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Our students help run the South Beach Wine & Food Festival®

The Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One (SOBEWFF®) 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. In partnership with our Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, SOBEWFF® is all about EAT. DRINK. EDUCATE. Join us at the upcoming SOBEWFF® from February 24-27, 2022.

FIU students and volunteers help run the Festival. More than 1,200 participate every year. In addition, many of our graduates are now part of the Festival staff.

SOBEWFF® got its start at the hospitality school on the FIU Biscayne Bay campus in 1997 as a one-day Festival, known as the Florida Extravaganza. For five years, the extravaganza showcased wines from national and international wineries paired with food from local restaurants and chefs – working with students from our School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. In 2002, Lee Brian Schrager, then-director of special events and media relations at Southern Wine & Spirits of America, took the reins of the Festival – and with a new vision, relocated it to South Beach launching the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One. The Festival turns 21 February 24-27, 2022.

Stats

  • 450+

    Chefs, winemakers, spirit producers and culinary personalities

  • 1,200+

    Student volunteers

  • $31.8+ M

    Raised since 2002 for the Chaplin School and its students

Volunteering

More than 1,200 student volunteers work about 3,100 shifts at the Festival. They assist with food and beverage management, on-site event logistics, media and marketing, and overall preparation and execution. They are ambassadors to Festival talent and network with hospitality industry leaders and executives.

How’s this for a resume booster: “Helped execute one of the nation’s premier food and beverage events.” That’s the opportunity you’ll have as a student volunteer at the Festival. It is invaluable experiential learning that will prepare you for the hospitality industry like no other.

Volunteer today

Scholarships

In addition to raising more than $31.8 million for our Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center, SOBEWFF® offers students the opportunity to win scholarships.

A total of $15,000 worth of scholarship is awarded to deserving students in the form of different award opportunities:

  • Lee Brian Schrager Excellence in Leadership Scholarship – The award, which has provided $105,000 in scholarships since 2012, is given to students who excel as leaders at the Festival.
  • Rockstar Bonus - Students who showed exemplary leadership skills while Festival volunteers can also be nominated for and receive bonuses for their extraordinary work.

Tribute dinner

Each year The Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One (SOBEWFF®) pays tribute to leaders in the wine and food world for their contributions to the industry, the Festival and Florida International University. The Tribute and Dinners at which these awards are presented are among the most popular Festival events. We raise a glass to all Festival honorees to date!

View the tribute honorees