MIAMI BEACH, FL--(Marketwire - Feb 22, 2013) - The 12th annual Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE kicked off last night beachside at the Delano with Moët Hennessy's The Q hosted by Paula Deen and Bobby Deen presented by Omaha Steaks sponsored by Miami magazine. Approximately 3,000 passionate gourmands came out to begin America's most prestigious gourmet gathering, benefiting the Florida International University (FIU) Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center.
Guests enjoyed tastings from over 40 of America's premier culinary talent complemented by flowing wine and spirits from the Moët Hennessy portfolio, including Belvedere Vodka, Hennessy VS Cognac, Grand Marnier Liqueur, Terrazas de los Andes and 10 Cane Rum. It was a true celebration, as Bobby Deen's latest cookbook From Mama's Table To Mine: Everybody's Favorite Comfort Foods at 350 Calories of Less (Ballantine Books) just rocketed to #1 on The New York Times' bestseller list.
Others with reason to celebrate included Chef Todd English, who took home The Omaha Steaks Award for Culinary Excellence, and Chef Jonathan Waxman, who was crowned the Kingsford Charcoal King of Q. Judges Rocco DiSpirito, Pat & Gina Neely, and Omaha Steaks' Todd Simon selected English's steamed bun of hoisin glazed short rib and roasted 5 spice tenderloin with sweet and sour cucumber slaw, and Omaha Steaks has provided a $1,000 scholarship in English's name to FIU. Chef Waxman impressed Kingsford Charcoal judges Aarón Sánchez and Marc Murphy with his whole roasted NY strip steak with tomato, arugula and salsa picante.
The Festival is comprised of over 50 events that take place throughout South Florida this weekend, and has raised approximately $17 million to date for FIU. More information about the Festival can be found at www.sobefest.com.
Fans can follow Festival Founder and Director Lee Brian Schrager all weekend long on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Lee_Schrager or at the Festival's official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SOBEWFF.
About the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE
All proceeds from the Festival benefit the students of the Florida International University Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management who also assist Festival organizers with sponsorship fulfillment, restaurant and exhibitor recruitment, logistics, and inventory as well as working alongside some of the world's greatest celebrity chefs and winemakers.
The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE is produced by Florida International University and Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida with the support of the Miami Beach Visitors & Convention Authority and the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information about the Festival, visit www.sobefest.com or call 877-762-3933. For more information about Florida International University visit www.fiu.edu, for the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management visit www.hospitality.fiu.edu and for more information about Southern Wine & Spirits visit www.southernwine.com.