South Beach Wine & Food Festival®

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

The Food Network 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 22–25, 2024.

FIU students and volunteers help run the Festival. More than 1,500 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 what is now the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One. The Festival turns 23 February 22–25, 2024.


SOBEWFF 2023 Stats



More than 1,500 student volunteers work about 4,300 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


In addition to raising more than $37 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. Students have been awarded $2.2M+ in scholarships to date.

Deserving students also have the opportunity to be nominated for and awarded with the following additional scholarships:

  • Lee Brian Schrager Excellence in Leadership Scholarship—The award, which has provided $180,000 in scholarships since 2013, is given to students who excel as leaders at the Festival.
  • Howie Kleinberg Memorial Culinary Scholarship—One talented student is eligible to receive this scholarship in memory of the well-known South Florida restaurateur, South Beach Wine & Food Festival® personality, Top Chef fan favorite, and hospitality champion. The scholarship was created in July 2023 to recognize a student entering the field of culinary management at FIU, who exemplifies Kleinberg’s passion for the industry.
  • Rockstar Bonus—Students who showed exemplary leadership skills while Festival volunteers can also be nominated for and receive bonuses for their extraordinary work.

Volunteers in Action

Tribute Dinner

Widely regarded as the “jewel in the crown” at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival®, the illustrious Tribute Dinner has been hailed as "the Oscars of wine and food." Set against the backdrop of the Loews Miami Beach, each year the Festival pays tribute to two luminaries who have left an indelible mark on the realm of hospitality, the Festival and Florida International University.

We raise a glass to all Festival honorees to date! Look back at how the Festival got its start on FIU’s Biscayne Bay campus.