Review by

Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival Cookbook
(Clarkson Potter) ISBN 978-0307460165 0307460169

Held at the end of February, in South Beach Miami, the South Beach Wine and Food Festival (SoBe) is one of the largest gatherings of celebrity chefs in the world.

Lee Schrager, author of this Food Network cookbook, and the person who started the SoBe festival in 2002, provides celebrity chef recipes for menu items from more than 50 SoBe events.

Location of SoBe events

For four days, South Beach becomes the world's largest bar, kitchen and beach party, as celebrity chefs prepare food and drinks for 50,000 visitors. The primary location for festival events is the beach. Other culinary events are held at Miami hotels, including the Biltmore, the Mandarin Oriental and the Fontainebleau.

Celebrity chef cooking demonstrations take place on Saturday and Sunday at the Grand Tasting Village, held on South Beach, between 10th and 13th streets. Beach tents behind the Delano Hotel and the Ritz-Carlton are the locations for the Burger Bash and BubbleQ (champagne and BBQ). South Beach Wine & Food Festival headquarters is the Loews Miami Beach, although several South Beach restaurants and clubs host other food and wine events.

In this SoBe cookbook, foodies will find 100 recipes for popular South Beach Wine and Food Festival menu items. Photos and interviews provide insider close-ups of SoBe celebrity chefs, including Bobby Flay, Paula Deen, Alice Waters, Rocco Dispirito, Martha Stewart, Jean Georges Vongerichten, Nigella Lawson, Giada de Laurentiis, Michael Symon, Lidia Bastianich and Ingrid Hoffmann.

Dishes from celebrity chefs

Organized by type of food and drink, each chapter begins with an introduction. For example, in the introduction to the Starters chapter, Lee Schrager describes a SoBe event, Best of the Best, a dine-around at Fontainebleau Miami Beach, where celebrity chefs serve appetizer-sized servings of their favorite dishes. Winemakers and vineyard owners serve Wine Spectator high-ranked wines to accompany each dish.

Each recipe begins with the name of the celebrity chef and the dish, followed by his or her introduction. Chef Michelle Bernstein explains that her recipe for smoked ham and cheese croquetas are a best seller in her Miami restaurant, Michy's. She recommends serving them as finger food with fig or orange marmalade for dipping.

Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival images depict events, like Burger Bash, celebrity chefs and their dishes.

Wine pairing with SoBe menu

Many South Beach Wine & Food Festival menu items include drink and food pairing suggestions, e.g., Miami chef, Allen Susser recommends matching his recipe for wild Florida shrimp mojito with Cuban mojitos.

Grilled for One Minute interviews with celebrity chefs and sommeliers highlight the 256-page cookbook. In one interview, Devin Padgett, managing director of South Beach Wine and Food Festival, provides tips and insider information, like celebrity chef hang outs after SoBe (Miami's Two 12 House, Deuce Bar, Puerto Sagua and Café Versailles).

Tickets for SoBe Burger Bash sell out quickly, so you can create your own burger bash with South Beach Wine & Food Festival recipes, like Cubano burger with mango black bean salsa, by Rachael Ray, who started Burger Bash with Lee Schrager.

Josh Wesson, wine director and cofounder of Best Cellars, recommends wine pairings for burgers. Eric Hemer, master sommelier for Southern Wine & Spirits (co-host of SoBe with Florida International University), suggests wine pairings with desserts, e.g., apple pie with late-harvest riesling.

Some South Beach Wine and Food Festival recipes are labeled kid-friendly. A good example is the simple barbecued chicken taco with backyard mango salsa by Chef Johnny Vinczencz from Johnny V South Beach at the Hotel Astor.

Sample SoBe Festival recipes

Frozen pina colada pops. Melon salad with lemongrass shrimp. Caramelized tomato tarts. Chilled scallop and lychee martini. Beer mopped ribeye steaks with bacon, onions and garlic. Wood grilled pork tenderloin with peach barbecue sauce and bourbon cream corn. Cheddar cheese biscuit burger with tomato ginger chutney. Toasted marshmallow shake. Crab and avocado sandwiches with mango coulis. Drunken mojito rum cake. Chocolate cashew tart.

Food Networks South Beach Wine & Food Festival Cookbook: Recipes and Behind-the-Scenes Stories from America's Hottest Chefs


  • Introduction: recipe for success
  • Drinks
  • Starters and small plates
  • Barbecue
  • Burgers
  • Comfort and casual food
  • Main courses
  • Desserts
  • Index


Lee Brian Schrager is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and founder of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival.

More things to see and do in the Miami area:

Miami - Where to Eat and Stay, What to See and Do

Everglades National Park

Miami Fairchild Botanic Garden

Little Havana Miami

Return to Food & Drink Index