Every February, the culinary world sets it’s collective sights on Miami and the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. This gastronomic celebration brings together gourmands clamoring to learn from master chefs like Emeril Lagasse and Andrew Zimmern, search for the best burger on the beach and sip on internationally crafted cocktails while mingling with other food-enthusiasts and famous chefs.
Today, technically, the gathering is known as the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Food & Wine. Insiders call it SOBEWFF. When the event started, 14 years ago, it was the Florida Extravaganza. Regardless of its handle, though, what you need to know is that 60 events—including favorites like the Oyster Bash and Thrillist’s Barbecue and the Blues—are held at venues along the sandy shores of South Beach and attract over 65,000 guests a year.
With numbers like these, the gourmet gathering can get a little overwhelming, but luckily we’ve gone back for seconds … and thirds … and fourths, so we know the ins and outs. Let us guide your taste buds—with our day-to-day planner below—and you’ll leave one of the most popular food festivals in the world completely satiated.
Thursday, February 19
Dinner: Despaña presents Paella by the Pool
You know that tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurant you found on the streets of Valencia that served the most authentic and rich paella you’ve ever tasted? Prepare for that same excitement because SOBEWFF is bringing James Beard Award-winning José Andrés’ and other renowned Spanish chefs to South Beach this year. While Miami is lovely, having a bite of Andres’ perfectly balanced creamy and crunchy paella will transport you right to the streets of Málaga.
Late Night: CASAMIGOS Tequila presents Tacos After Dark
Stick with the Latin theme and top off your paella with some creatively crafted tacos and top-shelf tequila from George Clooney’s liquor cabinet. Tacos After Dark features Mestizo chef Aaron Sanchez and other taco technicians, who will be dishing out variations of the Mexican staple using lechon, carne and pollo. But the highlight will be the tequila. CASAMIGOS is a small-batch, ultra-premium tequila company owned by George Clooney. When else will you get the chance to taste a Food Network chef’s tacos washed down by Clooney’s tequila in a makeshift taqueria?