Wednesday, March 10, 2010

2010 South Beach Wine Food Festival Press Release

The ninth annual Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival, February 25–28, 2010, was once again a successful and unforgettable extravaganza. More than 50,000 guests attended the four-day event, and over $2 million was raised for the Florida International University (FIU) School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center.

“This year’s Festival was a success, with great events, great attendance and, most importantly, money raised for FIU,” said Festival Founder and Director Lee Brian Schrager, who also serves as Vice President of Corporate Communications & National Events at Southern Wine & Spirits of America, which hosts the Festival. “Our loyal fans, sponsors and extraordinary talent play a vital role in keeping this Festival vibrant, exciting and successful. It’s a testament to them that we are thriving during these times.”

Dozens of high-profile national media outlets covered the Festival, from Food Network, Travel Channel Europe, Esquire, People, Extra, TIME, Food Network Magazine and The New York Times to the Associated Press among others, with a cornucopia of legendary chefs and culinary personalities holding court throughout the event. Major new and returning sponsors for 2010 included Food Network, Food & Wine, The New York Times, Wine Spectator, Whole Foods Market, South Beach Diet, American Express and Allen Brothers.

The Festival and Southern Wine & Spirits of America hosted a Kitchen Aid dinner on Wednesday, February 24 at Miami’s iconic Haitian restaurant Tap Tap. Chefs Daniel Boulud, Jose Garces, Masaharu Morimoto, and Kris Wessel provided the menu to help raise significant funds for the Partners in Health Haiti earthquake relief fund.

The Amstel Light Burger Bash hosted by Rachael Ray crowned a new winner of the Amstel Light People’s Choice Award – Chef Michael Symon of Iron Chef America fame, who won for his delicious “Fat Doug” – cheeseburger with Swiss cheese, pastrami and coleslaw. Miami’s own Chef Michael Schwartz won the Allen Brothers Golden Grill Award. Other signature events included the Perrier-Jouët BubbleQ, hosted by Emeril Lagasse; Wine Spectator’s Best of the Best returned to the Fontainebleau with French Ambassador to the United States, the Honorable Pierre Vimont in attendance, as well as the best wines and Champagnes being poured plus a veritable who’s who of the country’s greatest chefs – Scott Conant, Masaharu Morimoto, Alfred Portale, Michael Psilakis and Laurent Tourondel, just to name a few. The Whole Foods Market Grand Tasting Village featuring the American Express Grand Tasting tents, continued to draw huge crowds for the ultimate tasting experience, and at the end of the weekend this event was able to donate over 2 TONS of food to Feeding South Florida.

South Beach Diet presents Fun and Fit as a Family featuring the Kellogg’s Kidz Kitchen, a two-day mini-fest at Jungle Island addressing the vital topic of childhood obesity prevention, nutrition education and fitness, returned and featured chefs and culinary personalities Paula Deen, Rachael Ray, Guy Fieri, and Rocco DiSpirito, among others. Advance proceeds from this event raised over $20,000 for the William J. Clinton Foundation for Haiti Earthquake Relief.

The all-star Tribute Dinner held at the Festival’s host hotel, Loews Miami Beach, sponsored by Bank of America, (a part of The New York Times Dinner Series) honored the legendary Daniel Boulud. Beautifully emceed by Top Chef host Gail Simmons, the dinner featured a sumptuous Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne reception and dinner, perfectly paired with Diageo Château & Estate Wines and created by an impressive group chefs including Paul Bartolotta, Michael Laiskonis, Nobu Matsuhisa, Eric Ripert, Claude Troisgros, Gordon Maybury of the Loews and chefs from Boulud’s own establishments, including Zach Bell, Jean François Bruel, and Olivier Muller.

Another memorable event: the new Wine + Dine + Design, a multi-course seated dinner, presented by Bertolli, Carapelli and Carbonell olive oils, took guests from one culinary hotspot to another in the Miami Design District with stops at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, SRA. Martinez, Fratelli Lyon and Pacific Time. The evening was topped off by an after-party, presented by Thrillist, at Ornare, featuring Champagne Lanson, cocktails by Diamond Vodka and Sweet Street Desserts.

The Wine Spectator Wine Seminar Series and Bank of America Lifestyle Wine and Spirits Seminars at this year’s Festival were as impressive as ever, with more than a dozen seminars held throughout the weekend at the W South Beach and Gansevoort South, featuring aficionados like Josh Wesson, Kevin Zraly, Gary Vaynerchuck, and Joe Bastianich.

Sunday’s events raised the bar, quite literally, with Paula Deen’s Kiss My Grits Sunday Jazz Brunch at the Loews, featuring Paula and friends Katie Lee, Chris Lilly, and Elizabeth Karmel, who rustled up vittles way beyond traditional fare. Joe’s Stone Crab was the setting for another over-the-top brunch that’s become a Festival favorite, Joe’s Big Chill. Guests enjoyed platters of iced stone crab claws served with Joe’s famed sauces and sides with cocktails provided by the House of Canella to wash it all down.

A closing night party in true South Beach style, hosted by Food Network’s lovable Guy Fieri, brought the house down, with hundreds partying on the private beach behind the Gansevoort South on South Beach, feasting on delicious Cuban comfort food and sipping Gnarly Head wine, ocean-side, under Miami’s magical moon.

Mark your calendars: Dates for the Festival’s 10th Anniversary are set for Thursday, February 24 through Sunday, February 27, 2011. The 2011 Festival will certainly be unforgettable, as it will also celebrate the release of the official Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival cookbook (Clarkson Potter), due for publication in November 2010, written by Lee Schrager with Julie Mautner, featuring a foreword by Anthony Bourdain. Returning Festival favorites and new programming is in the works. Keep up to date all year long at www.sobewineandfoodfest.com or www.twitter.com/Lee_Schrager.

About the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival

All proceeds of the Festival benefit the students of the Florida International University School of Hospitality and Tourism Management who also assist Festival organizers with sponsorship fulfillment, restaurant and exhibitor recruitment, logistics, and inventory as well as working alongside some of the world’s greatest celebrity chefs and winemakers.

The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Food &Wine is produced by Florida International University and Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida with the support of the Miami Beach Visitors & Convention Authority and the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information about the Festival, visit www.sobewineandfoodfest.com or call 877-762-3933. For more information about Florida International University visit www.fiu.edu, for the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management visit www.hospitality.fiu.edu and for more information about Southern Wine & Spirits visit www.southernwine.com.

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