Miami Living Magazine

Alicia Silverstone

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Page 30 of 147

MIAMI LIVING 29 February in Miami is a time for fun. Alright – any time in the Magic City is a time for fun. But it is a mathematical thing this time of the year, what with the gorgeous weather and the height of the season combining to provide locals and visitors alike with unparalleled entertainment. The must-attend of the season, of course, is the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Feb. 25-28. It is a tradition for some, like yours truly, and a true celebration that brings to town thousands of guests ready to spend their money on the weekend's hard-to-get tickets (not to mention in and around town), as well as a Who's Who from the culinary world. "SoBe," which began as a one- day event known as the Florida Extravaganza held at Florida International University's Biscayne Bay Campus, has come so far from its early days almost a decade ago. It has more than exceeded expectations along the way in its short history, and grown into the place to be for anyone with a healthy appetite and a healthier thirst. "We were so happy to have a record-breaking 2009," said Lee Brian Schrager, the festival's founder and director. "With our highest numbers yet raised for FIU's School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, home of the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center, [the team is] determined to make 2010 another banner year to benefit the school." SoBe is a win-win for both the city and FIU students, who gain invaluable hands-on experience working side-by-side with some of their idols. Michael Schwartz, the driving force behind Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, sees educational benefits of the production, which requires attention to details such as city permitting, deliveries, food preparations, and Tip It for SoBe! Attention: Foodies and Winos The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival is Here Again Words by Martin Haro SPECIAL EVENT: 2010 WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL

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