Reporting Lisa Cilli
MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) — Where’s the beef? Ask anyone going to the South Beach Wine and Food Festival and they’ll say the beef is at Friday night’s Burger Bash, hosted by Rachael Ray, one of the many events already sold-out at this weekend’s annual wine and food festival.
The Burger Bash, held on the beach of The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, is a fan favorite and pits some of the country’s greatest beef patty purveyors against one another as they show off their grilling skills. The friendly competition ends when hostess Rachael Ray tallies up the votes and announces the winner of the “People’s Choice Award.”
Chef Michael Symon’s burger with fried salami, provolone, shasha hot sauce and pickled onion claimed the “People’s Choice Award” last year which makes him the two-time champ to beat.
The South Beach Wine and Food Festival, hosted by The Food Network is a star-studded four-day event that showcases the talents of the world’s most renowned wine and spirit producers, chefs and culinary personalities.
The event was founded as a fundraiser for Florida International University’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and has grown tremendously over the years. It is now one of the largest and most well-known festivals of its kind in the country.
The Festival kicked off Thursday night with The Q, a revamped version of the champagne-soaked Bubble Q, featuring foodie icons Emeril Lagasse and Food Network’s Guy Fieri offering the best in barbecue.
Friday night’s $225 Burger Bash is sold out.
Other high-profile events include Saturday’s $250 Flavors of Flay at the Raleigh Hotel, Paula Deen’s $150 Sunday Brunch at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, and the $95 Trucks on the Beach Closing Party hosted by Andrew Zimmern at the Ritz-Carlton on Sunday.
There’s also Saturday and Sunday’s $225 Whole Foods Market Grand Tasting Village at 13th and Ocean Drive. Tickets are still available for the Grand Tasting Village on Sunday only.
Another fun event for the entire family is the Fun and Fit As A Family featuring the the Kidz Kitchen which takes place at Jungle Island. The two-day long mini-festival teaches kids and their parents how to make healthy food choices and features a variety of cooking demonstrations for children by various Food Network personalities such as Rachael Ray, Guy Fieri and Robert Irvine on Saturday and Andrew Zimmern, Sunny Anderson and Rocco DiSpirito on Sunday. Tickets are $20.00.
The Food Network South Beach Wine and Food Festival will run through Sunday, Feb. 26th.