winemakers, spirits producers, and culinary personalities who joined them to EAT. DRINK. EDUCATE. during the five-day Festival. Hosted by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, the Festival has raised more than $26 million to date for the School. Having just celebrated its 16th year, the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival 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 & Tourism Management. In 2002, Lee Brian Schrager, then director of special events & media relations at Southern Wine & Spirits of America, took the reins 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® was held March 15 – 17, 2002 and attracted close to 7,000 guests to a series of dinners, seminars, a Grand Tasting Village and live Auction in its first year.