Digest Features February 19, 2017

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SOBEWFF 2017: Local Chefs & Where to Find Them

By: Jennifer Agress

Let’s be honest: As fun as the South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF) is, at times, it can be overwhelming. There’s so much good food, tons of amazing chefs, too many events to go to and not enough time to go to (and eat at!) all of them. In addition to the coveted Grand Tasting Village, we’ve rounded up this list of our top SOBEWFF 2017 dinners and events where you can spot and support your favorite local chefs. 


Thursday, February 23rd

Burnt Ends: A Kosher BBQ Dinner | 7:00PM

Hosted by Alon Shaya – of Shaya in New Orleans, which was recently voted “Best New Restaurant in the U.S.” by the James Beard Foundation – this Kosher night brings together top chefs for seated Kosher BBQ dinner. Our own legendary Kosher bread man, Zak the Baker, will participate, and the whole evening will be supervised by Rabbi Chaim Lipskar, of The Shul of Downtown Miami, to make sure it lives up to the hype. This event will take place at Rok Family Shul - Chabad Downtown Jewish Center located at 35 SE 9th Street. Tickets cost $300 per person.

Locals to look for: Zak the Baker

An Asian-Inspired Dinner with Pok Pok, Babu Ji and NaiYaRa | 7:00PM

When Chef Bee opened his innovative Thai spot, NaiYaRa, Sunset Harbor secured its reputation as a beautiful waterfront destination with foodies in mind. At SOBEWFF, Chef Bee will be joined by Chef Jessi Singh, of East Village Indian spot, Babu Ji, and Thai chef Andy Ricker for a Far East dinner you won’t want to miss. This event will take place at NaiYaRa located at 1854 Bay Road. Tickets cost $250 per person.

Who are the locals: Chef Bee (NaiYaRa)

Barilla's Italian Bites on the Beach | 7:00PM

Kick off SOBEWFF with top-notch dishes inspired by the various regions of Italy! Led by hosts Valerie Bertinelli and Alex Guarnaschelli, the delicious evening will include live music performances and a bevy of complimentary wine samplings. Tickets are priced at $150

Who are the locals: Miguel Aguilar (Joey's Italian Cafe), Bruno Ponce & Aliette Weill (Mimmo's Mozzarella), Louie Bossi (Louie Bossi's Ristorante Bar & Pizzeria), Kaytlin Dangaran (Verde at Perez Art Museum), Paolo Dorigato (Dolce italian), Andrea Marchesin (Toscana Divino), Angelo Masarin (Salumeria 104), Tim Piazza (Fi'lia by Michael Schwartz), Daniel Ramirez (Harry's Pizzeria), Bocce Ristorante, Luciano Sautto (Quattro Gastronomia Italiana), Thomas Stewart (Gianni's At The Villa), Nicole Votano, Todd Zimmer (Prime One Twelve)

Dinner hosted by Uri Jeremias, Aret Sahakyan and Sergio Sigala | 7:00PM - 10:00PM

This dinner fuses the kitchen skills of three greats: Mediterranean chef Uri Jeremias, of Uri Buri in Israel; Chef Aret Sahakyan, of Macakizi in Turkey; and of course, Miami’s own Chef Sergio Sigala, of Cecconi’s. This event will take place on Thursday, February 23, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., at Cecconi’s at Soho Beach House. Cecconi’s at Soho Beach House is located at 4385 Collins Avenue. Tickets cost $250 per person.

Who are the Locals: Sergio Sigala (Cecconi’s at Soho Beach House)


Friday, February 24th

The Art of Tiki: A Cocktail Showdown

Grab this ticket while you can! Priced at just $95 per person, The Art of Tiki event really packs a punch (pun-intended). Drink your way through the Surfcomber hotel’s lush poolside oasis along with Miami’s favorite local bartenders and chefs. The evening promises endless tiki-cocktails and Polynesian-inspired bites. Only one will be crowned Tiki-King or Tiki-Queen.

Who are the locals: Gabe Orta & Elad Zvi (The Broken Shaker), Ralph Pagano (The Wreck Bar), Micaela Piccolo (Sweet Liberty), Ben Potts (Beaker & Gray), Christian J. Rolon (The Regent Cocktail Club), Cesar Vega (SUSHISAMBA), Blair Wilson (The Social Club), Victoria Chediak (Poké 305), Adrianne Calvo (Chef Adrianne's Vineyard Restaurant), Bryan Canales (Bitter Truth)

Mango Gang Reunited | 7:00PM - 10PM

To celebrate SOBEWFF’s 16th birthday, Miami’s own Cindy Hutson will host the original “Mango Gang” for an all-star reunion at Zest in Downtown Miami. Join chefs Norman Van Aken, Mark Militello, Douglas Rodriguez, and Allen Susser for a dinner inspired by Miami’s local cuisine and ingredients. This event will take place at Zest located at 200 S Biscayne Boulevard. Tickets are priced at $250 per person.

Who are the locals: Allen Susser, Norman Van Aken, Mark Militello (Josie's Ristorante), Douglas Rodriguez, Cindy Hutson (Ortanique on the Mile)

Salty, Sweet & Savory Treats | 10:00PM - 12:00AM

For a night of tasty treats (fried chicken and DONUTS, anyone?), hang poolside with Chef Janine Booth and Chef Jeff McInnis, of The Sarsaparilla Club, and Chef Max Santiago, of The Salty Donut. Pair tall with legendary cocktails by the award-winning team, Bar Lab. This event will take place at the Shelborne Miami Beach located at 1801 Collins Avenue. Tickets are priced at $95 per person.

Who are the locals: Janine Booth (Sarsaparilla Club), Gabe Orta & Elad Zvi (The Broken Shaker), Jeffrey McInnis (Sarsaparilla Club), Max Santiago (The Salty Donut)

Heineken Light Burger Bash | 7:30PM - 10:30PM

Rachel Ray hosts one of the most coveted of SOBE Fest events featuring the best mouthwatering burgers from near and far. As chefs compete for the Heineken Light People's Choice Award, guests will indulge in samplings of burgers and Heineken Light! Tickets are priced at $250 per person

Who are the locals: Nedal Ahmad (Pincho Factory), Emilio Estefan, Ortelio Cardenas (El Mago de las Fritas), Timothy Elmore (Pizza & Burger by Michael Mina), Todd Erickson (Society Fort Myers), Michael Fiorello (Bristol's Burgers), Henry Hane (Bachour Bakery and Bistro), Eli Jackson (STK Miami Beach), Craig Koketsu (Quality Meats), Jimmy Lebron (27 Restaurant/Broken Shaker), Jose Mendin, Brian Nasajon (Beaker & Gray), Bryan Rojas (Fooqs), Dustin Ward (BLT Prime), Todd Zimmer (Prime One Twelve)

Wine Spectator’s Best of the Best | 7:30PM - 10:30PM

Sample the Best of the Best at Wine Spectator's highly anticipated event featuring 60 of the nation's top chefs and 90 point rated wines! Interact with proprietors and winemakers and hear their personal stories behind the wine. Enjoy the luxury and first-rate service of the glamorous Fontainebleau while indulging in pure decadence from champagne to dessert. Tickets are priced at $350 per person.

Who are the locals: Piyarat "Chef Bee" Arreeratn (NaiYaRa), Michael Beltran (Ariete), Sean Brasel (Meat Market), Aaron Brooks (EDGE Steak & Bar), Stuart Cameron (Byblos Miami), Julia Doyne (The Forge), Gabriel Fenton (Bourbon Steak), Sebastian Fernandez (33 Kitchen), Jeremy Ford (Matador Room), Jun H. Lee (StripSteak), Michael Lewis (KYU), Jian H. Loo (Hakkasan at Fontainebleau), Max Makowski (Cypress Tavern), Dena Marino (MC Kitchen), John Migita (Katsuya South Beach), Diego Muñoz (1111 Peruvian Bistro), Neil O'Connell (Scarpetta at Fontainebleau Miami Beach), Sunny Oh (Juvia), Diego Oka (La Mar by Gaston Acurio), Pascal Oudin (Pascal's on Ponce), Michael Pirolo (Macchialina), Giorgio Rapicavoli (Glass & Vine), Jean Luc Royere (Azul at Mandarin Oriental Miami), Peter Vauthy (Red, the Steakhouse), Ryan Wilson (Fontainebleau Miami Beach)

Saturday, February 25th

Amigos de La Huella: A Dinner | 7:00PM

At this dinner, Executive Chef Nano Crespo, of the new Quinto La Huella of EAST, Miami, will be joined by Executive Chef Alejandro Morales, of Parador La Huella; Colombian Pastry Chef Florencia Courreges; and chefs Harry Sasson and Fernando Trocca, of Sucre in Argentina and Santa Teresita in Uruguay, for a haute South American feast. This event will take place at Quinto La Huella at EAST, Miami located at 788 Brickell Plaza. Tickets cost $250 per person.

Who are the locals: Nano Crispo (Quinto La Huella)

BACARDÍ On The Beach with Beats by Rev Run & DJ Ruckus | 9:00PM

BACARDÍ hosts a serious beach party with Rev Run and DJ Ruckus. This boozy late-night festival features some of Miami's hottest chefs and of course, plenty of drinks! Tickets are priced at $100 per person.

Who are the locals: Suzanne Batlle (Azucar Ice cream), Michael Beltran (Ariete), Bryan Canales (Bitter Truth), Maryna Frederiksen (Big Easy Winebar and Grill), Mercedes Gonzalez (El Rey de las Fritas), Sam Gorenstein (My Ceviche), Rene Reyes & John Gallo (Pinch Kitchen), Scott Linquist (OLLA), Gabriel Medici (Novecento), Ralph Pagano (Naked Taco), Jorgie Ramos (BARLEY), Nicole Valls (Versailles Cuban Restaurant), Blair Wilson
The Social Club

Sunday, February 26th

Brunch hosted by José Andrés and Michael Schwartz | 11:00AM

Join two of Miami’s hottest chefs for a poolside brunch at the brand new SLS Brickell. Both chefs, José Andrés and Michael Schwartz, recently opened restaurants at the SLS Brickell: Bazaar Mar and Fi’lia, respectively. This event will take place at the ALTITUDE Pool at SLS Brickell located at 1300 S. Miami Avenue. Tickets cost $175 per person

Who are the locals: Michael Schwartz (Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Cypress Tavern, ella, Fi'lia)

Goya Foods' Swine & Wine | 5:30PM - 8:30PM

The Biltmore Hotel hosts Goya Foods and the National Pork Board for a decadent sampling of pig-centric creations. Join several Miami chefs as they showcase their signature techniques in preparing delicious pork dishes. From slow-roasting whole pigs to a dedicated “Sweet Zone” - this mouthwatering event is a must-try for all Festival-goers. This very Miami-style event is not complete without live entertainment by El Tucán Cabaret & Modern Day Lounge.

Who are the locals: Andres Barrientos (Miami Smokers), Brendan Connor (Whisk Gourmet), Cristian Cuevas (Swine Southern Table and Bar), Roberto Dubois (Vagabond Kitchen and Bar), Mike Fischetti (Zest), Cindy Hutson (Ortanique on the Mile), Richard Ingraham, Marion Miami, Brian Nasajon (Beaker & Gray), Jorgie Ramos (BARLEY), Gareth Rhodes (COYA Miami), Bocce Ristorante, Kiko Suarez (NBC6 / TELEMUNDO51), Odell Torres (Estefan Kitchen), Norman Van Aken, Dustin Ward (BLT Prime)

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