MIAMI BEACH, FL -- (Marketwire) -- 03/06/13 -- The 12th annual Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE, which took place February 21-24, 2013, expects to raise $1.9 million for Florida International University's (FIU) Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center. After a year of both record ticket and sponsorship sales, the Festival entertained and educated approximately 60,000 passionate gourmands and wine and spirits aficionados during this star-studded, four-day destination event.
"It was an incredible year for the Festival," noted founder and director Lee Brian Schrager. "We have so many partners to thank -- chefs, sponsors, suppliers, and everyone who bought a ticket -- for helping us raise an expected $1.9 million for FIU. We couldn't be happier to continue supporting one of America's top-rated hospitality management schools committed to educating the future leaders of our industry."
The Festival kicked off with Moët Hennessy's The Q presented by Omaha Steaks and sponsored by MIAMI magazine hosted by Paula Deen & Sons, where Chef Todd English took home The Omaha Steaks Award for Culinary Excellence for his steamed bun of hoisin glazed short rib and roasted five-spice tenderloin with sweet and sour cucumber slaw, and Chef Jonathan Waxman was crowned the Kingsford Charcoal King of Q for his whole roasted New York strip steak with tomato, arugula and salsa picante.
Chef Bobby Flay (Bobby's Burger Palace) took top honors with his win of the Amstel Light People's Choice Award at the Amstel Light Burger Bash presented by Pat LaFrieda Meats hosted by Rachael Ray with his Green Chile Cheeseburger, a griddled beef patty topped with queso sauce, roasted green chiles, pickled red onions and "crunchified" with Bobby's signature layer of crispy potato chips. Other winners of the evening included: Food Network's Sandwich King Jeff Mauro (Pat LaFrieda's 2013 SOBEWFF Burger Bash® Champion), Craig Koketsu of Quality Meats (Heinz Best Dressed Burger Award), and Laurent Tourondel of LT Burger (Red Robin's Best of the Bash Award).
The Festival's signature event, the Whole Foods Market Grand Tasting Village featuring the MasterCard® Grand Tasting Tents, boasted approximately 100 wine and spirits suppliers and 40 restaurants daily. The event attracted huge crowds for the ultimate tasting experience paired with KitchenAid Culinary Demonstrations from Tyler Florence, Emeril Lagasse, Nigella Lawson and Anthony Bourdain, The Neely's, Curtis Stone, Aarón Sánchez, plus the Festival's first culinary demonstration conducted entirely in Spanish from José Andrés, and more!
Florida Blue presents Fun and Fit as a Family sponsored by Carnival featuring Kellogg's Kidz Kitchen, the two-day mini-festival at Jungle Island that promotes an interactive healthy lifestyle education for the entire family, drew more than 12,000 children and their parents, who enjoyed tips from featured chefs and culinary personalities such as Anne Burrell, Giada De Laurentiis, Rocco DiSpirito, Robert Irvine, Jeff Mauro, and Andrew Zimmern, among others.
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