Food News

South Beach Wine & Food Festival 2020 Highlights: Pizza Party, Gospel & Falafel, and Marcus Samuelsson

Marcus Samuelsson
World Red Eye
Marcus Samuelsson
Before we know it, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF) will take over the beach and beyond for its 19th year in the sun.

The five-day fete is slated for February 19 through 23, 2020, and will offer more than 100 parties, dinners, and events. Though the festivities are spread across Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, the festival's epicenter remains South Beach, where massive tents will be erected oceanside, on the sand.

Festival founder and director Lee Schrager says one of his priorities this year has been to add new, value-priced events. To that end, the festival's website includes a section dedicated to events priced at $100 or less. Burger Bash, Best of the Best, and the Grand Tasting Village remain annual favorites, but Schrager says the lower price point is key to introducing the festival to newcomers. "We do incredibly well with events priced at $100 and under," Schrager says. "They tend to be more cocktail-driven events, and they bring in that younger demographic."

This year, celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson will be honored at the annual tribute dinner, as will Jim Clerkin, president and CEO of Moët Hennessy North America. In addition, the dinner, hosted by Andrew Zimmern, will posthumously honor Leah Chase, the New Orleans chef known as the "Queen of Creole Cuisine." The event is set for 7 p.m. Saturday, February 22, at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel.

If you don't have $500 to pony up for a ticket at that table, the festival offers six new events at a fraction of the price. You can snack on falafels with Zak the Baker while listening to a live gospel choir; sample pizza with chef Michael Schwartz; or hoist a cocktail with Man Finds Food host Adam Richman. Tickets for all events will go on sale October 28 (Capital One cardholders will get presale access beginning October 21.

Here's the rundown of the new events for 2020:

Chef Mash-up: The Naughty Fork's Samantha Schnur will host this late-night event where top Miami chefs offer their signature dishes while DJs and cocktails keep the party going. (Be sure to check out the custom hive, created at Ace Props Miami, courtesy of the HoneySpot app.) 10 p.m. to midnight Thursday, February 20, at Ace Props Miami, 398 NE 78th St., Miami. Tickets cost $95.

Gospel & Falafel: Join Zak the Baker at his Wynwood bakery for a late-night nosh of sweet and savory treats. The sounds of Min. Desmond Jackson & the Sovereign Ministries will get you into the spirit. 10 p.m. to midnight Thursday, February 20, at Zak the Baker, 295 NW 26th St., Miami. Tickets cost $115.

Sliced: A Genuine Pizza Party: Michael Schwartz is set to host a late-night pizza party offering everyone's favorite meal in all imaginable forms, including wood-fired, oven-baked, and thin-crust. Snack on pizza while listening to the Gainesville indie-rock band the Hails. 10 p.m. to midnight Friday, February 21, at Jungle Plaza, 3801 NE First Ave., Miami. Tickets cost $95.

Nu Deco Ensemble Concert: Join Nu Deco at the North Beach Bandshell for a concert that will include a special appearance by Rev Run. Enjoy wine and spirits, as well as snacks courtesy of Politan Row Miami food hall. 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday, February 22, at North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Tickets cost $95.

Sips & Dips: Avail yourself of spritz cocktails while host Adam Richman leads guests through an array of bites and finger food paired with unexpected dips, from hummus to Nutella to tonkatsu. This party invites you to be creative with your food. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 22, at the Beach Club at 1 Hotel South Beach, 2341 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Tickets cost $95.

Sandwich Showdown: Broward's best chefs will present an array of sandwiches paired with wine, beer, and cocktails. The Food Network's Jeff Mauro will host the event, part of the CRAVE Greater Fort Lauderdale Series. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, February 22, on Fort Lauderdale Beach (address TBA). Tickets cost $125.

South Beach Wine & Food Festival. February 19 through 23, 2020, at various locations. Tickets cost $35 to $500.