Posted February 20, 2014

South Beach Wine & Food Festival

Eat + Drink

It’s time to ditch your New Year’s resolution and recommence mass consumption — Miami’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF) takes place this week, Feb. 20–24, and we’re chomping at the bit.

During the Food Network’s star-studded SOBEWFF, food and fun overtake flip-flops and speedos as Miami Beach’s combo of attention. America’s top chefs, sommeliers and TV personalities host 65,000 of their closest friends and fans at tastings, seminars, lunches, brunches, dinners and after-parties, all revolving around food, glorious food.

Look for goodies from The Social Club at the festival’s Grand Tasting Village.

Since its humble beginnings as a small-scale, single-day festival on the beach circa 2002, the SOBEWFF has grown into one of Miami’s most anticipated festivals, with events spanning downtown, midtown, the beach and everywhere in between. And all three of Kimpton’s Miami properties — EPIC Hotel, The Angler’s Hotel and Surfcomber — offer quick access to the prolific food and wine happenings. The Surfcomber’s Social Club restaurant will also be a SOBEWFF participant, showcasing the talents of Chef Doug Sisk at The Grand Tasting Village on Saturday and Sunday (11am–6pm).

The festival’s largest event, The Grand Tasting Village, is a two-day affair of culinary demos by celebrity chefs and excessive sampling through the rows of tasting tents along Ocean Drive, highlighting the best from South Florida’s restaurants. Chef Sisk will show off his gastronomic chops and offer attendees delectable bites direct from the restaurant’s new globally inspired menu. Kimpton’s Lead Bartender Jacques Bezuidenhout adds to the Social Club festivities, too, hosting a Partida Tequila tasting party at the restaurant on Friday from 5:30 to 7pm. Now, we’ll toast to that.

Beyond the tasting tents, throughout the four-day weekend the likes of Andrew Zimmern, Anthony Bourdain, Anne Burrell, Giada De Laurentiis, and Rachael Ray dole out big slices of the small screen (in real time) at intimate, ticketed dinners and other walk-around tasting events. Even country music superstar Trisha Yearwood gets in on the act, gathering some of her favorite Dixie chefs for a Southern Kitchen Brunch on Sunday. And one of those jamming with her (culinarily speaking) will be Chef Roberto Leoci, whose Pacci Italian Kitchen + Bar opens this spring at our new Savannah, GA, property, The Brice. A variety of Wine Spectator seminars are also scheduled, catering to both beginners and Pinot know-it-alls.

Get ready to advance to the next belt loop.

— Paul Rubio

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