Food Network South Beach Wine and Food Festival
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What started out as the "Taste of South Beach", located on Lincoln Road in the heart of Miami Beach, has now grown into a mega-foodie experience. Now this event is called the Food Network South Beach Wine and Food Festival and is an annual wine and spirits events showcasing many of the world's top chefs, producers and vendors of gourmet products and spirits, and culinary personalities. The event is hosted by Florida International University's (FIU) School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Proceeds from the festival go to the school's teaching restaurant and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center at FIU.
The original event on Lincoln Road began in 1994. The current #sobewff event started in 1997 at FIU's Biscayne Bay Campus, after Southern Wine and Spirits came on board as its major benefactor. It was known then as "Florida Extravaganza", and was a one-day event. In 2001, it was moved to the sands of South Beach again and renamed the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, attracting over 7,000 guests. By 2002, that number had increased to 10,000 with increased national media attention, and to 20,000 guests by 2004. By 2009, 50,000 guests had come to the festival.
To date, the festival has raised over $8 million for FIU's School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, and allows for hands-on industry experience.
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