Die-hard food lovers have this date circled on their calendars as the date the 2012 Food Network South Beach Wine and Food Festival tickets go on sale.
This marks the 11th year of the fest in Miami Beach, which has grown to include Food & Wine – its current sponsor. It takes place at various locales around Miami from Feb. 23-26, 2012.
A nod to the popular Bubble-Q which ended last year, called simply “The Q,” kicks off the fest at the Delano beachfront. Chef Emeril Lagasse and Food Network personality Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives host the Thursday night event.
Friday is a busy night – and food lovers must choose between the Amstel Light Burger Bash at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach, hosted by Rachel Ray; Wine Spectator’s Best of the Best, at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach; or Epicure Gourmet Market Presents Party Impossible, hosted by Robert Irvine, of Dinner Impossible.
On Saturday, Feb. 25, the public gets a look at the new Miami Marlins Ballpark. Julie Loria, wife of Miami Marlins owner Jeff Loria, hosts Diamond Dishes, a VIP night that features celeb chefs Michelle Bernstein, Scott Conant, Hedy Goldsmith and Laurent Tourondel.
Tribute dinner honors Charlie Trotter
This year’s Tribute Dinner, presented by Bank of America, is Saturday, Feb. 25, and honors Chicago chef Charlie Trotter and winemaker Piero Antinori. Anthony Bourdain hosts the event, with a who’s who of chefs preparing the dinner at Lowe’s Miami Beach. Chefs include Lowe’s chef Frederic Delaire, Wylie Dufresne, Michelle Gayer, Emeril Lagasse, Nathan Myhrvold, Patrick O’Connell, and Norman Van Aken.
The festival’s signature event and fastest to sell out is the Whole Foods Market Grand Tasting Village, which stays the same – open in the big tents set up on Miami Beach Saturday and Sunday. A variety of cooking demos, tastings, book signings and Q&As with celeb chefs and winemakers are scheduled.
Food trucks will join the event this year at the Trucks on the Beach event, sponsored by Diet Pepsi, and hosted by Andrew Zimmern. It serves as the fest’s closing party Sunday night.
The money raised by the festival benefits the students of the Florida International University Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Those students also work at the festival. FIU and Southern Wine & Spirits put on the event and handle management, logistics and production.
Info, schedules, tickets
For the formal schedule of SBWFF events (still subject to change), as well as ticket prices and to buy tickets, go to the fest’s website, www.sobefest.com, or call toll-free 877-762-3933.