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The South Beach Wine & Food Festival, a Food Network event presented by Food & Wine magazine, has become an eagerly anticipated tradition in Miami, featuring more celebrity chefs, world-class food and memorable parties than most people can handle. (It is Miami, after all.) Celebrating its tenth year in 2011, this year’s gathering, running February 21 to 24, promises to be no less exciting.
“We’re always on the lookout for new trends and talent,” says festival founder and director Lee Schrager. “It’s a balance of keeping everyone’s favorite classic events fresh with new faces, as well as creating new events that highlight new product launches and trends.”
From seminars to meals of all stripes, there is plenty to enjoy. Fans can pay homage to chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Christophe Navarre, the CEO of Moët Hennessy, at a special tribute dinner (February 23; $500) presided over by Martha Stewart at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. Legendary Spanish chef José Andrés hosts a celebrity chef golf tournament at Turnberry Isle Resort (February 23; $650, $2,000 per foursome), and country singer and Food Network new addition Trisha Yearwood helms a Southern-style brunch at the Loews (February 24; $150).
Drinks get a nod, too. Emeril Lagasse (pictured above) spearheads an affair at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden (February 22; $95) featuring cocktails by Bar Lab, and Nelson Mandela’s family chose the festival for the U.S. launch of its family wine label. But it’s not all about food, drink and festivities. Since its inception the celebration has raised roughly $17 million for the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Florida International University, meaning the culinary future looks extremely bright. February 21 to 24; sobefest.com.