South Beach Wine & Food Festival

Lee Schrager's Top Picks for SOBEWFF 2021

South Beach Wine & Food Festival founder Lee Schrager.
South Beach Wine & Food Festival founder Lee Schrager. Photo courtesy of South Beach Wine & Food Festival
South Beach Wine & Food Festival founder Lee Schrager. - PHOTO COURTESY OF SOUTH BEACH WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL
South Beach Wine & Food Festival founder Lee Schrager.
Photo courtesy of South Beach Wine & Food Festival
The South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF) is set to return Thursday, May 20, through Sunday, May 23.

The festival, usually held the last weekend in February, was pushed to late spring this year owing to the COVID pandemic. But, with safety restrictions in place and vaccines widely available, the festival is set to welcome — and feed — guests with 70 signature events, parties, seminars, and dinners scattered throughout the Miami area.

The festival will operate differently this year. For one — every event (with the exception of some wine tastings) will be held outdoors. And COVID precautions will be in place for the safety of all.

Founder and organizer Lee Brian Schrager is still expecting to host a festival that entertains and educates. To celebrate this, the event's 20th year, we asked Schrager to share his favorite events with New Times readers.
click to enlarge Eat your fill of burgers at Burger Bash. - PHOTO COURTESY OF SOUTH BEACH WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL
Eat your fill of burgers at Burger Bash.
Photo courtesy of South Beach Wine & Food Festival

Heineken Burger Bash hosted by Bobby Flay

“This event has truly grown into a favorite and doing it every year is like a homecoming. I also love the sense of fun and how into it the chefs get regarding the competition. This year, there are two sessions, so each restaurant has a chance to win or even take home the prize twice.” 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and 9 to 11 p.m. on Friday, May 21, at North Venue Beachside at the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, 1 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Tickets cost $250 to $350 via sobewff.org/burger.
click to enlarge Guy Fieri at the SOBEWFF. - PHOTO BY WORLD RED EYE
Guy Fieri at the SOBEWFF.
Photo by World Red Eye

BubbleQ hosted by Guy Fieri

“Other than the Grand Tasting Village, BubbleQ was the event that made the festival. Before Burger Bash was introduced, BubbleQ was the first event annually to sell out and was far and away the defining event. The combination of top-rated Champagnes and open-fire cooking was unbeatable and unique. It really brought a sense of play and sophistication to the sand. I’m thrilled to welcome it back for our 20th anniversary.” Two sessions: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and 9 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, May 22, at North Venue Beachside at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach, 1 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach.Tickets cost $250 to $350 via sobewff.org/bubbleq.
click to enlarge The Grand Tasting Village at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. - PHOTO COURTESY OF SOUTH BEACH WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL
The Grand Tasting Village at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival.
Photo courtesy of South Beach Wine & Food Festival

Grand Tasting Village

“The Grand Tasting Village is iconic — truly what many people picture when they picture the festival. Great spirits, food from amazing restaurants, gorgeous activations, and the beautiful blue ocean as the backdrop. The most fun you can have is often found at the Grand Tasting Village. When I walk the tents, it always boggles my mind — the magic and work it takes to pull it off. But it comes together, and it’s a joy to see it come alive.” Two sessions: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Saturday, May 22, and Sunday, May 23, Tenth Street and Ocean Drive, Miami Beach. Tickets cost $200 via sobewff.org/gtvsun.
click to enlarge Dishes at Best of the Best. - PHOTO COURTESY OF SOUTH BEACH WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL
Dishes at Best of the Best.
Photo courtesy of South Beach Wine & Food Festival

Best of the Best

“The most amazing culinary talents gather together with wines of unbeatable quality and craftsmanship. Best of the Best is our walk-around event for those seeking a more sublime, sophisticated soirée. It’s the most fun and fancy dinner party ever.” 8:30 to 11 p.m., Friday, May 21 and Saturday, May 22, at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Tickets cost $350 to $400 via sobewff.org/bob2.
click to enlarge Giada De Laurentiis will be honored at the SOBEWFF Tribute Dinner. - PHOTO BY WORLD RED EYE
Giada De Laurentiis will be honored at the SOBEWFF Tribute Dinner.
Photo by World Red Eye

Tribute Dinner honoring Giada De Laurentiis and Eduardo M. Sardiña

“Tribute Dinner is a festival staple, our chance to honor the talent that is defining eating and drinking not just in America but across the globe. Twenty years, twenty Tribute dinners with so many memories. We’re honored to spotlight one of the festival’s biggest talents and most ardent supporters, Giada De Laurentiis, and a family that is a household name when it comes to spirits: Bacardi. Miami royalty Emilio and Emily Estefan are hosting. Tribute is always a night to remember, and this one will be no different. And it’s our first under the stars!” 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, May 22, at Loews Miami Beach Hotel, 1601 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Tickets cost $600 via sobewff.org/tribute.
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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times, covering the restaurant and bar scene in South Florida. She has been featured on Cooking Channel’s Eat Street and Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. Doss won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature on what it’s like to wait tables. In a previous life, she appeared off-Broadway and shook many a cocktail as a bartender at venues in South Florida and New York City. When she’s not writing, you can find Doss running some marathon then celebrating at the nearest watering hole.
Contact: Laine Doss