Once Again, SOBEWFF Delights its Guests

The South Beach Wine & Food Festival, more commonly known to its fans as the SOBEWFF, celebrated its 16th anniversary in Miami this past weekend. Even though the event just ended, we can still look to it to see this year's top trends and adapt them for our own events in the upcoming months. Here are some of the things that took the spotlight:

Tastings and Demonstrations

This year's tastings didn't stop with serving up food to curious attendees. The Grand Tastings were all accompanied by demonstrations by KitchenAid so people could see how to make the dishes at home. Of course, doing so would presumably involve buying some KitchenAid products. These were integral to the demonstrations, and many people who view such demos come to the feeling that they have to have the items shown within them. Needless to say, that's the plan.

Intimate Dinners Hosted by Well-Known People

While the big A-listers of Hollywood weren't hosting dinners, SOBEWFF did get some notable personalities to do the honors. Each dinner featured a different person or group who, for the most part, are known for their food or wine expertise. This type of dinner has been trending for a few years now, and many people are fans. Importantly, the term "intimate" doesn't refer to the sort of dinner that caters to lovebirds. Instead, it's a chance to talk to the hosts in a setting that is far more personable, or intimate, than the typical stage-to-audience speech setup.

Fitness Events

Companies have tried to make fitness into a trend for years, but it is now finally catching on. Two "Buddhas and Bellinis" events happened over the course of SOBEWFF and drew plenty of people to the yoga-themed mass classes. Other fitness-related events were geared toward families, and some included healthy cooking. It's clear that people are still interested in fitness and healthy food, and that the longstanding association between these things and deprivation dieting is continuing to fade.

Celebrity Chef Talks and Signings

A couple of decades ago, the very idea of a celebrity chef was all but unheard-of. Now, there are several making the rounds. People always love to get closer to celebrities, so it was a hit for SOBEWFF to bring in well-known chefs and home experts. The topics were highly varied, with one on the future of restaurant operations on all sizes and another that claimed that political discussion outright belongs at the dinner table.

While it's hard to match the scale of a festival like SOBEWFF, you can make your event a big hit by using it for inspiration. The other thing you need is a great venue. Try our flexible 70,000 square foot space here at Soho Studio for your own Miami extravaganza.

Eat and Treat with SOBE

The South Beach Wine and Food Festival is one of the most popular venues in the world that combines food enthusiasts, television and media, and renowned chefs for a great time of food and fun. According to Biz Bash, this is the #1 food and restaurant industry event in the US. Next February, the festival will present Eat and Treat with SOBE, a media-only event where chefs and TV personalities who will be participating in the South Beach Food and Wine Festival give reporters and media an exclusive look at some of the dishes prepared and activities that will take place. This event will have a number of sections, based on food prep and types of food. Different restaurants and TV networks will also be set up with their booths to feature and highlight famous dishes, items to purchase, and of course, chefs that represent their best interests. In these booths, chefs will give demonstrations on how to prepare certain dishes and what makes their culinary talent so special. A picture booth will be set up for individual photos and book signings.

Food distributors will also be on hand to discuss any new offerings they have slated to be introduced during the festival, and there will also be a new chefs’ booth introducing any newcomers on the scene. The media will be able to sample the food and wine, with direct access to the internet for any food critics to post their opinions for the masses who will not be able to attend.

Events at the festival include book signings, Wine Spectator Trade Day, Amstel Light Burger Bash, Barilla’s Italian Bites on the Beach, seminars that include the Bank of America Lifestyle Seminars on Wine & Cheese, Beer, Sip and Sea, Sweets & Spirits, and the Past meets Present Winery.

Sponsors include The Food Network, Cooking Channel, Food & Wine, FIU Chaplain School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, Southern Wine & Spirits, MasterCard, Lowes Miami Beach Hotel, Barilla, The New York Times, PMG and Delta Airlines among others.

Tickets for this event and the SOBEWFF are now on sale online.

The Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE is a national, star-studded, four-day destination event showcasing the talents of the world’s most renowned wine and spirits producers, chefs and culinary personalities. Hosted by Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida and Florida International University (FIU), the Festival benefits FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center. To date, the Festival has raised more than $22 million for the School.