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Bring Pepto, comfortable shoes and an iron-coated stomach: The South Beach Wine and Food Festival is back. The 21st annual roaming feast will fan out across Miami-Dade and Broward counties with 85 events (so far) spread out over four days, Feb. 24-27. Kicking off the bash will be Guy Fieri, mayor of Flavortown and South Florida’s patron saint of comfort food, who will host a “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”-themed cookout on the sands of South Beach.
Tickets will go on sale starting Monday, Nov. 15, and Capital One cardholders had access starting Nov. 8. Passes range from $15-$375, with most celebrity-studded gatherings priced well above $100. In Broward, they include two dinners on Fort Lauderdale Beach, one at soon-to-open Dune by Laurent Tourondel and another at Riviera by Fabio Viviani. There will also be a dinner at Etaru Hallandale and the return of two family-friendly events at Village at Gulfstream Park: Goya Foods’ Fun and Fit as a Family and Hallandale Beach Food & Groove.
One of the festival’s standout events is arguably “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives LIVE” (Feb. 24), where 25 mom-and-pop restaurants featured on Fieri’s Food Network show will create their signature dishes under a South Beach tent. South Florida comfort-food havens are in the mix, including Miami’s Mojo Donuts, Latin House Grill and Blackbrick Chinese and Dim Sum, organizer Lee Brian Schrager says.
“We’ve been wanting to have a ‘Diners’-themed event on the beach for a long time, and these are all Guy’s personal favorites,” Schrager says. Fieri, now a West Palm Beach resident, is also 2022′s honored chef at the festival’s big-ticket tribute dinner, which will be emceed by James Beard Award- and Nobel Peace Prize-winning chef Jose Andres.
“Guy raised a lot of money during COVID to support restaurants, and so honoring him made perfect sense,” he adds.
Schrager says the four-day festival, for now, will keep intact some of its COVID-19 restrictions, and require staff, chefs and visitors to provide proof that they have been vaccinated or tested negative at least 72 hours before entry. The 2021 edition of the bacchanal shuffled its dates from February to May as a surge of cases gripped the country, forcing Schrager to shrink his lineup, cut capacity by roughly half and add COVID-sniffing dogs. There are fewer restrictions for 2022: Many gatherings are indoors and there are more events compared to the 68 in 2021.
The festival’s signature Burger Bash (Feb. 25), hosted by Andres and Rachael Ray, will be split into two sessions to curtail the number of noshers assembled under South Beach tents. There will also be more master classes and wine seminars — which were canceled in 2021 — including a breadmaking course with Zak Stern of Zak the Baker and craft cocktail-making with Sweet Liberty bar.
A full raft of celebrity scene-makers and chefs also will participate, including Anne Burell, Buddy Valastro, Rocco DiSpirito, Tyler Florence, Aaron Sanchez and Andrew Zimmern.
The South Beach Wine and Food Festival will return Feb. 24-27, 2022. For the complete schedule, go to SOBEWFF.org.