South Beach Wine and Food Festival 2015

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On March - 11 - 2015

KitchenAid® Culinary Demonstrations - STAGES/BOOK SIGNINGS - 2015 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food FestivalBy:  Maryanne Salvat and Mary Jo Shore

The 14th annual Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF) presented by FOOD & WINEwelcomed more than 60,000 enthusiastic foodies to more than 75 different events throughout South Florida in February. To date, the Festival has raised approximately $22 million for the Wine Spectator Restaurant Management Laboratory and Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center at the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management located on Florida International University’s Biscayne Bay campus.   Below, we’ve highlighted some of our favorite events of SOBEWFF 2015.

SOBEWFF 2015 - Amstel Light Burger Bash Hosted By Rachael RayBurger Bash 

Celebrity chef and daytime television host Rachael Ray along with the beloved Sandwich King and co-host of The Kitchen, Jeff Mauro, served as hosts to this year’s Amstel Light Burger Bash where chefs from around our nation dished up delicious miniature burgers bites and treats battling it out to see who would be chosen as this year’s People’s Choice Award for “Best Burger”. Super model Chrissy Teigen awarded the special honor to Miami local favorite, The Pincho Factory for their for “The Croquesta–” a brisket, short rib, and chuck croquette topped with Swiss, pickles, mustard, and mayo in a brioche bun. In its 9th year, the Bash is one of the most popular events drawing some of the most recognized chefs grilling it up for the title of “Best Burger” and the ever popular sought-out “Burger Trophy”.   This year Chef Josh Capon was awarded title of “Best Burger” by the judges (a combination of caramelized onion bacon jam, shaved pickles, American cheese with a secret sauce), and we personally think that he really should have received an award for best acceptance speech as well. The Lure Fishbar chef exclaimed, “Burger Bash Foreeeeever!” in his deep New York accent that had the crowd cheering.

While attending the carnivorous event and between bites, we were able to squeeze in some conversation SOBEWFF 2015 - Amstel Light Burger Bash Hosted By Rachael Raywith the delectable Sandwich King, and all-around-nicest-guy-ever, Jeff Mauro, who was wearing an adorable Flavour Gallery (emblazoned with “Fat, The Original White Meat”). Mauro was honored to be the Amstel Light spokesperson this year considering that he loves the beer, “it pairs well with most things, and it only has 95 calories per bottle-so I save calories to enjoy delicious eats,” gushed Mauro. When asked about his favorite type of burger, the Sandwich King was surprisingly modest; all-beef cheeseburger with pickled jalapeno.

Some honorable mentions that we could not leave out included: Toro NYC’s Ken Oringer and his beef burger with onion soup mayo, jalapeno chips and fois gras onions; New York’s Delicatessen Beer and Bacon Cheeseburger with Truffle Tots; Philadelphia’s Garces Group Maple Bourbon Glazed Cipollini Rogue Bleu Cheese with Fois Gras; and finally Shake Shack’s American Cheeseburger topped with bacon and caramelized onions. For dessert we had to mention Duff Goldman’s decadent Old Fashioned Malted Chocolate Shake served in small tasting cups that basically pushed us over the edge into a food coma that had us slurring and searching for the antacid booth.


Ronzoni Pasta's 100th Anniversary: Al Fresco Feast Sponsored By MIAMI Magazine Hosted By Debi Mazar & Gabriele Corcos - 2015 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food FestivalItalian Al Fresco Feast and Meatopia: The Q Revolution

Two signature events, which premiered this year, beachside at Delano were the brand new Italian Al Fresco Feast on the Beach and Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s Meatopia: The Q Revolution. The Al Fresco feast, hosted by Debi Mazar & Gabriele Corcos presented by Ronzoni sponsored by MIAMI magazine featured both modern and classic Italian fare from 30 top chefs, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Ronzoni Pasta.


lso new this year in the venue was the revolutionized version of the Festival’s classic BubbleQ® as SeminoleSeminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino's Meatopia: The Q Revolution Presented By Creekstone Farms Hosted By Guy Fieri Curated By Josh Ozersky - 2015 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s Meatopia: The Q Revolution presented by Creekstone Farms hosted by Guy Fieri curated by Josh Ozersky, where Chris Lilly (Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q) was crowned the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood Fan Favorite and JJ Johnson (The Cecil) took home the Creekstone Farms Judge’s Choice Award.


Grand Tasting Village 

This year’s Festival was full of highlights with the most buzzed about being the completely upgraded experience guests encountered at the Festival’s signature Whole Foods Market Grand Tasting Village. The epitome of tasting events, the Festival’s massive white tents located beachside between 10th and 13th Streets and Ocean Drive were home to a noticeably elevated affair. This year, the KitchenAid® Culinary Demonstration stages faced the ocean, allowing both the seated audience and passing crowds to see their favorite chefs, and the MasterCard Grand Tasting Tents showcased more than 50 restaurants each day organized by South Florida neighborhoods and led by Culinary Captains from each. Attendees enjoyed added lounge seating areas, music from Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and the convenience of using the Festival’s new free park-n-ride system from downtown Miami.


Save the date

The 15th anniversary of the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE will take place February 25 – 28, 2016!Next year’s Tribute Dinner at the Loews Miami Beach, which serves as the Festival’s host hotel, will honor chef, restaurateur and author Jonathan Waxman.

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