Get a Taste of South Florida's Best Restaurants at the OBIEs Friday

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Food and football: They just go together. And that's especially true of the annual OBIEs: A Taste of South Florida.

Over the past three years the OBIEs — which stands for Orange Bowl Impact and Excellence Awards — has helped to invest millions of dollars back into the South Florida community, raising scholarship funds and honoring individuals for their community service.

The annual foodie fundraising event is organized by the Orange Bowl Committee, created in 1935 with the mission of generating tourism for South Florida through an annual football games and charity events. Today, the Miami-based nonprofit sports organization has grown to 360 members and has expanded beyond Miami-Dade County to encompass all of South Florida.

"Each year, the OBIEs give us an opportunity to support important community organizations like Special Olympics and Make-A-Wish," says Marlon Hill, an active member of the Orange Bowl Committee, "as well as allow us to give out a certain number of scholarships to student athletes."

This year, South Florida residents can watch the OBIE football game while savoring the flavors of South Florida during the 2016 OBIEs food and wine event featuring celebrity chef and James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz, owner of Harry's Pizzeria and Michael's Genuine Food & Drink in Miami.
Guests will be able to sample unlimited tastings from over 30 South Florida restaurants and food purveyors — with no lines and an open bar. That includes Broward County-based establishments like Boatyard and 3030 Ocean in Fort Lauderdale, the Feisty Bull in Coral Springs, and the Good Pie Company in Davie, while Miami's best include Michael's Genuine and the Salty Donut.

During the event, chefs and restaurants from all over South Florida will be serving their best bites for a chance to be named "Flavor of South Florida." A panel of judges, comprised of South Florida’s top foodies and culinary celebrities, vote to determine a Miami-Dade and Broward restaurant winner, a dessert winner, and an overall OBIEs winner. In addition, each event attendee will have a chance to cast their vote to award a chef with a People's Choice.

This year, all proceeds from the OBIEs will go toward Make-A-Wish Southern Florida, Special Olympics Florida, and the Orange Bowl Leadership Academy, home to more than 16,000 football players and cheerleaders located from Lake Okeechobee to Key West (producing sports talent like Geno Smith, MVP of the 2012 Orange Bowl and second-round draft choice of the New York Jets).

The OBIE's will take place from 7:30 to 11 p.m. on Friday, May 20, at the Broward County Convention Center located at 1950 Eisenhower Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. General admission is $85 per person, and $200 for VIP (with early entry at 6:30 p.m.). Tickets can be purchased online at orangebowl.org, or by calling 305-341-4701.

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