Tickets went on sale today for the 2012 South Beach Wine & Food Festival taking place February 23th-26th in Miami, FL. Expect lots of industry folk and Miamians who really love food, hair gel, tanning, and plastic surgery. More populist than even the NYWFF — perhaps because the beach lends a Dionysian flair — SoBe is like Spring Break but for the gluttonous and food celebrity-obsessed. Will Paula Deen ride atop a Food Network television personality? Will there be monkeys? One can only hope.
Events tend to sell out, so do move quickly (Paula Deen's Sunday Brunch is already sold out). Check out the complete lineup of events for the festival, but here are some highlights:
1) The 6th Annual Burger Bash Hosted by Rachael Ray, $225. It's a pricey ticket for sure, but one that comes with unlimited booze, live music, and more burgers than one can possibly consume in one night. The $325 VIP reception tickets are already sold out.
2) Party Impossible hosted by Robert Irvine, $95. Hosted inside the parking garage/architectural gem 1111 Lincoln Road designed by Herzog & de Meuron, it'll showcase Epicure Market, Miami’s answer to Dean and Deluca.
3) Diamond Dishes at the New Miami Marlins Ballpark, $250. The public's first chance to experience the new Miami Marlins baseball stadium, hosted by Julie Loria (author of the cookbook, Diamond Dishes, and wife of Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria). Directly on the field.
4) Tribute Dinner honoring Charlie Trotter & Piero Antinori, $500. This year's annual tribute dinner honors chef Charlie Trotter and winemaker Piero Antinori. Anthony Bourdain will serve as master of ceremonies.
5) The Flavors of Flay presented by Certified Angus Beef, $250. The many, manly flavors of Bobby Flay, which means foods from Mesa Grill, Bar Americain, Bobby Flay Steak, and Bobby’s Burger Palace/
6) Swine & Wine presented by Pat LaFrieda Meats hosted by Debi Mazar & Gabriele Corcos, $150. Pit masters, whole roasted pig, wine, Debi Mazar, and people dancing to live Latin music.
7) Trucks on the Beach, the official Festival Closing Party, hosted by Andrew Zimmern, $95. Miami's top food carts and trucks (and NYC's Big Gay Ice Cream) line up under Andrew Zimmern's orders.
8) And since the official title is the "Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival Presented By Food & Wine," there are tons of Food Network celebrity events, including Interactive Lunch hosted by Anne Burrell ($150), Interactive Dinner hosted by The Neelys ($225), Best Thing I Ever Ate Late Night Bites & Sweets ($110), and Salsa @ Sea hosted by Douglas Rodriguez & Aarón Sanchez ($150). Also there's Sunday Supper by Meatball Shop ($150).